Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by Time, Entertainment Weekly, Buzzfeed, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Vulture, The Guardian, and more. "Thrilling and heartbreaking...An electric work of historical fiction." -Time Magazine "[A] page-by-page pleasure as we soar with her." -New York Times "Stunning... grand, mythic." - Entertainment Weekly One of our best American writers, Lauren Groff returns with her exhilarating first new novel since the groundbreaking Fates and Furies. Cast out of the royal court by Eleanor of Aquitaine, deemed too coarse and rough-hewn for marriage or courtly life, seventeen-year-old Marie de France is sent to England to be the new prioress of an impoverished abbey, its nuns on the brink of starvation and beset by disease. At first taken aback by the severity of her new life, Marie finds focus and love in collective life with her singular and mercurial sisters. In this crucible, Marie steadily supplants her desire for family, for her homeland, for the passions of her youth with something new to her: devotion to her sisters, and a conviction in her own divine visions. Marie, born the last in a long line of women warriors and crusaders, is determined to chart a bold new course for the women she now leads and protects. But in a world that is shifting and corroding in frightening ways, one that can never reconcile itself with her existence, will the sheer force of Marie's vision be bulwark enough? Equally alive to the sacred and the profane, Matrix gathers currents of violence, sensuality, and religious ecstasy in a mesmerizing portrait of consuming passion, aberrant faith, and a woman that history moves both through and around. Lauren Groff's new novel, her first since Fates and Furies, is a defiant and timely exploration of the raw power of female creativity in a corrupted world.
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache returns to Three Pines in #1 New York Times bestseller Louise Penny's latest spellbinding novel You're a coward. Time and again, as the New Year approaches, that charge is leveled against Armand Gamache. It starts innocently enough. While the residents of the Qu bec village of Three Pines take advantage of the deep snow to ski and toboggan, to drink hot chocolate in the bistro and share meals together, the Chief Inspector finds his holiday with his family interrupted by a simple request. He's asked to provide security for what promises to be a non-event. A visiting Professor of Statistics will be giving a lecture at the nearby university. While he is perplexed as to why the head of homicide for the S ret du Qu bec would be assigned this task, it sounds easy enough. That is until Gamache starts looking into Professor Abigail Robinson and discovers an agenda so repulsive he begs the university to cancel the lecture. They refuse, citing academic freedom, and accuse Gamache of censorship and intellectual cowardice. Before long, Professor Robinson's views start seeping into conversations. Spreading and infecting. So that truth and fact, reality and delusion are so confused it's near impossible to tell them apart. Discussions become debates, debates become arguments, which turn into fights. As sides are declared, a madness takes hold. Abigail Robinson promises that, if they follow her, a va bien aller. All will be well. But not, Gamache and his team know, for everyone. When a murder is committed it falls to Armand Gamache, his second-in-command Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and their team to investigate the crime as well as this extraordinary popular delusion. And the madness of crowds.
Joy Harjo, the first Native American to serve as U.S. poet laureate, invites us to travel along the heartaches, losses, and humble realizations of her poet-warrior road. A musical, kaleidoscopic, and wise follow-up to Crazy Brave, Poet Warrior reveals how Harjo came to write poetry of compassion and healing, poetry with the power to unearth the truth and demand justice. Harjo listens to stories of ancestors and family, the poetry and music that she first encountered as a child, and the messengers of a changing earth--owls heralding grief, resilient desert plants, and a smooth green snake curled up in surprise. She celebrates the influences that shaped her poetry, among them Audre Lorde, N. Scott Momaday, Walt Whitman, Muscogee stomp dance call-and-response, Navajo horse songs, rain, and sunrise. In absorbing, incantatory prose, Harjo grieves at the loss of her mother, reckons with the theft of her ancestral homeland, and sheds light on the rituals that nourish her as an artist, mother, wife, and community member. Moving fluidly between prose, song, and poetry, Harjo recounts a luminous journey of becoming, a spiritual map that will help us all find home. Poet Warrior sings with the jazz, blues, tenderness, and bravery that we know as distinctly Joy Harjo.
A prominent historian exposes the dark side of making war more humane In the years since 9/11, we have entered an age of endless war. With little debate or discussion, the United States carries out military operations around the globe. It hardly matters who's president or whether liberals or conservatives operate the levers of power. The United States exercises dominion everywhere. In Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War, Samuel Moyn asks a troubling but urgent question: What if efforts to make war more ethical--to ban torture and limit civilian casualties--have only shored up the military enterprise and made it sturdier? To advance this case, Moyn looks back at a century and a half of passionate arguments about the ethics of using force. In the nineteenth century, the founders of the Red Cross struggled mightily to make war less lethal even as they acknowledged its inevitability. Leo Tolstoy prominently opposed their efforts, reasoning that war needed to be abolished, not reformed--and over the subsequent century, a popular movement to abolish war flourished on both sides of the Atlantic. Eventually, however, reformers shifted their attention from opposing the crime of war to opposing war crimes, with fateful consequences. The ramifications of this shift became apparent in the post-9/11 era. By that time, the US military had embraced the agenda of humane war, driven both by the availability of precision weaponry and the need to protect its image. The battle shifted from the streets to the courtroom, where the tactics of the war on terror were litigated but its foundational assumptions went without serious challenge. These trends only accelerated during the Obama and Trump presidencies. Even as the two administrations spoke of American power and morality in radically different tones, they ushered in the second decade of the "forever" war. Humane is the story of how America went off to fight and never came back, and how armed combat was transformed from an imperfect tool for resolving disputes into an integral component of the modern condition. As American wars have become more humane, they have also become endless. This provocative book argues that this development might not represent progress at all.
Beautiful World, Where Are You is a new novel by Sally Rooney, the bestselling author of Normal People and Conversations with Friends. Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a warehouse, and asks him if he'd like to travel to Rome with her. In Dublin, her best friend, Eileen, is getting over a break-up, and slips back into flirting with Simon, a man she has known since childhood. Alice, Felix, Eileen, and Simon are still young--but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they delude each other, they get together, they break apart. They have sex, they worry about sex, they worry about their friendships and the world they live in. Are they standing in the last lighted room before the darkness, bearing witness to something? Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world?
'Perhaps the luminous novel is this thing that I started writing today, just now. Maybe these sheets of paper are a warm-up exercise. ...] But it's quite possible that if I go on writing - as I usually do - with no plan, although this time I know very well what I want to say, things will start to take shape, to come together. I can feel the familiar taste of a literary adventure in my throat. I'll take that as confirmation, then, and start describing what I think was the beginning of my spiritual awakening - though nobody should expect religious sermons at this point; they'll come later. It all began with some ruminations prompted by a dog.' A writer attempts to complete the novel for which he has been awarded a big fat Guggenheim grant, though for a long time he succeeds mainly in procrastinating - getting an electrician to rewire his living room so he can reposition his computer, buying an armchair, or rather, two: 'In one, you can't possibly read: it's uncomfortable and your back ends up crooked and sore. In the other, you can't possibly relax: the hard backrest means you have to sit up straight and pay attention, which makes it ideal if you want to read.' Insomniacs, romantics, and anyone who's ever written (or failed to write) will fall in love with this compelling masterpiece told by a true original, with all his infuriating faults, charming wit, and intriguing musings.
Annabel Abbs's Windswept: Walking the Paths of Trailblazing Women is a beautifully written meditation on connecting with the outdoors through the simple act of walking. In captivating and elegant prose, Abbs follows in the footsteps of women who boldly reclaimed wild landscapes for themselves, including Georgia O'Keeffe in the empty plains of Texas and New Mexico, Nan Shepherd in the mountains of Scotland, Gwen John following the French River Garonne, Daphne du Maurier along the River Rhône, and Simone de Beauvoir--who walked as much as twenty-five miles a day in a dress and espadrilles--through the mountains and forests of France. Part historical inquiry and part memoir, the stories of these writers and artists are laced together by moments in Abb's own life, beginning with her poet father who raised her in the Welsh countryside as an "experiment," according to the principles of Rousseau. Abbs explores a forgotten legacy of moving on foot and discovers how it has helped women throughout history to find their voices, to reimagine their lives, and to break free from convention. As Abbs traces the paths of exceptional women, she realizes that she, too, is walking away from her past and into a radically different future. Windswept crosses continents and centuries in a provocative and poignant account of the power of walking in nature.
A slim volume featuring Georges Perec's writings on the simple task of arranging books and what it can reveal about life One of the most singular and extravagant imaginations of the twentieth century, the novelist and essayist Georges Perec was a true original who delighted in wordplay, puzzles, taxonomies and seeing the extraordinary in the everyday. In these virtuoso writings about books and language, he discusses different ways of reading, a list of the things he really must do before he dies and the power of words to overcome the chaos of the world. Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives--and upended them. Now Penguin brings you a new set of the acclaimed Great Ideas, a curated library of selections from the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.