Books and Reading
Rooms of One's Own: 50 Places That Made Literary History
Rooms of One's Own
50 Places That Made Literary History
Paperback      ISBN: 1785783386

Writers' relationships with their surroundings are seldom straightforward. While some, like Jane Austen and Thomas Mann, wrote novels set where they were staying (Lyme Regis and Venice respectively), Victor Hugo penned Les Miserables in an attic in Guernsey and Noel Coward wrote that most English of plays, Blithe Spirit, in the Welsh holiday village of Portmeirion.

Award-winning BBC drama producer Adrian Mourby follows his literary heroes around the world, exploring 50 places where great works of literature first saw the light of day. At each destination- from the Bronte's Yorkshire Moors to the New York of Truman Capote, Christopher Isherwood's Berlin to the now-legendary Edinburgh cafe where J.K. Rowling plotted Harry Potter's first adventures- Mourby explains what the writer was doing there and describes what the visitor can find today of that great moment in literature.

Rooms of Ones Own takes you on a literary journey from the British Isles to Paris, Berlin, New Orleans, New York and Bangkok and unearths the real-life places behind our best-loved works of literature.

Literary Places
Literary Places
Hardcover      ISBN: 1781318107
Inspired Traveller's Guides: Literary Places takes you on an enlightening journey through the key locations of literature's best and brightest authors, movements and moments - brought to life through comprehensively researched text and stunning hand-drawn artwork.

Travel journalist Sarah Baxter provides comprehensive and atmospheric outlines of the history and culture of 25 literary places around the globe, as well as how they intersect with the lives of the authors and the works that make them significant. Full-page colour illustrations instantly transport you to each location. You'll find that these places are not just backdrops to the tales told, but characters in their own right.

Travel to the sun-scorched plains of Don Quixote's La Mancha, roam the wild Yorkshire moors with Cathy and Heathcliff or view Central Park through the eyes of J.D. Salinger's antihero. Explore the lush and languid backwaters of Arundhati Roy's Kerala, the imposing precipice of Joan Lindsay's Hanging Rock and the labyrinthine streets and sewers of Victor Hugo's Paris.

Featured locations:
Paris, Les Miserables
Dublin, Ulysses
Florence, A Room with a View
Naples, My Brilliant Friend
Berlin, Berlin Alexanderplatz
Nordland, Growth of the Soil
St Petersburg, Crime and Punishment
Sierra de Guadarrama, For Whom the Bell Tolls
La Mancha, Don Quixote
Davos, The Magic Mountain
Bath, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion
London, Oliver Twist
Yorkshire Moors, Wuthering Heights
Cairo, Palace Walk
Soweto, Burger's Daughter
Kerala, The God of Small Things
Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), The Quiet American
Kabul, The Kite Runner
Hanging Rock, Picnic at Hanging Rock
New York, The Catcher in the Rye
Monterey, Cannery Row
Mississippi River, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Monroeville, To Kill a Mockingbird
Cartagena, Love in the Time of Cholera
Chile, The House of the Spirits

Delve into this book to discover some of the world's most fascinating literary places and the novels that celebrate them.

Each book in the Inspired Traveller's Guides series offers readers a fascinating, informative and charmingly illustrated guide to must-visit destinations round the globe. Also from this series, explore intriguing: Artistic Places (March 2021), Spiritual Places, Hidden Places and Mystical Places.
Literary St. Petersburg: A Guide to the City and Its Writers
Literary St. Petersburg
A Guide to the City and Its Writers
Paperback      ISBN: 1892145375

Much of Russian literature is St. Petersburg literature: set in the city, about the city, or written by writers who lived there. For each of the fifteen profiled writers, there is a biographical sketch focusing on his or her relationship to the city and a sense of his or her work, along with a list of St. Petersburg sites associated with the writer and the literary works.

Travelers can wander through the museum where a teenage Vladimir Nabokov romanced his girlfriend and see the prison where Anna Akhmatova was inspired to write her poem about the Great Terror. They can find the statue that comes to life in Pushkin's poem The Bronze Horseman and visit the square where Crime and Punishment's murderer/hero kneels to ask God's forgiveness.

The images included are particularly striking: a photo taken in the courtroom where the young Joseph Brodsky made his electrifying defense of his credentials as a poet; a portrait of Akhmatova, a symbol of artistic integrity in the face of the most severe persecution; and documentary photographs spanning the upheavals of twentieth century Russia.

Authors included are: Anna Akhmatova, Andrei Bely, Aleksandr Blok, Joseph Brodsky, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Nikolai Gogol, Daniil Kharms, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Osip Mandelstam, Vladimir Nabokov, Alexander Pushkin, Leo Tolstoy, Ivan Turgenev, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Mikhail Zoshchenko.
Waiting for the Barbarians: Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture
Waiting for the Barbarians
Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture
Paperback      ISBN: 1590177134

FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD
AND THE PEN ART OF THE ESSAY AWARD

Over the past decade and a half, Daniel Mendelsohn's reviews for The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, and The New York Times Book Review have earned him a reputation as "one of the greatest critics of our time" (Poets & Writers). In Waiting for the Barbarians, he brings together twenty-four of his recent essays--each one glinting with "verve and sparkle," "acumen and passion"--on a wide range of subjects, from Avatar to the poems of Arthur Rimbaud, from our inexhaustible fascination with the Titanic to Susan Sontag's Journals. Trained as a classicist, author of two internationally best-selling memoirs, Mendelsohn moves easily from penetrating considerations of the ways in which the classics continue to make themselves felt in contemporary life and letters (Greek myth in the Spider-Man musical, Anne Carson's translations of Sappho) to trenchant takes on pop spectacles--none more explosively controversial than his dissection of Mad Men.

Also gathered here are essays devoted to the art of fiction, from Jonathan Littell's Holocaust blockbuster The Kindly Ones to forgotten gems like the novels of Theodor Fontane. In a final section, "Private Lives," prefaced by Mendelsohn's New Yorker essay on fake memoirs, he considers the lives and work of writers as disparate as Leo Lerman, No l Coward, and Jonathan Franzen. Waiting for the Barbarians once again demonstrates that Mendelsohn's "sweep as a cultural critic is as impressive as his depth."
Marcel Proust's Search for Lost Time: A Reader's Guide to the Remembrance of Things Past
Marcel Proust's Search for Lost Time
A Reader's Guide to the Remembrance of Things Past
Paperback      ISBN: 0307472329

An accessible, irreverent guide to one of the most admired--and entertaining--novels of the past century: Rememberance of Things Past. There is no other guide like this; a user-friendly and enticing entry into the marvelously enjoyable world of Proust.

At seven volumes, three thousand pages, and more than four hundred characters, as well as a towering reputation as a literary classic, Proust's novel can seem daunting. But though begun a century ago, in 1909, it is in fact as engaging and relevant to our times as ever. Patrick Alexander is passionate about Proust's genius and appeal--he calls the work "outrageously bawdy and extremely funny"--and in his guide he makes it more accessible to the general reader through detailed plot summaries, historical and cultural background, a guide to the fifty most important characters, maps, family trees, illustrations, and a brief biography of Proust. Essential for readers and book groups currently reading Proust and who want help keeping track of the huge cast and intricate plot, this Reader's Guide is also a wonderful introduction for students and new readers and a memory-refresher for long-time fans.
So We Read On: How the Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures
So We Read On
How the Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures
1st Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 0316230073
The "Fresh Air" book critic investigates the enduring power of The Great Gatsby -- "The Great American Novel we all think we've read, but really haven't."

Conceived nearly a century ago by a man who died believing himself a failure, it's now a revered classic and a rite of passage in the reading lives of millions. But how well do we really know The Great Gatsby? As Maureen Corrigan, Gatsby lover extraordinaire, points out, while Fitzgerald's masterpiece may be one of the most popular novels in America, many of us first read it when we were too young to fully comprehend its power.

Offering a fresh perspective on what makes Gatsby great-and utterly unusual-So We Read On takes us into archives, high school classrooms, and even out onto the Long Island Sound to explore the novel's hidden depths, a journey whose revelations include Gatsby's surprising debt to hard-boiled crime fiction, its rocky path to recognition as a "classic," and its profound commentaries on the national themes of race, class, and gender.

With rigor, wit, and infectious enthusiasm, Corrigan inspires us to re-experience the greatness of Gatsby and cuts to the heart of why we are, as a culture, "borne back ceaselessly" into its thrall. Along the way, she spins a new and fascinating story of her own.
On Reading, Writing and Living with Books
On Reading, Writing and Living with Books
Paperback      ISBN: 1782272518

The London Library is the world's largest independent library. Founded in 1841 by Thomas Carlyle (in reaction to the museum headache brought on by the crowds in the British Museum Reading Room), it has become a haven for readers, writers and all who draw strength, solace or inspiration from the presence of books. Some of the most illustrious figures of the last two centuries have written, thought and walked there: George Eliot, Charles Dickens, E.M. Forster, Virginia Woolf and many more were members.

And over time, some of these celebrated members have shared--with each other, or with an interested public--their views on the delights, challenges and joys of reading, writing and living with books.

The books in Found on the Shelves have been chosen to give a fascinating insight into the treasures that can be found while browsing in The London Library. Now celebrating its 175th anniversary, with over seventeen miles of shelving and more than a million books, The London Library has become an unrivalled archive of the modes, manners and thoughts of each generation which has helped to form it.

From essays on dieting in the 1860s to instructions for gentlewomen on trout-fishing, from advice on the ill health caused by the modern craze of bicycling to travelogues from Norway, they are as readable and relevant today as they were more than a century ago.
What We See When We Read
What We See When We Read
Paperback      ISBN: 0804171637
A San Francisco Chronicle and Kirkus Best Book of the Year

A gorgeously unique, fully illustrated exploration into the phenomenology of reading--how we visualize images from reading works of literature, from one of our very best book jacket designers, himself a passionate reader.

What do we see when we read? Did Tolstoy really describe Anna Karenina? Did Melville ever really tell us what, exactly, Ishmael looked like? The collection of fragmented images on a page--a graceful ear there, a stray curl, a hat positioned just so--and other clues and signifiers helps us to create an image of a character. But in fact our sense that we know a character intimately has little to do with our ability to concretely picture our beloved--or reviled--literary figures. In this remarkable work of nonfiction, Knopf's Associate Art Director Peter Mendelsund combines his profession, as an award-winning designer; his first career, as a classically trained pianist; and his first love, literature--he considers himself first and foremost as a reader--into what is sure to be one of the most provocative and unusual investigations into how we understand the act of reading.
Essays One
Essays One
Hardcover      ISBN: 0374148856

A selection of essays on writing and reading by the master short-fiction writer Lydia Davis

Lydia Davis is a writer whose originality, influence, and wit are beyond compare. Jonathan Franzen has called her "a magician of self-consciousness," while Rick Moody hails her as the best prose stylist in America. And for Claire Messud, "Davis's signal gift is to make us feel alive."

Best known for her masterful short stories and translations, Davis's gifts extend equally to her nonfiction. In Essays One, Davis has, for the first time, gathered a selection of essays, commentaries, and lectures composed over the past five decades.

In this first of two volumes, her subjects range from her earliest influences to her favorite short stories, from John Ashbery's translation of Rimbaud to Alan Cote's painting, and from the Shepherd's Psalm to early tourist photographs. On display is the development and range of one of the sharpest, most capacious minds writing today.
Meander, Spiral, Explode: Design and Pattern in Narrative
Meander, Spiral, Explode
Design and Pattern in Narrative
Paperback      ISBN: 1948226138

A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2019

One of Poets & Writers' Best Books for Writers

"How lovely to discover a book on the craft of writing that is also fun to read. . . Alison asserts that the best stories follow patterns in nature, and by defining these new styles she offers writers the freedom to explore but with enough guidance to thrive." --Maris Kreizman, Vulture

As Jane Alison writes in the introduction to her insightful and appealing book about the craft of writing: "For centuries there's been one path through fiction we're most likely to travel-- one we're actually told to follow--and that's the dramatic arc: a situation arises, grows tense, reaches a peak, subsides . . . But something that swells and tautens until climax, then collapses? Bit masculosexual, no? So many other patterns run through nature, tracing other deep motions in life. Why not draw on them, too?"

W. G. Sebald's Emigrants was the first novel to show Alison how forward momentum can be created by way of pattern, rather than the traditional arc-- or, in nature, wave. Other writers of nonlinear prose considered in her "museum of specimens" include Nicholson Baker, Anne Carson, Marguerite Duras, Gabriel Garc a M rquez, Jamaica Kincaid, Clarice Lispector, Susan Minot, David Mitchell, Caryl Phillips, and Mary Robison.

Meander, Spiral, Explode is a singular and brilliant elucidation of literary strategies that also brings high spirits and wit to its original conclusions. It is a liberating manifesto that says, Let's leave the outdated modes behind and, in thinking of new modes, bring feeling back to experimentation. It will appeal to serious readers and writers alike.