English Essays
Typewriters, Bombs, Jellyfish: Essays
Typewriters, Bombs, Jellyfish
Essays
Paperback      ISBN: 1681370867
Essays on literature, pop culture, and more from the cult novelist and critic Tom McCarthy

Fifteen brilliant essays written over as many years provide a map of the sensibility and critical intelligence of Tom McCarthy, one of the most original and challenging novelists at work today. Typewriters, Bombs, Jellyfish explores a wide range of subjects, from the weather considered as a form of media, to the paintings of Gerhard Richter and the movies of David Lynch, to Patty Hearst as revolutionary sex goddess, to the still-radical implications of established masterpieces such as Ulysses (how do you write after it?), Tristram Shandy, and the unsung junky genius Alexander Trocchi's darkly beautiful Cain's Book. The longer "Recessional" examines the place of time in writing--how writing makes a new time of its own, a time apart from institutional time--while the startling "Nothing Will Have Taken Place" moves from Mallarm and Don DeLillo to the ball mastery of Zidane to look at how art, whether that of a poet, novelist, or athlete, destroys given codes of meaning and behavior, returning them to play. Certain points of reference recur with dreamlike insistence--among them the artist Ed Ruscha's Royal Road Test, a photographic documentation of the roadside debris of a Royal typewriter hurled from the window of a traveling car; the great blooms of jellyfish that are filling the oceans and gumming up the machinery of commerce and military domination--and the question throughout is: How can art explode the restraining conventions of so-called realism, whether aesthetic or political, to engage in the active reinvention of the world?
Feel Free: Essays
Feel Free
Essays
Paperback      ISBN: 014311025x
Winner of the 2018 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism

A New York Times Notable Book

From Zadie Smith, one of the most beloved authors of her generation, a new collection of essays

Since she burst spectacularly into view with her debut novel almost two decades ago, Zadie Smith has established herself not just as one of the world's preeminent fiction writers, but also a brilliant and singular essayist. She contributes regularly to The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books on a range of subjects, and each piece of hers is a literary event in its own right.

Arranged into five sections--In the World, In the Audience, In the Gallery, On the Bookshelf, and Feel Free--this new collection poses questions we immediately recognize. What is The Social Network--and Facebook itself--really about? It's a cruel portrait of us: 500 million sentient people entrapped in the recent careless thoughts of a Harvard sophomore. Why do we love libraries? Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay. What will we tell our granddaughters about our collective failure to address global warming? So I might say to her, look: the thing you have to appreciate is that we'd just been through a century of relativism and deconstruction, in which we were informed that most of our fondest-held principles were either uncertain or simple wishful thinking, and in many areas of our lives we had already been asked to accept that nothing is essential and everything changes--and this had taken the fight out of us somewhat.

Gathering in one place for the first time previously unpublished work, as well as already classic essays, such as, Joy, and, Find Your Beach, Feel Free offers a survey of important recent events in culture and politics, as well as Smith's own life. Equally at home in the world of good books and bad politics, Brooklyn-born rappers and the work of Swiss novelists, she is by turns wry, heartfelt, indignant, and incisive--and never any less than perfect company. This is literary journalism at its zenith.

Zadie Smith's new book, Grand Union, is on sale 10/8/2019.
The Prince of Minor Writers: The Selected Essays of Max Beerbohm
The Prince of Minor Writers
The Selected Essays of Max Beerbohm
Paperback      ISBN: 1590178289

AN NYRB CLASSICS ORIGINAL

Virginia Woolf called Max Beerbohm "the prince" of essayists, F. W. Dupee praised his "whim of iron" and "cleverness amounting to genius," while Beerbohm himself noted that "only the insane take themselves quite seriously." From his precocious debut as a dandy in 1890s Oxford until he put his pen aside in the aftermath of World War II, Beerbohm was recognized as an incomparable observer of modern life and an essayist whose voice was always and only his own. Here Phillip Lopate, one of the finest essayists of our day, has selected the finest of Beerbohm's essays. Whether writing about the vogue for Russian writers, laughter and philosophy, dandies, or George Bernard Shaw, Beerbohm is as unpredictable as he is unfailingly witty and wise. As Lopate writes, "Today . . . it becomes all the more necessary to ponder how Beerbohm performed the delicate operation of displaying so much personality without lapsing into sticky confession."
Feel Free: Essays
Feel Free
Essays
Hardcover      ISBN: 1594206252
Winner of the 2018 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism

A New York Times Notable Book

From Zadie Smith, one of the most beloved authors of her generation, a new collection of essays

Since she burst spectacularly into view with her debut novel almost two decades ago, Zadie Smith has established herself not just as one of the world's preeminent fiction writers, but also a brilliant and singular essayist. She contributes regularly to The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books on a range of subjects, and each piece of hers is a literary event in its own right.

Arranged into five sections--In the World, In the Audience, In the Gallery, On the Bookshelf, and Feel Free--this new collection poses questions we immediately recognize. What is The Social Network--and Facebook itself--really about? It's a cruel portrait of us: 500 million sentient people entrapped in the recent careless thoughts of a Harvard sophomore. Why do we love libraries? Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay. What will we tell our granddaughters about our collective failure to address global warming? So I might say to her, look: the thing you have to appreciate is that we'd just been through a century of relativism and deconstruction, in which we were informed that most of our fondest-held principles were either uncertain or simple wishful thinking, and in many areas of our lives we had already been asked to accept that nothing is essential and everything changes--and this had taken the fight out of us somewhat.

Gathering in one place for the first time previously unpublished work, as well as already classic essays, such as, Joy, and, Find Your Beach, Feel Free offers a survey of important recent events in culture and politics, as well as Smith's own life. Equally at home in the world of good books and bad politics, Brooklyn-born rappers and the work of Swiss novelists, she is by turns wry, heartfelt, indignant, and incisive--and never any less than perfect company. This is literary journalism at its zenith.

Zadie Smith's new book, Grand Union, is on sale 10/8/2019.
Confessions of an English Opium Eater
Confessions of an English Opium Eater
Paperback      ISBN: 0877543313
Beautiful and Impossible Things: Selected Essays of Oscar Wilde
Beautiful and Impossible Things
Selected Essays of Oscar Wilde
Hardcover      ISBN: 1910749060

This selection of Oscar Wilde's writings provides a fresh perspective on his character and thinking. Compiled from his lecture tours, newspaper articles, essays and epigrams, these pieces show that beneath the trademark wit, Wilde was a deeply humane and visionary writer, as challenging today as he was in the late 1800s. This edition includes essays on interior design, prison reform, Shakespeare, the dramatic dialogue Decay of Lying and the seminal Soul of Man.

The History of Technology Rewritten
The History of Technology Rewritten
Paperback      ISBN: 1848315724

Michael Sells brand new Imagine That series--short, popular histories of how the past didn't quite happen--launches with four titles this year.

Each book is a flight of imagination that explores how the smallest changes to history could have spiraled out of control.

Would a happy ending to Casablanca have led to a more prejudiced world? Would the death of a cat have been the most costly road accident in the history of technology?

Imagine That . . .


Imagine That - Football: The History of Football Rewritten
Imagine That - Football
The History of Football Rewritten
Paperback      ISBN: 184831566x

Michael Sells brand new Imagine That series--short, popular histories of how the past didn't quite happen--launches with four titles this year.

Each book is a flight of imagination that explores how the smallest changes to history could have spiraled out of control.

Would a happy ending to Casablanca have led to a more prejudiced world? Would the death of a cat have been the most costly road accident in the history of technology?

Imagine That . . .


Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries
Lost at Sea
The Jon Ronson Mysteries
Hardcover      ISBN: 1594631379

"The New York Times" bestselling author of "The Psychopath Test," Jon Ronson writes about the dark, uncanny sides of humanity with clarity and humor. "Lost at Sea "reveals how deep our collective craziness lies, even in the most mundane circumstances.
Ronson investigates the strange things we re willing to believe in, from lifelike robots programmed with our loved ones personalities to indigo children to hypersuccessful spiritual healers to the Insane Clown Posse s juggalo fans. He looks at ordinary lives that take on extraordinary perspectives, for instance a pop singer whose life s greatest passion is the coming alien invasion, and the scientist designated to greet those aliens when they arrive. Ronson throws himself into the stories in a tour de force piece, he splits himself into multiple Ronsons (Happy, Paul, and Titch, among others) to get to the bottom of credit card companies predatory tactics and the murky, fabulously wealthy companies behind those tactics. Amateur nuclear physicists, assisted-suicide practitioners, the town of North Pole, Alaska s Christmas-induced high school mass-murder plot: Ronson explores all these tales with a sense of higher purpose and universality, and suddenly, mid-read, they are stories not about the fringe of society or about people far removed from our own experience, but about all of us.
Incisive and hilarious, poignant and maddening, revealing and disturbing Ronson writes about our modern world, the foibles of contemporary culture, and the chaos that lies at the edge of our daily lives."

'i Find That Offensive!'
'i Find That Offensive!'
Hardcover      ISBN: 1849549818

When you hear that now ubiquitous phrase "I find that offensive," you know you're being told to shut up. Social discourse is now dominated by competitive offence-claiming. But how did we become so thin-skinned? This book blames three culprits: official multiculturalism's relativistic conflation of tolerance with positive "recognition," narcissistic identity politics, and finally therapeutic educational interventions such as anti-bullying campaigns.

Claire Fox is a British libertarian writer. She is the founder of the Institute of Ideas think tank and a broadcaster and social commentator, appearing regularly on BBC television and radio.