Bill's Picks
Featured Items
Riddley Walker, Expanded Edition
Riddley Walker, Expanded Edition
Paperback      ISBN: 0253212340

"A hero with Huck Finn's heart and charm, lighting by El Greco and jokes by Punch and Judy. . . . Riddley Walker is haunting and fiercely imagined and--this matters most--intensely ponderable." --Benjamin DeMott, The New York Times Book Review

"This is what literature is meant to be." --Anthony Burgess

"Russell Hoban has brought off an extraordinary feat of imagination and style. . . . The conviction and consistency are total. Funny, terrible, haunting and unsettling, this book is a masterpiece." --Anthony Thwaite, Observer

"Extraordinary . . . Suffused with melancholy and wonder, beautifully written, Riddley Walker is a novel that people will be reading for a long, long time." --Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World

"Stunning, delicious, designed to prevent the modern reader from becoming stupid." --John Leonard, The New York Times

"Highly enjoyable . . . An intriguing plot . . . Ferociously inventive." --Walter Clemons, Newsweek

"Astounding . . . Hoban's soaring flight of imagination is that golden rarity, a dazzlingly realized work of genius." --Jane Clapperton, Cosmopolitan

"An imaginative intensity that is rare in contemporary fiction.' --Paul Gray, Time

Riddley Walker is a brilliant, unique, completely realized work of fiction. One reads it again and again, discovering new wonders every time through. Set in a remote future in a post-nuclear holocaust England (Inland), Hoban has imagined a humanity regressed to an iron-age, semi-literate state--and invented a language to represent it. Riddley is at once the Huck Finn and the Stephen Dedalus of his culture--rebel, change agent, and artist. Read again or for the first time this masterpiece of 20th-century literature with new material by the author.

Hopscotch
Hopscotch
Paperback      ISBN: 0394752848
Translated by Gregory Rabassa, winner of the National Book Award for Translation, 1967

Horacio Oliveira is an Argentinian writer who lives in Paris with his mistress, La Maga, surrounded by a loose-knit circle of bohemian friends who call themselves the Club. A child's death and La Maga's disappearance put an end to his life of empty pleasures and intellectual acrobatics, and prompt Oliveira to return to Buenos Aires, where he works by turns as a salesman, a keeper of a circus cat which can truly count, and an attendant in an insane asylum. Hopscotch is the dazzling, freewheeling account of Oliveira's astonishing adventures.
The Dud Avocado
The Dud Avocado
Paperback      ISBN: 1590172329

A smart, funny classic about a young and beautiful American woman who moves to Paris determined to live life to the fullest.

The Dud Avocado follows the romantic and comedic adventures of a young American who heads overseas to conquer Paris in the late 1950s. Edith Wharton and Henry James wrote about the American girl abroad, but it was Elaine Dundy's Sally Jay Gorce who told us what she was really thinking. Charming, sexy, and hilarious, The Dud Avocado gained instant cult status when it was first published and it remains a timeless portrait of a woman hell-bent on living.

"I had to tell someone how much I enjoyed The Dud Avocado. It made me laugh, scream, and guffaw (which, incidentally, is a great name for a law firm)." -Groucho Marx

The Dud Avocado] is one of the best novels about growing up fast... -The Guardian

The Siege of Krishnapur
The Siege of Krishnapur
Paperback      ISBN: 159017092x
Winner of the Booker Prize. An insightful and thrilling novel about the British Empire in India during the Great Mutiny of 1857, as seen through the eyes of a young, love-struck idealist.

India, 1857--the year of the Great Mutiny, when Muslim soldiers turned in bloody rebellion on their British overlords. This time of convulsion is the subject of J. G. Farrell's The Siege of Krishnapur, widely considered one of the finest British novels of the last fifty years.

Farrell's story is set in an isolated Victorian outpost on the subcontinent. Rumors of strife filter in from afar, and yet the members of the colonial community remain confident of their military and, above all, moral superiority. But when they find themselves under actual siege, the true character of their dominion--at once brutal, blundering, and wistful--is soon revealed.

The Siege of Krishnapur is a companion to Troubles, about the Easter 1916 rebellion in Ireland, and The Singapore Grip, which takes place just before World War II, as the sun begins to set upon the British Empire. Together these three novels offer an unequaled picture of the follies of empire.
The Master and Margarita
The Master and Margarita
Paperback      ISBN: 0802130119

I first read Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita on a balcony of the Hotel Metropole in Saigon on three summer evenings in 1971. The tropical air was heavy and full of the smells of cordite and motorcycle exhaust and rotting fish and wood-fire stoves, and the horizon flared ambiguously, perhaps from heat lightning, perhaps from bombs. Later each night, as was my custom, I would wander out into the steamy back alleys of the city, where no one ever seemed to sleep, and crouch in doorways with the people and listen to the stories of their culture and their ancestors and their ongoing lives. Bulgakov taught me to hear something in those stories that I had not yet clearly heard. One could call it, in terms that would soon thereafter gain wide currency, "magical realism." The deadpan mix of the fantastic and the realistic was at the heart of the Vietnamese mythos. It is at the heart of the present zeitgeist. And it was not invented by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, as wonderful as his One Hundred Years of Solitude is. Garcia Marquez's landmark work of magical realism was predated by nearly three decades by Bulgakov's brilliant masterpiece of a novel. That summer in Saigon a vodka-swilling, talking black cat, a coven of beautiful naked witches, Pontius Pilate, and a whole cast of benighted writers of Stalinist Moscow and Satan himself all took up permanent residence in my creative unconscious. Their presence, perhaps more than anything else from the realm of literature, has helped shape the work I am most proud of. I'm often asked for a list of favorite authors. Here is my advice. Read Bulgakov. Look around you at the new century. He will show you things you need to see.

The New York Stories of Edith Wharton
The New York Stories of Edith Wharton
Paperback      ISBN: 1590172485
A New York Review Books Original

Edith Wharton wrote about New York as only a native can. Her Manhattan is a city of well-appointed drawing rooms, hansoms and broughams, all-night cotillions, and resplendent Fifth Avenue flats. Bishops' nieces mingle with bachelor industrialists; respectable wives turn into excellent mistresses. All are governed by a code of behavior as rigid as it is precarious. What fascinates Wharton are the points of weakness in the structure of Old New York: the artists and writers at its fringes, the free-love advocates testing its limits, widows and divorc es struggling to hold their own.

The New York Stories of Edith Wharton gathers twenty stories of the city, written over the course of Wharton's career. From her first published story, "Mrs. Manstey's View," to one of her last and most celebrated, "Roman Fever," this new collection charts the growth of an American master and enriches our understanding of the central themes of her work, among them the meaning of marriage, the struggle for artistic integrity, the bonds between parent and child, and the plight of the aged.

Illuminated by Roxana Robinson's Introduction, these stories showcase Wharton's astonishing insight into the turbulent inner lives of the men and women caught up in a rapidly changing society.
Third Policeman
Third Policeman
Paperback      ISBN: 156478214x

The Third Policeman is Flann O'Brien's brilliantly dark comic novel about the nature of time, death, and existence. Told by a narrator who has committed a botched robbery and brutal murder, the novel follows him and his adventures in a two-dimensional police station where, through the theories of the scientist/philosopher de Selby, he is introduced to "Atomic Theory" and its relation to bicycles, the existence of eternity (which turns out to be just down the road), and de Selby's view that the earth is not round but "sausage-shaped." With the help of his newly found soul named "Joe, " he grapples with the riddles and contradictions that three eccentric policeman present to him.

The last of O'Brien's novels to be published, The Third Policeman joins O'Brien's other fiction (At Swim-Two-Birds, The Poor Mouth, The Hard Life, The Best of Myles, and The Dalkey Archive) to ensure his place, along with James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, as one of Ireland's great comic geniuses.

Impostures
Impostures
Hardcover      ISBN: 1479800848

Longlist, 2020 Sheikh Zayed Book Award, in the translation category

Finalist, 2021 PROSE Award in the Literature Category

Fifty rogue's tales translated fifty ways

An itinerant con man. A gullible eyewitness narrator. Voices spanning continents and centuries. These elements come together in Impostures, a groundbreaking new translation of a celebrated work of Arabic literature.

Impostures follows the roguish Abū Zayd al-Sarūjī in his adventures around the medieval Middle East--we encounter him impersonating a preacher, pretending to be blind, and lying to a judge. In every escapade he shows himself to be a brilliant and persuasive wordsmith, composing poetry, palindromes, and riddles on the spot. Award-winning translator Michael Cooperson transforms Arabic wordplay into English wordplay of his own, using fifty different registers of English, from the distinctive literary styles of authors such as Geoffrey Chaucer, Mark Twain, and Virginia Woolf, to global varieties of English including Cockney rhyming slang, Nigerian English, and Singaporean English.

Featuring picaresque adventures and linguistic acrobatics, Impostures brings the spirit of this masterpiece of Arabic literature into English in a dazzling display of translation.

An English-only edition.