Saloon-keepers and street preachers, gypsies and steel-walking Mohawks, a bearded lady and a 93-year-old "seafoodetarian" who believes his specialized diet will keep him alive for another two decades. These are among the people that Joseph Mitchell immortalized in his reportage for The New Yorker and in four books--McSorley's Wonderful Saloon, Old Mr. Flood, The Bottom of the Harbor, and Joe Gould's Secret--that are still renowned for their precise, respectful observation, their graveyard humor, and their offhand perfection of style.
These masterpieces (along with several previously uncollected stories) are available in one volume, which presents an indelible collective portrait of an unsuspected New York and its odder citizens--as depicted by one of the great writers of this or any other time.
Finalist for Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction
Finalist for National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction
William T. Vollmann is one of our greatest living writers. Masterworks such as You Bright and Risen Angels, The Royal Family, and Rising Up and Rising Down--his latest work, a stunning 3,300-page tour de force--have launched him into the literary stratosphere and added his name to the list of potential future Nobelists.
Here is his long-awaited "best-of" collection, intended both as an introduction for the curious reader, and as a necessary addition to the existing fan's collection. With excerpts from all of Vollmann's novels (including several not yet published), journalistic pieces, essays, correspondence, and poetry, Expelled from Eden creates a unique, kaleidoscopic portrait of one of America's most notorious, protean, devastating, and necessary writers.
Any discussion of the great masters of American English must include the writings of Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher. For more than sixty years, in her writings about family, food, and travel, Fisher amassed a body of work that belongs on any shelf of classic American writing. Assembled here in this new edition is a generous selection from the books from throughout her career, arranged chronologically, and with this volume, we fortunate readers are now offered a magnificent, intimate survey of her life and writing. Whether reflecting on her father's affinity for the underdog or bravely navigating the trials of old age, Fisher's candor and wit are vigorous and infectious. Tales of travel, childhood memories, recipes massacred and perfected, meditations on World War II, and thoughts on cataract surgery--the range of stories on her palette is surprising and original. The Measure of Her Powers, finely edited by Dominique Gioia and introduced by Ruth Reichl, will captivate those who have never read Fisher and deepen the appreciation of her many fans.
This alternative approach to history uses mostly immaterial evidence, accident, and coincidence to subvert the widespread power and authority of the material world and its logical functions. The list of artists, authors, directors and other celebrities who make appearances includes Alfred Hitchcock, Bernardo Bertolucci, David Lynch, Fred Astaire, Harold Pinter, Herbert Blau, Jean Baudrillard, Jean Cocteau, Maurice Blanchot, Paul Auster, Peter Handke, Robert Wilson, Sam Shepard, Stanley Kubrick, Peter Greenaway, Maya Deren, Jocelyn Moorhouse, Tadeusz Kantor, Tom Stoppard, Vladimir Nabokov, and Rene Magritte, among others.
The author's interdisciplinary approach, the scope of his sources and concerns, his blending of critical analysis and creative writing, and his atten-tion to different genres and styles (narrative; dramatic; aphoristic; science, detective, and post-modern fictions) will appeal to readers in theatre, film, performance studies, philosophy, and creative writing. The book will also be of interest to readers who have experienced loss and to those who perceive meaning in things un-remembered, mis-remembered, and unseen.
"This book will change the way we think about theatre/film studies and their relation not only to ideology, politics, cultural studies, but to something far more demanding than enunciated and passing power relationships--to life." --Michal Kobialka, University of Minnesota
Spencer Golub is Professor of Theatre and Comparative Lit-erature, Brown University. His books include The Recurrence of Fate: Theatre and Memory in Twentieth-Century Russia, which won the prestigious Joe Callaway Award.
"Well, this was when Bill was sighing a lot. He had decided that after our parents died he just didn't want any more fighting between what was left of us. He was twenty-four, Beth was twenty-three, I was twenty-one, Toph was eight, and all of us were so tried already, from that winter. So when something world come up, any little thing, some bill to pay or decision to make, he would just sigh, his eyes tired, his mouth in a sorry kind of smile. But Beth and I...Jesus, we were fighting with everyone, anyone, each other, with strangers at bars, anywhere -- we were angry people wanting to exact revenge. We came to California and we wanted everything, would take what was ours, anything within reach. And I decided that little Toph and I, he with his backward hat and long hair, living together in our little house in Berkeley, would be world-destroyers. We inherited each other and, we felt, a responsibility to reinvent everything, to scoff and re-create and drive fast while singing loudly and pounding the windows. It was a hopeless sort of exhilaration, a kind of arrogance born of fatalism, I guess, of the feeling that if you could lose a couple of parents in a month, then basically anything could happen, at any time -- all bullets bear your name, all cars are there to crush you, any balcony could give way; more disaster seemed only logical. And then, as in Dorothy's dream, all these people I grew up with were there, too, some of them orphans also, most but not all of us believing that what we had been given was extraordinary, that it was time to tear or break down, ruin, remake, take and devour. This was San Francisco, you know, and everyone had some dumb idea -- I mean, "wicca?" -- and noone there would tell you yours was doomed. Thus the public nudity, and this ridiculous magazine, and the "Real World" tryout, all this need, most of it disguised by sneering, but all driven by a hyper-awareness of this window, I guess, a few years when your muscles are taut, coiled up and vibrating. But what to do with the energy? I mean, when we drive, Toph and I, and we drive past people, standing on top of all these hills, part of me wants to stop the car and turn up the radio and have us all dance in formation, and part of me wants to run them all over."
Ayun Halliday may not make for the most sensible travel companion, but she is certainly one of the zaniest, with a knack for inserting herself (and her unwitting cohorts) into bizarre situations around the globe. Curator of kitsch and unabashed aficionada of pop culture, Halliday offers bemused, self-deprecating narration of events from guerrilla theater in Romania to drug-induced Apocalypse Now reenactments in Vietnam to a perhaps more surreal collagen-implant demonstration at a Paris fashion show emceed by Lauren Bacall. On layover in Amsterdam, Halliday finds unlikely trouble in the red-light districteliciting the ire of a tiny, violent madam, and is forced to explain tampons to soldiers in Kashmir"they re for ladies. Bleeding ladies"that, she admits, "might have looked like white cotton bullets lined up in their box." A self-admittedly bumbling vacationer, Halliday shareswith razor-sharp wit and to hilarious effectthe travel stories most are too self-conscious to tell. Includes line drawings by the author."
Profiles of and reading lists for 100 of today's most popular nonfiction authors have been gathered together in this affordable, single source reference, which covers representatives from all major nonfiction genres--true adventure, true crime, travel and environmental narrative, science, history, life stories, and investigative writing. While focusing on such contemporary authors as Sebastian Junger, Frances Mayes, Joan Didion, Bill Bryson, and Anne Lamott, a few classics whose works are still in print and widely read (e.g., Truman Capote, M.F.K. Fisher, and Carl Sagan) are also included. In addition to information about the personal and writing lives of this fascinating and diverse group, users will find a list of their published works.
"Superb: a gift that keeps on giving."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
" A] magnificent anthology."--Literary Review