In the aftermath of the seventh-century Islamic conquest of Iran, Zoroastrians departed for India. Known as the Parsis, they slowly lost contact with their ancestral land until the nineteenth century, when steam-powered sea travel, the increased circulation of Zoroastrian-themed books, and the philanthropic efforts of Parsi benefactors sparked a new era of interaction between the two groups. Tracing the cultural and intellectual exchange between Iranian nationalists and the Parsi community during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Exile and the Nation shows how this interchange led to the collective reimagining of Parsi and Iranian national identity—and the influence of antiquity on modern Iranian nationalism, which previously rested solely on European forms of thought. Iranian nationalism, Afshin Marashi argues, was also the byproduct of the complex history resulting from the demise of the early modern Persianate cultural system, as well as one of the many cultural heterodoxies produced within the Indian Ocean world. This book reframes Iranian nationalism within the context of the connected, transnational, and global history of the modern era.
Long before people identified as transgender or lesbian, there were female husbands and the women who loved them. Female husbands - people assigned female who transed gender, lived as men, and married women - were true queer pioneers. Moving deftly from the colonial era to just before the First World War, Jen Manion uncovers the riveting and very personal stories of ordinary people who lived as men despite tremendous risk, danger, violence, and threat of punishment. Female Husbands weaves the story of their lives in relation to broader social, economic, and political developments in the United States and the United Kingdom, while also exploring how attitudes towards female husbands shifted in relation to transformations in gender politics and women's rights, ultimately leading to the demise of the category of 'female husband' in the early twentieth century. Groundbreaking and influential, Female Husbands offers a dynamic, varied, and complex history of the LGBTQ past.
William Greaves is one of the most significant and compelling American filmmakers of the past century. Greaves was an influential independent documentary filmmaker who produced, directed, shot, and edited more than a hundred films on a variety of social issues and on key African American figures. His career also included stints as a songwriter, a member of the Actors Studio, and, during the late 1960s, a producer and cohost of Black Journal, the first national television show focused on African American culture and politics. This volume provides the first comprehensive overview of Greaves’s remarkable career. It brings together a wide range of material, including a mix of incisive essays from critics and scholars, Greaves’s own writings, an extensive meta-interview with Greaves, conversations with his wife and collaborator Louise Archambault Greaves and his son David, and a critical dossier on Symbiopsychotaxiplasm. Together, they illuminate Greaves’s mission to use filmmaking as a tool for transforming the ways African Americans were perceived by others and the ways they saw themselves. This book is an essential resource on Greaves’s work and his influence on independent cinema and African-American culture.
Grief happens to everyone. Universal and enveloping, grief cannot be ignored or denied. This original new book by psychologist Dorothy P. Holinger uses humanistic and physiological approaches to describe grief’s impact on the bereaved. Taking examples from literature, music, poetry, paleoarchaeology, personal experience, memoirs, and patient narratives, Holinger describes what happens in the brain, the heart, and the body of the bereaved. Readers will learn what grief is like after a loved one dies: how language and clarity of thought become elusive, why life feels empty, why grief surges and ebbs so persistently, and why the bereaved cry. Resting on a scientific foundation, this literary book shows the bereaved how to move through the grieving process and how understanding grief in deeper, more multidimensional ways can help quell this sorrow and allow life to be lived again with joy.
Sun Ra (1914–93) was one of the most prolific and eccentric figures in the history of music. Renowned for extravagant performances, the keyboardist and bandleader also espoused an interstellar cosmology that claimed the planet Saturn as his true home. In Sun Ra’s Chicago, William Sites brings this visionary musician back to earth—specifically to the city’s South Side, where from 1946 to 1961 he lived and relaunched his career. The postwar South Side was a hotbed of unorthodox religious and cultural activism. It was also an unruly musical crossroads where the man then known as Sonny Blount drew from an array of intellectual and musical sources—from radical nationalism, revisionist Christianity, and science fiction to jazz, blues, Latin dance music, and pop exotica—to construct a philosophy and performance style that imagined a new identity and future for African Americans. Sun Ra’s Chicago shows that late twentieth-century Afrofuturism emerged from a deep, utopian engagement with the city—and that by excavating the postwar black experience of Sun Ra’s South Side milieu, we can come to see the possibilities of urban life in new ways.
From start to finish this novel is striking and startling. The titular death is both literal and metaphorical, and the novel unfolds almost with a noir/mystery feeling; we know or at least assume based on the title that the character Vivek Oji will die, but this death occurs in several ways and not until the very end of the novel. The characters and relationships in this novel are incredibly dimensional, and the conflicts between characters are frequently unpredictable (in a good, narratively exciting way). Emezi's prose is both lush and lively, compellingly readable; the titular death is both literal and metaphorical, and the novel unfolds suspensefully. ––Annie
Rosanna Warren, poet, critic, and professor at the University of Chicago, has offered perhaps her most dazzling collection of poems yet. The language of So Forth is remarkably lush and sensual; in the titular poem, she writes, "The floor/buckles, clapboards sag, wires hang askew/like muscles in a bungled autopsy." These poems beg to be read aloud, to exist in the mouth and the ear and not just on the page. ––Annie
What attracted me to this ARC was the Emily St. John Mandel blurb on the cover, and this novel absolutely reminds me of Mandel in its precise prose, perfect noir settings, and continuously exposed and deepened protagonist, Franny. The story does not unfold in chronological order, rendering quite accurately how trauma can create a kind of circular, rather than linear, life for its survivor. The settings - a fishing boat in the Arctic and Antarctic, a wildlife sanctuary in Scotland, prisons in Ireland - are dramatic and intense to match Franny. This novel is so readable, so deeply engaging, and highlights the darkest and wildest things about all of us. ––Annie
Oyler's debut novel is an incredibly smart series of tangential fragments that collapse into broader, highly troubling questions of how to exist as a post-modern person. The flighty, absurd tale of a young woman who discovers that her lackluster boyfriend runs an online conspiracy theorist account punctuates the deeply cynical, meandering thoughts of our peripatetic protagonist. All in all, a truly enjoyable and startlingly relatable read. ––Mrittika
Hashimoto has written the whimsical, heartache-inducing, thoughtful Asian American lesbian rom-com many have been waiting for. At its core, it really is a lighthearted read about the intense romantic entanglements between two women with complex identities, and how they shift over time. More than anything, the novel is important in that it simply normalizes the centering of fully developed queer, diverse characters in an age-old genre. ––Mrittika
Rodriguez's forthcoming book expertly analyzes the matrix of violence which has structured and undergirded historical formations of white supremacy leading up to the contemporary "multiculturalist" moment. White Reconstruction boldly challenges us in unexpected ways, offering astute critiques of the narratives we use to describe injustice altogether, from false promises of reform to liberal humanist notions of "fairness." Rodriguez's interdisciplinary (or counter-disciplinary) archive brings forth salient moments of analysis that will appeal to historians and theorists alike. Alongside these critiques, Rodriguez also allows ample room for considering the "insurgent collective genius levied within and against the Civilizational experiment." In sum, this book is a thorough, creative, striking examination of the insidious durability of whiteness, and finishes with a consideration of how to engage in abolitionist praxis in light of it. ––Mrittika
An Inventory of Losses (New Directions Publishing Corporation)
By Judith Schalansky
Each disparate object described in this book—a Caspar David Friedrich painting, a species of tiger, a villa in Rome, a Greek love poem, an island in the Pacific—shares a common fate: it no longer exists, except as the dead end of a paper trail. Recalling the works of W. G. Sebald, Bruce Chatwin, and Rebecca Solnit, An Inventory of Losses is a beautiful evocation of twelve specific treasures that have been lost to the world forever, and that, taken as a whole, open mesmerizing new vistas of how to think about extinction and loss.
With meticulous research and a vivid awareness of why we should care about these losses, Judith Schalansky, the acclaimed author of Atlas of Remote Islands, lets these objects speak for themselves: she ventriloquizes the tone of other sources, burrows into the language of contemporaneous accounts, and deeply interrogates the very notion of memory.
In this rich, fascinating history, John Ghazvinian traces the complex story of the relations of these two powers back to the Persian Empire of the eighteenth century–the subject of great admiration of Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams–and an America seen by Iranians as an ideal to emulate for their own government. Drawing on years of archival research both in the United States and Iran–including access to Iranian government archives rarely available to Western scholars–the Iranian-born, Oxford-educated historian leads us through the four seasons of U.S.-Iran relations: the “spring” of mutual fascination; the “summer” of early interactions; the “autumn” of close strategic ties; and the long, dark “winter” of mutual hatred.
Ghazvinian, with grasp and a storyteller’s ability, makes clear where, how, and when it all went wrong. And shows why two countries that once had such heartfelt admiration for each other became such committed enemies; showing us, as well, how it didn’t have to turn out this way.
Among the Eunuchs: A Muslim Transgender Journey (Hurst Publishers)
By Leyla Jagiella
From an early age, Leyla Jagiella knew that her life would be defined by two things: being Muslim and being trans. Struggling to negotiate these identities in her conservative, small German hometown, she travelled to India and Pakistan, where her life was changed by her time among third gender communities.
Among the Eunuchs reveals a vast variety of interpretations of religion, gender and sexuality, illuminating how deeply culture informs our lifestyles and experiences. In a world where identity is an ideological battlefield, Jagiella complicates binaries and dogma with a rich and reflective analysis of gender across the world. Her fascinating journey speaks to all who draw from multiple cultural roots, have relations across borders, or find themselves juggling more than one identity.
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Figures of the Future: Latino Civil Rights and the Politics of Demographic Change (Princeton University Press)
By Michael Rodríguez-Muñiz
For years, newspaper headlines, partisan speeches, academic research, and even comedy routines have communicated that the United States is undergoing a profound demographic transformation—one that will purportedly change the “face” of the country in a matter of decades. But the so-called browning of America, sociologist Michael Rodríguez-Muñiz contends, has less to do with the complexion of growing populations than with past and present struggles shaping how demographic trends are popularly imagined and experienced. Offering an original and timely window into these struggles, Figures of the Future explores the population politics of national Latino civil rights groups.
Marie Aymard was an illiterate widow who lived in the provincial town of Angoulême in southwestern France, a place where seemingly nothing ever happened. Yet, in 1764, she made her fleeting mark on the historical record through two documents: a power of attorney in connection with the property of her late husband, a carpenter on the island of Grenada, and a prenuptial contract for her daughter, signed by eighty-three people in Angoulême. Who was Marie Aymard? Who were all these people? And why were they together on a dark afternoon in December 1764? Beginning with these questions, An Infinite History offers a panoramic look at an extended family over five generations. Through ninety-eight connected stories about inquisitive, sociable individuals, ending with Marie Aymard’s great-great granddaughter in 1906, Emma Rothschild unfurls an innovative modern history of social and family networks, emigration, immobility, the French Revolution, and the transformation of nineteenth-century economic life.
The past is what happened. History is what we remember and write about that past, the narratives we craft to make sense out of our memories and their sources. But what does it mean to look at the past and to remember that "nothing happened"? Why might we feel as if "nothing is the way it was"? This book transforms these utterly ordinary observations and redefines "Nothing" as something we have known and can remember.
Susan A. Crane moves effortlessly between different modes of seeing Nothing, drawing on visual analysis and cultural studies to suggest a new way of thinking about history. By remembering how Nothing happened, or how Nothing is the way it was, or how Nothing has changed, we can recover histories that were there all along.
Work defines who we are. It determines our status, and dictates how, where, and with whom we spend most of our time. It mediates our self-worth and molds our values. But are we hard-wired to work as hard as we do? Did our Stone Age ancestors also live to work and work to live? And what might a world where work plays a far less important role look like?
To answer these questions, James Suzman charts a grand history of “work” from the origins of life on Earth to our ever more automated present, challenging some of our deepest assumptions about who we are. Drawing insights from anthropology, archaeology, evolutionary biology, zoology, physics, and economics, he shows that while we have evolved to find joy meaning and purpose in work, for most of human history our ancestors worked far less and thought very differently about work than we do now. He demonstrates how our contemporary culture of work has its roots in the agricultural revolution ten thousand years ago. Our sense of what it is to be human was transformed by the transition from foraging to food production, and, later, our migration to cities. Since then, our relationships with one another and with our environments, and even our sense of the passage of time, have not been the same.
The era of the Enlightenment, which gave rise to our modern conceptions of freedom and democracy, was also the height of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. America, a nation founded on the principle of liberty, is also a nation built on African slavery, Native American genocide, and systematic racial discrimination. White Freedom traces the complex relationship between freedom and race from the eighteenth century to today, revealing how being free has meant being white. Tyler Stovall explores the intertwined histories of racism and freedom in France and the United States, the two leading nations that have claimed liberty as the heart of their national identities. He explores how French and American thinkers defined freedom in racial terms and conceived of liberty as an aspect and privilege of whiteness.
With Her Fist Raised: Dorothy Pitman Hughes and the Transformative Power of Black Community Activism
By Laura L. Lovett
Dorothy Pitman Hughes was a transformative community organizer in New York City in the 1970s who shared the stage with Gloria Steinem for 5 years, captivating audiences around the country. After leaving rural Georgia in the 1950s, she moved to New York, determined to fight for civil rights and equality. Historian Laura L. Lovett traces Hughes’s journey as she became a powerhouse activist, responding to the needs of her community and building a platform for its empowerment. She created lasting change by revitalizing her West Side neighborhood, which was subjected to racial discrimination, with nonexistent childcare and substandard housing, where poverty, drug use, a lack of job training, and the effects of the Vietnam War were evident. Hughes created a high-quality childcare center that also offered job training, adult education classes, a Youth Action corps, housing assistance, and food resources.
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The First Reconstruction: Black Politics in America from the Revolution to the Civil War
(University of North Carolina Press)
By Van Gosse
It may be difficult to imagine that a consequential back electoral politics evolved in the United States before the Civil War, for as of 1860, the overwhelming majority of African Americans remained in bondage. Yet free black men, many of them escaped slaves, steadily increased their influence in electoral politics over the course of the early American republic. Despite efforts to disfranchise them, black men voted across much of the North, sometimes in numbers sufficient to swing elections. In this meticulously-researched book, Van Gosse offers a sweeping reappraisal of the formative era of American democracy from the Constitution's ratification through Abraham Lincoln’s election, chronicling the rise of an organized, visible black politics focused on the quest for citizenship, the vote, and power within the free states.
Job performance and occupational characteristics do play a role in determining pay, but judgments of productivity and value are also highly subjective. What makes a lawyer more valuable than a teacher? How do you measure the output of a police officer, a professor, or a reporter? Why, in the past few decades, did CEOs suddenly become hundreds of times more valuable than their employees? The answers lie not in objective criteria but in battles over interests and ideals. In this contest four dynamics are paramount: power, inertia, mimicry, and demands for equity. Power struggles legitimize pay for particular jobs, and organizational inertia makes that pay seem natural. Mimicry encourages employers to do what peers are doing. And workers are on the lookout for practices that seem unfair. Rosenfeld shows us how these dynamics play out in real-world settings, drawing on cutting-edge economics, original survey data, and a journalistic eye for compelling stories and revealing details.
In 1957, renowned Indian historian Romila Thapar visited China, where, together with Sri Lankan art historian Anil de Silva, she worked at two cave sites that were the locations of Buddhist monasteries and shrines from the first millennium CE. The first site was the then lesser known Maijishan in north China, and the second was the famous site of Dunhuang on the edge of the Gobi desert in Northwest China. Now, decades later, she is supplementing the academic work that emerged from that trip with a captivating travelogue: Gazing Eastward takes readers back to midcentury China, through the observations that Thapar made in her diary during her time at the two archaeological sites and her trips there and to other sites. Traveling by train or truck, Thapar met people from throughout the country and all stations in society, from peasants on a cooperative farm to Chairman Mao himself. An enchanting document of a long-lost era, Gazing Eastward is a marvel, a richly observed work of travel writing that brings a time and a place fully to life.
Koreans long saw China as a mentor. The first form of written Korean employed Chinese characters and remained in administrative use until the twentieth century. Confucianism, especially Neo-Confucian reasoning about the state and its role in promoting a virtuous society, was central to the construction of the Korean government in the fourteenth century. These shared Confucian principles were expressed in fraternal terms, with China the older brother and Korea the younger. During the Ming Dynasty, mentor became protector, as Korea declared itself a vassal of China in hopes of escaping ruin at the hands of the Mongols. But the friendship eventually frayed with the encroachment of Western powers in the nineteenth century. Koreans began to reassess their position, especially as Qing China seemed no longer willing or able to stand up for Korea against either the Western powers or the rising military threat from Meiji Japan. The Sino–Korean relationship underwent further change over the next century as imperialism, nationalism, revolution, and war refashioned states and peoples throughout Asia. Westad describes the disastrous impact of the Korean War on international relations in the region and considers Sino–Korean interactions today, especially the thorny question of the reunification of the Korean peninsula.
There are many Pedros living in many Americas...
One Pedro goes to a school where they take away his language. Another disappears in the desert, leaving behind only a backpack. A cousin Pedro comes to visit, awakening feelings that others are afraid to make plain. A rumored Pedro goes missing so completely it’s as if he were never there.
In Pedro’s Theory Marcos Gonsalez explores the lives of these many Pedros, real and imagined. Several are the author himself, while others are strangers, lovers, archetypes, and the men he might have been in other circumstances. All are journeying to some sort of Promised Land, or hoping to discover an America of their own.
Love's Shadow (Harvard University Press)
By Paul A. Bové
Paul A. Bové challenges young lit critters to throw away their shades and let the sun shine in. Love’s Shadow is his three-step manifesto for a new literary criticism that risks sentimentality and melodrama and eschews self-consciousness. The first step is to choose poetry. There has been since the time of Plato a battle between philosophy and poetry. Philosophy has championed misogyny, while poetry has championed women, like Shakespeare’s Rosalind. Philosophy is ever so stringent; try instead the sober cheerfulness of Wallace Stevens. Bové’s second step is to choose the essay. He praises Benjamin’s great friend and sometime antagonist Theodor Adorno, who gloried in writing essays, not dissertations and treatises. The third step is to choose love. If you want a Baroque hero, make that hero Rembrandt, who brought lovers to life in his paintings.
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The Saint and the Atheist: Thomas Aquinas & Jean-Paul Sartre (University of Chicago Press)
By Joseph S. Catalano
It is hard to think of two philosophers less alike than St. Thomas Aquinas and Jean-Paul Sartre. Yet, for philosopher Joseph S. Catalano, the two are worth bringing together for their shared concern with a fundamental issue: the uniqueness of each individual person and how this uniqueness relates to our mutual dependence on each other. Both thinkers, as Catalano shows, bring us closer to the reality that surrounds us, and both are centrally concerned with the place of the human within a temporal realm and what stance we should take on our own freedom to act and live within that realm. Catalano shows how freedom, for Sartre, is embodied, and that this freedom further illuminates Aquinas’s notion of consciousness. Compact and open to readers of varying backgrounds, this book represents Catalano’s efforts to bring a lifetime of work on Sartre into an accessible consideration of philosophical questions by placing him in conversation with Aquinas, and it serves as a primer on key ideas of both philosophers. By bringing together these two figures, Catalano offers a fruitful space for thinking through some of the central questions about faith, conscience, freedom, and the meaning of life.
John Maynard Keynes’s General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money was the most influential economic idea of the twentieth century. But, argues Stephen Marglin, its radical implications were obscured by Keynes’s lack of the mathematical tools necessary to argue convincingly that the problem was the market itself, as distinct from myriad sources of friction around its margins.
Marglin fills in the theoretical gaps, revealing the deeper meaning of the General Theory. Drawing on eight decades of discussion and debate since the General Theory was published, as well as on his own research, Marglin substantiates Keynes’s intuition that there is no mechanism within a capitalist economy that ensures full employment. Even if deregulating the economy could make it more like the textbook ideal of perfect competition, this would not address the problem that Keynes identified: the potential inadequacy of aggregate demand.
Productivity has increased steadily since the mid-twentieth century, yet Americans today work roughly as much as they did then. We have witnessed, during this same period, relentless growth in consumption. This pattern represents a striking departure from the preceding century. It also contradicts standard economic theory and empirical research. So why do we continue to trade our time for more stuff? Time for Things offers a novel explanation for this puzzle. Stephen Rosenberg argues that, during the twentieth century, workers began to construe consumer goods as stores of potential free time to rationalize the exchange of their labor for a wage. This understanding of commodities as repositories of hypothetical utility was made possible, Rosenberg suggests, by the standardization of durable consumer goods, as well as warranties, brands, and product-testing, which assured wage earners that the goods they purchased would be of consistent, measurable quality. This theory clarifies perplexing aspects of behavior under industrial capitalism as well as a variety of historical developments, including the coincident rise of mass consumption and the legitimation of wage labor.
In this long-awaited follow-up to his 2003 book on Genesis, humanist scholar Leon Kass explores how Exodus raises and then answers the central political questions of what defines a nation and how a nation should govern itself. Considered by some the most important book in the Hebrew Bible, Exodus tells the story of the Jewish people from their enslavement in Egypt, through their liberation under Moses’s leadership, to the covenantal founding at Sinai and the building of the Tabernacle. In Kass’s analysis, these events began the slow process of learning how to stop thinking like slaves and become an independent people. The Israelites ultimately founded their nation on three elements: a shared narrative that instills empathy for the poor and the suffering, the uplifting rule of a moral law, and devotion to a higher common purpose. These elements, Kass argues, remain the essential principles for any freedom-loving nation today.
In the Land of the Cyclops is a collection of thirty-seven essays by Karl Ove Knausgaard. In these pieces, he discusses Swedish politics, brain surgery, Laurie Anderson, Edvard Munch, the Northern Lights, and the work of an array of writers and visual artists (paired with full color images of their art). These essays beautifully capture Knausgaard’s ability to mediate between the deeply personal and the universal, demonstrating his trademark self-scrutiny and his deep longing to authentically see, understand, and experience the world.
Himalaya: A Human History (W. W. Norton & Company)
By Ed Douglas
For centuries, the unique and astonishing geography of the Himalaya has attracted those in search of spiritual and literal elevation. But far from being wild and barren, the Himalaya has been home to a diversity of indigenous and local cultures, a crucible of world religions, a crossroads for trade, and a meeting point and conflict zone for empires past and present. In this work, nearly two decades in the making, Ed Douglas makes a case for the Himalaya’s importance in global history. Spanning millennia, from the earliest inhabitants to the present conflicts over Tibet and Everest, Himalaya explores history, culture, climate, geography, and politics. Himalaya is history written on the grandest yet also the most human scale—encompassing geology and genetics, botany and art, and bursting with stories of courage and resourcefulness.
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In his Satsai, or Seven Hundred Poems, the seventeenth-century poet Biharilal draws on a rich vernacular tradition, blending amorous narratives about the god Krishna and the goddess Radha with archetypal hero and heroine motifs from older Sanskrit and Prakrit conventions. While little is known of Biharilal’s life beyond his role as court poet to King Jai Singh of Amber (1611–1667), his verses reflect deep knowledge of local north Indian culture and geography, especially the bucolic landscapes of Krishna’s youth in the Braj region (in today’s Uttar Pradesh). With ingenuity and virtuosity, Biharilal weaves together worldly experience and divine immanence, and adapts the tropes of stylized courtly poetry, such as romantic rivalries, clandestine trysts, and the bittersweet sorrow of separated lovers. Poems from the Satsai comprises a selection of four hundred couplets from this enduring work. The Hindi text—composed in Braj Bhasha, the literary language of early-modern north India—is presented here in the Devanagari script and accompanies a new English verse translation.
The Prakrit romance Lilavai, an early ninth-century poem attributed to Kouhala and set in modern-day coastal Andhra Pradesh, is the most celebrated work in the genre. Complexly narrated in the alternating voices of its heroines and heroes and featuring a cast of semi-divine and magical beings, it centers on three young women: Lilavai, princess of Sinhala (today’s Sri Lanka); her cousin Mahanumai, princess of the mythical city Alaka; and Kuvalaavali, Mahanumai’s adopted sister. Following a prophecy that Lilavai’s husband will rule the earth, the princess happens upon a portrait of King Hala of Pratishthana and immediately falls in love. While journeying to meet him, she hears her cousins’ tales of their lost loves, and then vows not to marry until they are reunited. To win Lilavai’s hand, King Hala journeys to the underworld, faces monsters, and overcomes armies. Lilavai explores themes of karma and female desire, notably privileging women as storytellers. A new edition of the Prakrit text, presented in the Devanagari script, accompanies a new English prose translation.
Samuel Johnson was eighteenth-century Britain’s preeminent man of letters, and his influence endures to this day. He excelled as a moral and literary critic, biographer, lexicographer, and poet. This anthology, designed to make Johnson’s essential works accessible to students and general readers, draws its texts from the definitive Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson. In most cases, texts are included in full rather than excerpted. The anthology includes many essays from The Rambler and other periodicals; Rasselas; the prefaces to Johnson’s Dictionary and his edition of Shakespeare; the complete Lives of Cowley, Milton, Pope, Savage, and Gray, as well as generous selections from A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland. Some parts are arranged thematically, allowing readers to focus on such topics as religion, marriage, war, and literature. The anthology includes a biographical introduction, and its ample annotation updates and enlarges the commentary in the Yale Edition.
On December 8, 1941, Grace Holmes Carlson, the only female defendant among eighteen Trotskyists convicted under the Smith Act, was sentenced to sixteen months in federal prison for advocating the violent overthrow of the government. After serving a year in Alderson prison, Carlson returned to her work as an organizer for the Socialist Workers Party (SWP). Then, in 1952, she abruptly left the SWP and returned to the Catholic Church. The Fierce Life of Grace Holmes Carlson: Catholic, Socialist, Feminist is a historical biography that examines the story of this complicated woman in the context of her times with a specific focus on her experiences as a member of the working class, as a Catholic, and as a woman. The long arc of Carlson’s life (1906–1992) ultimately reveals significant continuities in her political consciousness that transcended the shifts in her particular partisan commitments, most notably her life-long dedication to challenging the root causes of social and economic inequality. In that struggle, Carlson ultimately proved herself to be a truly fierce woman.
When Lenin published his powerful and influential essay What Is to Be Done in 1902, it was, and was perceived as, a call to action. The Russian title of that manifesto was literally ‘What to Do?’—and that is the literal translation of Que Faire?, this new exploration by Jean-Luc Nancy that appears now in English with a title reminiscent of, and congruent with, his earlier books, Coming and Listening. In Doing, one of the most prominent and lucid articulators of contemporary French theory and philosophy examines the precarious but urgent relationship between being and doing. His book is not so much a call to action as a summons to more vigorous thinking, the examination and reflection that must precede any effective action. The first section of the book considers this matter tersely: Jean-Luc Nancy’s quickness of language and grace of humor lead the reader carefully past the dangers of oversimplification, toward a general awareness of meaningful being. In ‘A Coming Without Past or Future’, Nancy sheds new light on human beings’ relationship with—and experience of—time, drawing attention to Westerners’ difficulty to apprehend and mourn their past, to understand and navigate their present as well as to embrace their future in light of the coming of the event.
The Story of Evolution in 25 Discoveries: The Evidence and the People who Found It (Columbia University Press)
By Donald R. Prothero
In The Story of Evolution in 25 Discoveries, Donald R. Prothero explores the most fascinating breakthroughs in piecing together the evidence for evolution. In twenty-five vignettes, he recounts the dramatic stories of the people who made crucial discoveries, placing each moment in the context of what it represented for the progress of science. The book also features the stories of animal species strange and familiar, including humans—and our ties to some of our closest relatives and more distant cousins. Prothero’s wide-ranging tales showcase awe-inspiring and bizarre aspects of nature and the powerful insights they give us into the way that life works. Brisk and entertaining while firmly grounded in fundamental science, The Story of Evolution in 25 Discoveries is a captivating read for anyone curious about the evidence for evolution and what it means for humanity.
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Dante is the poet that everyone knows of yet also knows little about. And yet he was probably the most important and powerful poet that the Western world has ever produced. There are many translations of his work in English, but of Dante himself, most people only know about his love object Beatrice, that he was exiled from Florence and that he wrote The Divine Comedy--but maybe little else. In his Intelligent Person's Guide, Professor John Took introduces the reader to the principle themes of Dante's work: the polarities of existence, time and eternity, freedom and destiny, individuality and existence, the multiplicity of human loving. It is by self-confrontation and self-transcendence that we come to understand our human journey through hell, purgatory and on to paradise. These ostensibly somewhat complex ideas are here explained by John Took with pellucid clarity. In the course of this book we are caught up by the imaginative excitement in this study of a poetic genius which we cannot fail to be drawn into ourselves, and to find infectious.
Sylvia Pankhurst fought militantly for a woman's right to vote, inspiring movements around the globe. But the vote was just the beginning. She became a radical feminist, committing herself to the fight for reproductive rights, equal pay, access to welfare and education, and freedom of sexual expression. She converted her experiences of torture, imprisonment, and violence into a lifelong quest to champion human rights. Encompassing both World Wars and lasting through the Anti-Apartheid Movement, Pankhurst's political life was international in scope. Her United States lecture tours made headlines and connected her with both American feminists and the NAACP. She spent her life in dialogue, dispute, and resolution with Winston Churchill, Vladimir Lenin, Jomo Kenyatta, Haile Selassie, Harriot Stanton Blatch, and W.E.B. DuBois. And she wrote about it all, prolifically. In this enthralling biography, acclaimed author Rachel Holmes interweaves Pankhurst's rebellious political and private lives to show how her astonishing achievements continue to resonate today.
At the earliest ages it was apparent that Wolfgang Mozart’s singular imagination was at work in every direction. He hated to be bored and hated to be idle, and through his life he responded to these threats with a repertoire of antidotes mental and physical. He went at every piece of his life, and perhaps most notably his social life, with tremendous gusto. His circle of friends and patrons was wide, encompassing anyone who appealed to his boundless appetites for music and all things pleasurable and fun. Like Jan Swafford’s biographies Beethoven and Johannes Brahms, Mozart is the complete exhumation of a genius in his life and ours: a man who would enrich the world with his talent for centuries to come and who would immeasurably shape classical music. As Swafford reveals, it’s nearly impossible to understand classical music’s origins and indeed its evolutions, as well as the Baroque period, without studying the man himself.
Americans today are often skeptical of scientific authority. Many conservatives dismiss climate change and Darwinism as liberal fictions. Some progressives worry that science’s celebration of objectivity and neutrality masks its attachment to Eurocentric and patriarchal values. As we grapple with the implications of climate change and revolutions in fields from biotechnology to robotics to computing, it is crucial to understand how scientific authority functions—and where it has run up against political and cultural barriers. Science under Fire reconstructs a century of battles over the cultural implications of science in the United States. Andrew Jewett reveals a persistent current of criticism which maintains that scientists have injected faulty social philosophies into the nation’s bloodstream under the cover of neutrality. Jewett shows that this suspicion of science has been a major force in American politics and culture by tracking its development, varied expressions, and potent consequences since the 1920s. Looking at today’s battles over science, Jewett argues that citizens and leaders must steer a course between the naïve image of science as a pristine, value-neutral form of knowledge, and the assumption that scientists’ claims are merely ideologies masquerading as truths.
Plato and the Mythic Tradition in Political Thought (Belknap Press)
By Tae-Yeoun Keum
Plato’s use of myths—the Myth of Metals, the Myth of Er—sits uneasily with his canonical reputation as the inventor of rational philosophy. Since the Enlightenment, interpreters like Hegel have sought to resolve this tension by treating Plato’s myths as mere regrettable embellishments, irrelevant to his main enterprise. Others, such as Karl Popper, have railed against the deceptive power of myth, concluding that a tradition built on Platonic foundations can be neither rational nor desirable. Tae-Yeoun Keum challenges the premise underlying both of these positions. She argues that myth is neither irrelevant nor inimical to the ideal of rational progress. She tracks the influence of Plato’s dialogues through the early modern period and on to the twentieth century, showing how pivotal figures in the history of political thought—More, Bacon, Leibniz, the German Idealists, Cassirer, and others—have been inspired by Plato’s mythmaking. She finds that Plato’s followers perennially raised the possibility that there is a vital role for myth in rational political thinking.
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The Front Table
Medical thinking and observation were radically changed by the ancient Greeks, one of their great legacies to the world. In the fifth century BCE, a Greek doctor put forward his clinical observations of individual men, women, and children in a collection of case histories known as the Epidemics. Among his working principles was the famous maxim “Do no harm.” In The Invention of Medicine, acclaimed historian Robin Lane Fox puts these remarkable works in a wider context and upends our understanding of medical history by establishing that they were written much earlier than previously thought. Lane Fox endorses the ancient Greeks’ view that their texts’ author, not named, was none other than the father of medicine, the great Hippocrates himself. Lane Fox’s argument changes our sense of the development of scientific and rational thinking in Western culture, and he explores the consequences for Greek artists, dramatists and the first writers of history. Hippocrates emerges as a key figure in the crucial change from an archaic to a classical world.
From "Winter Wonderland" to "Snowmageddon," we've had a long, love-hate relationship with snow. This entertaining look at snow in all its delightful and fearsome manifestations delves into science, history, economics, and popular culture to examine snow's enduring hold on the imagination. Readers will learn about the making and removing of snow, the psychology of winter, and the history of snow in literature, art, and popular culture. The author also summarizes the current scientific understanding of major winter weather events and what is known about the complex interplay between the jet stream and the Gulf Stream. Finally, the book considers the impact of global warming on snowfall and the potential for causing a water crisis in the West and major losses in the winter recreation industry. Whether you look forward to months on the ski slopes or loathe the effects of winter on your daily commute, you'll come away from this book with a new appreciation for this amazing and important natural phenomenon.
Black women have never been more visible or more publicly celebrated than they are now. But for every new milestone, the reality of everyday life for black women remains a complex, conflicted, contradiction-laden experience. Girl Gurl Grrrl both illuminates our current cultural moment and transcends it. Kenya Hunt captures the zeitgeist while also creating a timeless celebration of womanhood, of blackness, and the possibilities they both contain. She blends the popular and the personal, the frivolous and the momentous in a collection that reflects what it is to be living and thriving as a black woman today.
The Satyrica (Satyricon liber), a comic-picaresque fiction in prose and verse traditionally attributed to the Neronian Petronius (d. AD 66), survives only as fragments of a much larger whole. It takes the form of a first-person narrative by the endearing ne’er-do-well Encolpius, a brilliant storyteller, parodist, and mimic who recalls episodes from his past life as a wandering bohemian, living by his wits on the margins of society and encountering a vividly realized array of characters, including the wealthy freedman Trimalchio, one of the most unforgettable characters in all of Latin literature. Paired with the Satyrica, and likewise in prose and verse, is the Apocolocyntosis (Pumpkinification), a short satirical pamphlet lampooning the death, apotheosis, and attempt to enter heaven of the emperor Claudius (reigned 41–54). If the work of Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BC–AD 65), better known for his austere Stoic moralism, its sarcastic wit and rollicking humor were no doubt inspired by bitterness over his exile at Claudius’ hands in 41–49.
Veblen: The Making of an Economist Who Unmade Economics (Harvard University Press)
By Charles Camic
Thorstein Veblen was one of America’s most penetrating analysts of modern capitalist society. But he was not, as is widely assumed, an outsider to the social world he acidly described. Veblen overturns the long-accepted view that Veblen’s ideas derived from his position as a social outsider. Veblen’s schooling coincided with the late nineteenth-century revolution in higher education that occurred under the patronage of the titans of the new industrial age. The resulting educational opportunities carried Veblen to centers of scholarship at Johns Hopkins, Yale, Cornell, and the University of Chicago. Afterward, he joined the nation’s academic elite as a professional economist. Until late in his career, Veblen was, Charles Camic argues, the consummate academic insider, engaged in debates about wealth distribution raging in the field of economics. Veblen demonstrates how Veblen’s education and subsequent involvement in those debates gave rise to his original ideas about the social institutions that enable wealthy Americans to amass vast fortunes on the backs of productive men and women. Today, when great wealth inequalities again command national attention, Camic helps us understand the historical roots and continuing reach of Veblen’s searing analysis of this “sclerosis of the American soul.”
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The Front Table
The irrepressible Jan Morris—author of such classics as Venice and Trieste—is at it again: offering a vibrant set of reminiscences that remind us “what a good, wise and witty companion Jan Morris has been for so many readers for so long” (Alexander McCall Smith, New York Times Book Review). “Like Michel de Montaigne” (Danny Heitman, Wall Street Journal), Morris waxes on the ironies of modern life in all their resonant glories and inevitable stupidities—from her daily exercise (a “statutory thousand paces of brisk walk”) to the troubles of Brexit; her enduring yet complicated love for America; and honest reflections on the vagaries and ailments of aging. Both intimate and luminously wise, Thinking Again is a testament to the virtues of embracing life, creativity, and, above all, kindness.
The Rule of St. Benedict has governed monastic communities for centuries, but it is far more than a standard religious text. The Rule is, above all, a handbook for living a deliberate life—no matter your religious background or beliefs. It teaches the importance of contemplation and silence, of solitude, and the power of community and unity. With lessons focusing on the simple acts of everyday life, along with wisdom for the deeply personal and internal facets of living, The Rule of St. Benedict is a profound guide to living a good and meaningful life. An award-winning translator, Philip Freeman’s version of The Rule is beautifully accessible in its language. With a simple and direct style, the book lays out a way of living that is transformative in its simplicity and striking in its power.
(Harvard University Press) By Owen White
In the last decades of the nineteenth century, Europeans had displaced Algerians from the colony’s best agricultural land and planted grape vines. Soon enough, wine was the primary export of a region whose mostly Muslim inhabitants didn’t drink alcohol. Settlers made fortunes while drawing large numbers of Algerians into salaried work for the first time. But the success of Algerian wine resulted in friction with French producers, challenging the traditional view that imperial possessions should complement, not compete with, the metropole. By the middle of the twentieth century, amid the fight for independence, Algerians had come to see the rows of vines as an especially hated symbol of French domination. After the war, Algerians had to decide how far they would go to undo the transformations the colonists had wrought—including the world’s fourth-biggest wine industry. Owen White examines Algeria’s experiment with nationalized wine production in worker-run vineyards, the pressures that resulted in the failure of that experiment, and the eventual uprooting of most of the country’s vines.
The civil rights movement was among the most important historical developments of the twentieth century and one of the most remarkable mass movements in American history. Not only did it decisively change the legal and political status of African Americans, but it prefigured as well the moral premises and methods of struggle for other historically oppressed groups seeking equal standing in American society. And, yet, despite a vague, sometimes begrudging recognition of its immense import, more often than not the movement has been misrepresented and misunderstood.
In The Movement, Thomas C. Holt provides an informed and nuanced understanding of the origins, character, and objectives of the mid-twentieth-century freedom struggle, privileging the aspirations and initiatives of the ordinary, grassroots people who made it.
In a 2018 national poll, over ninety percent of respondents reported that treating people equally is an essential American value. Almost eighty percent said accepting people of different racial backgrounds is very important. Yet about half of the general public reported that they doubt whether Muslims can truly dedicate themselves to American values and society. Why do many people who say they believe in equality and acceptance of those of different backgrounds also think that Muslims could be an exception to that rule?
In Fear in Our Hearts, Caleb Iyer Elfenbein examines Islamophobia in the United States, positing that rather than simply being an outcome of the 9/11 attacks, anti-Muslim activity grows out of a fear of difference that has always characterized US public life. Elfenbein examines the effects of this fear on American Muslims, as well as describing how it works to shape and distort American society. Drawing on over 1,800 news reports documenting anti-Muslim activity, Elfenbein pinpoints trends, draws connections to the broader histories of immigration, identity, belonging, and citizenship in the US, and examines how Muslim communities have responded.
Ages of American Capitalism: A History of the United States (Random House)
By Jonathan Levy
The Age of Commerce spans the colonial era through the outbreak of the Civil War, a period of history in which economic growth and output largely depended on enslaved labor and was limited by what could be drawn from the land and where it could be traded. The Age of Capital traces the impact of the first major leap in economic development following the Civil War: the industrial revolution, when capitalists set capital down in factories to produce commercial goods, fueled by labor moving into cities. But investments in the new industrial economy led to great volatility, most dramatically with the onset of the Great Depression in 1929. The Depression immediately sparked the Age of Control, when the government took on a more active role in the economy. Skepticism of government intervention in the Cold War combined with recession and stagflation in the 1970s led to a crisis of industrial capitalism and the withdrawal of political will for regulation. In the Age of Chaos that followed, the combination of deregulation and the growth of the finance industry created a booming economy for some but also striking inequalities and a lack of oversight that led directly to the crash of 2008.
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The Space between Us brings the connection between geography, psychology, and politics to life. By going into the neighborhoods of real cities, Enos shows how our perceptions of racial, ethnic, and religious groups are intuitively shaped by where these groups live and interact daily. Through the lens of numerous examples across the globe and drawing on a compelling combination of research techniques including field and laboratory experiments, big data analysis, and small-scale interactions, this timely book provides a new understanding of how geography shapes politics and how members of groups think about each other. Enos' analysis is punctuated with personal accounts from the field. His rigorous research unfolds in accessible writing that will appeal to specialists and non-specialists alike, illuminating the profound effects of social geography on how we relate to, think about, and politically interact across groups in the fabric of our daily lives.
The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop: How to Decolonize the Creative Classroom demonstrates how to be culturally attuned, twenty-first century educators. The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop is a call to create healthy, sustainable, and empowering classroom communities. Award-winning educator Felicia Rose Chavez exposes the invisible politics of power and privilege that have silenced writers of color for far too long. It’s more urgent than ever that we consciously work against traditions of dominance in the classroom, but what specific actions can we take to achieve authentically inclusive communities?
Science fiction has long imagined a future fusion of humanity with technology. Today, many of us—especially people with health issues such as autoimmune diseases—have functionally become hybrids connected to other machines and to other bodies. The combination of artificial intelligence with implants, transplants, prostheses, and genetic reprogramming is transforming medical research and treatment, and it is now also transforming what we thought was human nature. Mark C. Taylor identifies this process as “intervolution” and explores how it is weaving together smart things and smart bodies to create new forms of life. Recognizing this transformation overturns deeply entrenched distinctions and oppositions between minds and bodies. Intervolution reveals that we are already cyborgs, integral cogs in what will become a superorganism of bodies and things.
Black Lives Matter at School succinctly generalizes lessons from successful challenges to institutional racism that have been won through the Black Lives Matter at School movement. Contributors include Opal Tometi, who wrote a moving foreword, Bettina Love, who shares a powerful chapter on abolitionist teaching, Brian Jones, who centers Black Lives Matter at School in the historical context of the ongoing struggle for racial justice in education, and prominent teacher union leaders from Chicago to Los Angeles and beyond who discuss the importance of anti-racist struggle in education unions.
Imagining the divine as female is rare—even controversial—in most religions. Hinduism, by contrast, preserves a rich and continuous tradition of goddess worship. A Garland of Forgotten Goddesses conveys the diversity of this tradition by bringing together a fresh array of captivating and largely overlooked Hindu goddess tales from different regions. The goddesses featured here battle demons, perform miracles, and grant rare Tantric visions to their devotees. Each translation is paired with a short essay that explains the goddess’s historical and social context, elucidating the ways religion adapts to changing times.
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Paperback Front Table
In Studying with Miss Bishop, Dana Gioia discusses six people who helped him become a writer and better understand what it meant to dedicate one’s life to writing. Four were famous authors―Elizabeth Bishop, John Cheever, James Dickey, and Robert Fitzgerald. Two were unknown―Gioia’s Merchant Marine uncle and Ronald Perry, a forgotten poet. Each of the six essays provides a vivid portrait; taken together they tell the story of Gioia’s own journey from working-class LA to international literary success.
Toward A Feminist Ethics Of Nonviolence (Fordham University Press)
By Adriana Cavarero, Judith Butler, and Bonnie Honig, Ed. by Timothy J Huzar and Clare Woodford
Toward a Feminist Ethics of Nonviolence brings together three major feminist thinkers—Adriana Cavarero, Judith Butler, and Bonnie Honig—to debate Cavarero’s call for a postural ethics of nonviolence. The book consists of three longer essays by Cavarero, Butler, and Honig, followed by shorter responses by a range of scholars that widen the dialogue, drawing on post-Marxism, Italian feminism, queer theory, and lesbian and gay politics. Together, the authors contest the boundaries of their common project for a pluralistic, heterogeneous, but urgent feminist ethics of nonviolence.
In The Fateful Triangle—drawn from lectures delivered at Harvard University in 1994—one of the founding figures of cultural studies reflects on the divisive, often deadly consequences of our contemporary politics of identification. As he untangles the power relations that permeate categories of race, ethnicity, and nationhood, Stuart Hall shows how old hierarchies of human identity in Western culture were forcefully broken apart when oppressed groups introduced new meanings to the representation of difference.
Rooted in reproductive justice, Echoing Ida harnesses the power of media for social justice—amplifying the struggles and successes of contemporary freedom movements in the US. Founded in 2012, Echoing Ida is a writing collective of Black women and nonbinary writers who—like their foremother Ida B. Wells-Barnett—believe the "way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” Their community reporting spans a wide variety of topics: reproductive justice and abortion politics; new and necessary definitions of family; trans visibility; stigma against Black motherhood; Black mental health; and more. This anthology collects the best of Echoing Ida for the first time, and features a foreword by Michelle Duster, activist and great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Imagining a gender-expansive and liberated future, these essays affirm the powerful combination of #BlackGirlMagic and the hard, unceasing labor of Black people to reimagine the world in which we live.
During and especially after World War II, a group of leading scholars who had been perilously close to the war’s devastation joined others fortunate enough to have been protected by distance in an effort to redefine and reinvigorate liberal ideals for a radically new age. Treating evil as an analytical category, they sought to discover the sources of twentieth-century horror and the potentialities of the modern state in the wake of desolation. In the process, they devised strikingly new ways to understand politics, sociology, and history that reverberate still. In this major intellectual history, Ira Katznelson examines the works of Hannah Arendt, Robert Dahl, Richard Hofstadter, Harold Lasswell, Charles Lindblom, Karl Polanyi, and David Truman, detailing their engagement with the larger project of reclaiming the West’s moral bearing.
(Straus and Giroux Farrar)
By Elizabeth Hardwick and Robert Lowell, Ed. by Saskia Hamilton
The Dolphin Letters offers an unprecedented portrait of Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Hardwick during the last seven years of Lowell’s life (1970 to 1977), a time of personal crisis and creative innovation for both writers. Centered on the letters they exchanged with each other and with other members of their circle—writers, intellectuals, friends, and publishers, including Elizabeth Bishop, Caroline Blackwood, Mary McCarthy, and Adrienne Rich—the book has the narrative sweep of a novel, telling the story of the dramatic breakup of their twenty-one-year marriage and their extraordinary, but late, reconciliation.
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Paperback Front Table
The year 1888 marked the last year of Friedrich Nietzsche's intellectual career and the culmination of his philosophical development. In that final productive year, he worked on six books, all of which are now, for the first time, presented in English in a single volume. Together these new translations provide a fundamental and complete introduction to Nietzsche's mature thought and to the virtuosity and versatility of his most fully developed style.
Black Queer Flesh: Rejecting Subjectivity in the African American Novel
(University of Minnesota Press)
By Alvin J Henry
Black Queer Flesh reinterprets key African American novels from the Harlem Renaissance to Black Modernism to contemporary literature, showing how authors have imagined a new model of Black queer selfhood. This book is an original and necessary contribution to Black literary studies, offering new ways to understand and appreciate the canonical texts and far more.
In Elementary Aspects of the Political Prathama Banerjee moves beyond postcolonial and decolonial critiques of European political philosophy to rethink modern conceptions of "the political" from the perspective of the global South. Drawing on Indian and Bengali practices and philosophies from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Banerjee identifies four elements of the political: the self, action, the idea, and the people. She examines selfhood in light of precolonial Indic traditions of renunciation and realpolitik; action in the constitutive tension between traditional conceptions of karma and modern ideas of labor; the idea of equality as it emerges in the dialectic between spirituality and economics; and people in the friction between the structure of the political party and the atmospherics of fiction and theater.
Two women on a journey through the land of their fathers and mothers. A wrong turn. A bad decision. They had no idea, when they arrived in Morocco, that their usual freedoms as young European women would not be available. So, when the spry Saleh presents himself as their guide and savior, they embrace his offer. He extracts them from a tight space, only to lead them inexorably into an even tighter one: and from this far darker space there is no exit. Their tale of confinement and escape is as old as the landscapes and cultures so vividly depicted in this story of where Europe and Africa come closest to meeting, even if they never quite touch.
In Lost Souls, Honoré de Balzac’s brilliant evocation of nineteenth-century Paris, we enter a world of glittering wealth and grinding poverty, teeming with strivers, poseurs, and pleasure seekers along with those who struggle merely to survive. Between the heights of Parisian society and the criminal world lurking underneath, fate is about to catch up with Lucien de Rubempré, last seen in Lost Illusions, as his literary aspirations, his love for the courtesan Esther van Gobseck, and his scheme to marry the wealthy Clotilde become entangled in the cunning and ultimately disastrous ambitions of the Abbé Herrera, a villain for the ages. An extraordinary volume in Balzac’s vast Human Comedy (in which he endeavored to capture all of society), Lost Souls appears here in its first new English translation in half a century. This edition also includes an introduction presenting thorough biographical, literary, and historical context, as well as extensive notes throughout the text—an invaluable resource for today’s readers as they navigate Balzac’s copious allusions to classical and contemporaneous politics and literature.
That Old Country Music (Doubleday Books)
By Kevin Barry
With three novels and two short story collections published, Kevin Barry has steadily established his stature as one of the finest writers not just in Ireland but in the English language. All of his prodigious gifts of language, character, and setting in these eleven exquisite stories transport the reader to an Ireland both timeless and recognizably modern. Shot through with dark humor and the uncanny power of the primal and unchanging Irish landscape, the stories in That Old Country Music represent some of the finest fiction being written today.
Édouard Glissant’s novels, closely tied to the theories he developed in Poétique de la Relation (Poetics of relation), are rich explorations of a deported and colonized people’s loss of their own history and the ever-evolving social and political effects this sense of groundlessness has caused in Martinique. In Mahagony Glissant identifies both the malaise of and the potential within Martinican society through a powerful collective narrative of geographic identity explored through multiple narrators. These characters’ lives are viewed back and forth over centuries of time and through tales of resistance, linked always by the now-ancient mahogany tree. Attempting to untangle the collective memory of Martinique, Mathieu, the contemporary narrator, creates a conscious history of these people in that place—a record that unearths the mechanics of misrepresentation to get at the fundamental, enduring truths of that history, perhaps as only the mahogany tree knows it.
Peter Collier’s acclaimed translation of The Fugitive introduces a new generation of American readers to the literary riches of Marcel Proust. The sixth and penultimate volume in Penguin Classics’ superb new edition of In Search of Lost Time–the first completely new translation of Proust’s masterpiece since the 1920s–brings us a more comic and lucid prose than readers of English have previously been able to enjoy.
“Miss Albertine has left!” So begins The Fugitive, the second part of what is often referred to as “the Albertine cycle,” or books five and six of In Search of Lost Time. As Marcel struggles to endure Albertine’s departure and vanquish his loss, he ends up in an anguished search for the essential truth of the enigmatic fugitive, whose love affairs with other women provoke in him jealousy and a new understanding of sexuality. Eventually, he lets go of Albertine and begins to find himself, discovering his own long-lost inner sources of creativity.
During a snowy Cleveland February, newlywed university students Muneer and Saeedah are expecting their first child, and he is harboring a secret: the word divorce is whispering in his ear. Soon, their marriage will end, and Muneer will return to Saudi Arabia, while Saeedah remains in Cleveland with their daughter, Hanadi. Consumed by a growing fear of losing her daughter, Saeedah disappears with the little girl, leaving Muneer to desperately search for his daughter for years. The repercussions of the abduction ripple outward, not only changing the lives of Hanadi and her parents, but also their interwoven family and friends—those who must choose sides and hide their own deeply guarded secrets. And when Hanadi comes of age, she finds herself at the center of this conflict, torn between the world she grew up in and a family across the ocean. How can she exist between parents, between countries?
Eman Quotah’s Bride of the Sea is a spellbinding debut of colliding cultures, immigration, religion, and family; an intimate portrait of loss and healing; and, ultimately, a testament to the ways we find ourselves inside love, distance, and heartbreak.
In late-1980s rural Ohio, bright but mostly friendless Barry Nadler begins his freshman year of high school with the goal of going unnoticed as much as possible. But his world is upended by the arrival of Gurbaksh, Gary for short, a Sikh teenager who moves to his small town and instantly befriends Barry and, in Gatsby-esque fashion, pulls him into a series of increasingly unlikely adventures. As their friendship deepens, Barry’s world begins to unravel, and his classmates and neighbors react to the presence of a family so different from theirs. Through darkly comic and bitingly intelligent asides and wry observations, Barry reveals how the seeds of xenophobia and racism ﬁnd fertile soil in this insular community, and in an easy, graceless, unintentional slide, tragedy unfolds.
Detransition, Baby (One World)
By Torrey Peters
Reese almost had it all: a loving relationship with Amy, an apartment in New York City, a job she didn’t hate. She had scraped together what previous generations of trans women could only dream of: a life of mundane, bourgeois comforts. The only thing missing was a child. But then her girlfriend, Amy, detransitioned and became Ames, and everything fell apart. Now Reese is caught in a self-destructive pattern: avoiding her loneliness by sleeping with married men. Ames isn’t happy either. He thought detransitioning to live as a man would make life easier, but that decision cost him his relationship with Reese—and losing her meant losing his only family. When Ames’s boss and lover, Katrina, reveals that she’s pregnant with his baby—and that she’s not sure whether she wants to keep it—Ames wonders if this is the chance he’s been waiting for. Could the three of them form some kind of unconventional family—and raise the baby together? Torrey Peters fearlessly navigates the most dangerous taboos around gender, sex, and relationships, gifting us a thrillingly original, witty, and deeply moving novel.
Joan Orpí (Piera, 1593–New Barcelona, 1645) is one of the most unknown, yet fascinating, characters in Spanish history. In this torrential book we are told the odyssey that brought him first to Barcelona, later to Sevilla, and finally to America, where he would experience all kinds of outlandish situations. Using historical facts as raw material, and with appearances of characters such as Miguel de Cervantes or the brigand Serrallonga, among others, Besora converses with the satirical tradition of works such as Gargantua and Pantagruel, Gulliver's Travels, or Don Quixote, to paint a fresco of Catalonia in the seventeenth century and the Golden Age of the Spanish empire, creating a novel that is fresh, sharp, and bursting with exuberant adventures.
At the beginning of the twentieth century the villagers of the Carpathian mountains lead a simple life, much as they have always done. The modern world has yet to reach the inhabitants of this remote region of the Habsburg Empire. Among them is Piotr, a bandy-legged peasant, who wants nothing more from life than an official railway cap, a cottage, and a bride with a dowry. But then the First World War reaches the mountains and Piotr is drafted into the army. All the weight of imperial authority is used to mould him into an unthinking fighting machine, forced to fight a war he does not understand, for interests other than his own. The Salt of the Earth is a classic war novel and a powerfully pacifist tale about the consequences of war for ordinary men.
An unambitious twenty-two-year-old, Darren lives in a Bed-Stuy brownstone with his mother, who wants nothing more than to see him live up to his potential as the valedictorian of Bronx Science. But Darren is content working at Starbucks in the lobby of a Midtown office building, hanging out with his girlfriend, Soraya, and eating his mother's home-cooked meals. All that changes when a chance encounter with Rhett Daniels, the silver-tongued CEO of Sumwun, NYC's hottest tech startup, results in an exclusive invitation for Darren to join an elite sales team on the thirty-sixth floor.
After enduring a "hell week" of training, Darren, the only Black person in the company, reimagines himself as "Buck," a ruthless salesman unrecognizable to his friends and family. But when things turn tragic at home and Buck feels he's hit rock bottom, he begins to hatch a plan to help young people of color infiltrate America's sales force, setting off a chain of events that forever changes the game.
Written during the final stages of the Indian Independence movement, Bhuwaneshwar’s short stories both capture the melancholy of the time and ask what it means to be human in an indifferent and amoral world. These stories are truly an event in the history of modern Hindi literature—his work marks a complete break from the neo-romanticism and mysticism of his predecessors and contemporaries and establishes him as the definitive founder of the modern Hindi short story. His stories are populated with lonely characters from all walks of life: doctors, students, nomadic communities, acrobats, single mothers, soldiers returning from war, neglected children, and more. They are people living on the margins, introspecting their own anxieties and existence in an increasingly uncertain world set in places as far apart as hill stations, anonymous Indian villages, highways, railway compartments, and small towns in France. This new collection includes all of Bhuwaneshwar’s twelve published short stories, none of which have been translated into English before now. Nearly a century old, Bhuwaneshwar’s stories read like they were written in modern day, dealing with questions and anxieties that continue to haunt and reappear, much like his iconic wolves, in the twenty-first century.
Surie Eckstein is soon to be a great-grandmother. Her ten children range in age from thirteen to thirty-nine. Her in-laws, postwar immigrants from Romania, live on the first floor of their house. Her daughter Tzila Ruchel lives on the second. She and Yidel, a scribe in such demand that he makes only a few Torah scrolls a year, live on the third. They have a happy marriage and a full life, and, at the ages of fifty-seven and sixty-two, they are looking forward to some quiet time together. Into this life of counted blessings comes a surprise. Surie is pregnant. And at her age, at this stage, it is an aberration, a shift in the proper order of things, and a public display of private life. She feels exposed, ashamed. She is unable to share the news, even with her husband. And so for the first time in her life, she has a secret—a secret that slowly separates her from the community. Goldie Goldbloom's On Division is an excavation of one woman's life, a story of awakening at middle age, and a thoughtful examination of the dynamics of self and collective identity.
Within the Sweet Noise of Life (Seagull Books)
By Sandro Penna
Widely considered to be among the most important Italian poets of the twentieth century, Sandro Penna was born and raised in Perugia but spent most of his life in Rome. Openly gay, Penna wrote verses celebrating homosexual love with lyrical elegance. His writing alternates between whimsy and melancholia, but it is always full of light. Juggling traditional Italian prosody and subject matter with their gritty urban opposites in taut, highly concentrated poems, Penna’s lyrics revel in love and the eruption of Eros together with the extraordinary that can be found within simple everyday life. Penna’s city is eternal—a mythically decadent Rome that brings to mind Paris or Alexandria. And though the echoes resound—from Rimbaud, Verlaine, and Baudelaire to Leopardi, D’Annunzio, and Cavafy—the voice is always undeniably and wonderfully Penna’s own.
Ewa Lipska is one of Europe’s most compelling and important poets, but relatively little of her recent work has been translated into English. A Polish-English bilingual edition, Dear Ms. Schubert is the first complete collection of her remarkable poetic postcards addressed to “Ms. Schubert,” a mysterious contemporary European everywoman. Written by a certain Mr. Schmetterling (“Mr. Butterfly”), these brief, intimate poems are by turns philosophical, political, and playfully erotic. Combining subversive wit and surrealist imagery, they slowly reveal the contours of a shared secret life played out against a turbulent historical backdrop—a relationship that strikes a precarious balance between deep cultural skepticism and authentic love. Featuring the original Polish text and the English translation on facing pages, Dear Ms. Schubert is a highly original and appealing book from a poet who richly deserves a wide English-language readership.
Floaters takes its title from a term used by certain Border Patrol agents to describe migrants who drown trying to cross over. The title poem responds to the viral photograph of Óscar and Valeria, a Salvadoran father and daughter who drowned in the Río Grande, and allegations posted in the "I’m 10-15" Border Patrol Facebook group that the photo was faked. Martín Espada bears eloquent witness to confrontations with anti-immigrant bigotry as a tenant lawyer years ago, and now sings the praises of Central American adolescents kicking soccer balls over a barbed wire fence in an internment camp founded on that same bigotry. He also knows that times of hate call for poems of love—even in the voice of a cantankerous Galápagos tortoise.The collection ranges from historical epic to achingly personal lyrics about growing up, the baseball that drops from the sky and smacks Espada in the eye as he contemplates a girl’s gently racist question. Whether celebrating the visionaries—the fallen dreamers, rebels and poets—or condemning the outrageous governmental neglect of his father’s Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane María, Espada invokes ferocious, incandescent spirits.
The poems in this follow-up to the National Book Award finalist Archeophonics are concerned with grieving, with poetry and death, with beauty and sadness, with light. As Ben Lerner has written, "Gizzi's poetry is an example of how a poet's total tonal attention can disclose new orders of sensation and meaning. His beautiful lines are full of deft archival allusion." With litany, elegy, and prose, Gizzi continues his pursuit toward a lyric of reality. Saturated with luminous detail, these original poems possess, even in their sorrowing moments, a dizzying freedom.
Philippe Jaccottet’s newest work follows in some ways the approach of Seedtime, his recent two-volume collection of notebooks. Similarly comprising on-the-spot jottings, philosophical reflections, literary commentary, dream narratives and sundry “notes,” this book nonetheless differs from the preceding volumes in that the Swiss poet includes more personal material than ever before. Drawing on unpublished notebooks from the years 1952–2005, Jacottet offers here passages about his family, the death of his father-in-law and of his mother, his encounters with other major poets, and his trips abroad, as well as his walks in the countryside around the village of Grignan, in the south of France, where he has lived since 1953. For a poet who has been notoriously discreet about his life, this book offers unexpected glimpses of the private man. Above all, the entries in this notebook show how one of the greatest European poets grapples with the discouraging elements of existence, counterbalancing them by recording fleeting perceptions in which “something else,” almost like a threshold, seems present.
Frederick Seidel has been hailed as "the poet of a new contemporary form" (Dan Chiasson, The New York Review of Books) and "the most frightening American poet ever" (Calvin Bedient, Boston Review). The poems in Frederick Seidel Selected Poems span more than five decades and provide readers with some of Seidel's most powerful work.
Ethernan, an Irish missionary in the seventh century, retreated to the Caiplie Caves on the eastern coast of Scotland to consider life as a hermit. In The Caiplie Caves, Karen Solie's fifth collection of poems, short-listed for the T. S. Eliot Prize, Solie inhabits a figure inspired by Ethernan, a man torn between the communal and the contemplative. His story is remarkable for the mysticism embedded in the ordinary; as Solie writes in her preface, Ethernan is not known for supernatural feats, but "is said to have survived for a very long time on bread and water."
Interwoven with the voice of this figure are poems whose subjects orbit the physical location of the caves and join the sharply contemporary to the mythic past: the fall of a coal-fired power station; a "druid shouting astrology" outside a liquor store, putting "the Ambien in ambience"; seabirds "frontloaded with military tech"; the dichotomous nature of the stinging nettle.
The original tale of moral destruction, in a brand-new translation: Faust is a man torn between the urges of the living world and the significance of moral living. He feels nothing, he lives for nothing, and thus engages in a wager with Mephistopheles, the devil himself. Goethe’s master work shares the deep complexity of a human life, rife with pain, mistakes and dynamic complexity. With Faust, the lushly lyrical and philosophically brilliant drama on which the poet spent almost his entire life, Goethe solidified himself as a major literary figure whose work would transcend time and space to create the modern world. Now, this brand-new, dynamic translation demands we ask of our world: who will win, humanity or Mephistopheles?
Text Messages is the first multi-genre collection by Montreal-based Iraqi hip-hop artist, activist, and professor Yassin "Narcy" Alsalman. Composed entirely on a smartphone during air travel and married to artwork from comrades, Narcy 's writing speaks of the existential crises experienced by diasporic children of war before and during imperialism in the age of the Internet.
Narcy 's verses span the space between hip-hop and manifesto, portraying a crumbling, end-stage capitalist society, visions for a new reality, and exposes the myth of multiculturalism in post-9/11 North America. The wordsmith hollows and transmogrifies the grotesque excess of the West by juxtaposing McLife with images of death, destruction, and trauma in the East.
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