From one of America's great literary figures, a new collection of essays on eminent writers and their work, and on the war between art and life. The perilous intersection of writers' lives with public and private domains is the fertile subject of many of these remarkable essays from such literary giants as T. S. Eliot, Isaac Babel, Salman Rushdie, and Henry James."A genuine literary education. . . . Each of these pieces is informed, gracefully written and propelled with narrative energy."--San Francisco Chronicle "A glittering new collection. . . . Each essay shimmers with intelligence."--The New York Times
Through journals, letters, dreams, and close readings of the work of many poets, Adrienne Rich reflects on how poetry and politics enter and impinge on American life. This expanded edition includes a new preface by the author as well as her post-9/11 "Six Meditations in Place of a Lecture."
This cultural-literary-social critique examines why, when a society moves from a repressive system of government wrought with censorship and oppression to a free state representing unlimited possibilities, the art once created and treasured by that population is taken for granted. Taking into account his own exile from Stalinist Romania, as well as the plights of such greats as Garcia Marquez, Breton, the Dadaists, Kundera, and Milosz, Codrescu issues a call for those living in a free society to reach beyond a benign reality founded in technology and commercialism by tapping into their imaginations and striving for a better, evolutionary existence.
";One day I had a revelation. There had been hints for some time that certain books had better not be discussed. Our next-door neighbor had a German Bible hidden at the bottom of an old sea chest. Her son Peter, who was a year older than me, showed it to me in secret one afternoon after making me swear that I would never reveal its existence to anyone. . . . It emitted a dark, pungent odor of darkness, monks, time, Gutenberg, sea journeys, incense, and last rites. Peter told me there were other books like this, some old, some new, all of them containing secrets so awesome we would be put in prison for merely mentioning them."; From this point in his Romanian childhood, Codrescu became acutely attuned to the meaning of literature in the progress and movement of societies, both free and oppressed. ";The police have arrived everywhere: in Eastern Europe] they are uniformed police. In the West they are the invisible police of image manipulation."
Andrei Codrescu, an essayist, poet, "All Things Considered" commentator, and MSNBCcolumnist, has published numerous books, including "Road Scholar" and "The Devil Never Sleeps," Born in Romania, he came to the U.S. in 1966, and currently teaches at Louisana State University.
George Orwell's collected nonfiction, written in the clear-eyed and uncompromising style that earned him a critical following
One of the most thought-provoking and vivid essayists of the twentieth century, George Orwell fought the injustices of his time with singular vigor through pen and paper. In this selection of essays, he ranges from reflections on his boyhood schooling and the profession of writing to his views on the Spanish Civil War and British imperialism. The pieces collected here include the relatively unfamiliar and the more celebrated, making it an ideal compilation for both new and dedicated readers of Orwell's work.
There are approximately 502 million radios in America. For this savvy, far-reaching diary, celebrated journalist and author Sarah Vowell turned hers on and listened--closely, critically, creatively--for an entire year.
As a series of impressions and reflections regarding contemporary American culture, and as an extended meditation on both our media and our society, this keenly focused book is as insightful as it is refreshing.
Throughout Radio On, "Vowell's touch is about as delicate as Teddy Kennedy's after a pitcher of martinis" (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times).
Henry James's travel writings are at once literary masterpieces, unsurpassed guidebooks and penetrating reflections on the international themes familiar from his fiction. This volume, the second of two, begins with the classic A Little Tour in France (1900), illustrated with Joseph Pennell's exquisite drawings from the original edition. James begins his tour of the French countryside one rainy morning in mid-September of 1882, when he sets off for the city of Tours as a means of exploring the proposition that "though France might be Paris, Paris was by no means France."From Tours, Balzac's birthplace, James travels to the great chateaux of the Loire Valley, visiting Chambord, Amboise, Chenonceaux, and Blois, where, as you cross the threshold, "you step straight into the sunshine and storm of the French Renaissance." Dense with literary associations and historical echoes, James's prose brings castles and cathedrals and old walled towns to life. In his glancingly precise visual evocations of terrain and cityscape, he realizes his ambition "to sketch without a palette or brushes." Henry James loved Italy, "a beautiful disheveled nymph" to England's "good married matron." The incisive and witty essays in Italian Hours (1909) describe memorably happy sojourns in Venice, Rome, and Florence, and excursions to Siena, Assisi, Perugia, Capri, Ravenna, and other Italian cities. "Nowhere do art and life seem so interfused" as in Venice, wrote James in celebration of the splendor of Venetian light and color, air, and history. He records his radiant impressions of Roman churches and aqueducts, museums and fountains, and rambles through the gardens of the Villa Borghese in spring, when Rome seems lighted "with an irresistible smile." All these essays are filled with James's intense pleasure in Italian places and people. This volume concludes with sixteen essays on such varied places as Switzerland, Holland, Rheims, and the Pyr n es, including a memorable account of the American volunteer ambulance corps in Europe during World War One. LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
In this inimitable, beloved classic--graceful, lucid and lyrical--Anne Morrow Lindbergh shares her meditations on youth and age; love and marriage; peace, solitude and contentment as she set them down during a brief vacation by the sea. Drawing inspiration from the shells on the shore, Lindbergh's musings on the shape of a woman's life bring new understanding to both men and women at any stage of life. A mother of five, an acclaimed writer and a pioneering aviator, Lindbergh casts an unsentimental eye on the trappings of modernity that threaten to overwhelm us: the time-saving gadgets that complicate rather than simplify, the multiple commitments that take us from our families. And by recording her thoughts during a brief escape from everyday demands, she helps readers find a space for contemplation and creativity within their own lives.With great wisdom and insight Lindbergh describes the shifting shapes of relationships and marriage, presenting a vision of life as it is lived in an enduring and evolving partnership. A groundbreaking, best-selling work when it was originally published in 1955, Gift from the Sea continues to be discovered by new generations of readers. With a new introduction by Lindbergh's daughter Reeve, this fiftieth-anniversary edition will give those who are revisiting the book and those who are coming upon it for the first time fresh insight into the life of this remarkable woman. The sea and the beach are elements that have been woven throughout Anne Morrow Lindbergh's life. She spent her childhood summers with her family on a Maine island. After her marriage to Charles Lindbergh in 1929, she accompanied him on his survey flights around the North Atlantic to launch the first transoceanic airlines. The Lindberghs eventually established a permanent home on the Connecticut coast, where they lived quietly, wrote books and raised their family. After the children left home for lives of their own, the Lindberghs traveled extensively to Africa and the Pacific for environmental research. For several years they lived on the island of Maui in Hawaii, where Charles Lindbergh died in 1974. Anne Morrow Lindbergh spent her final years in her Connecticut home, continuing her writing projects and enjoying visits from her children and grand-children. She died on February 7, 2001, at the age of ninety-four. Reeve Lindbergh is the author of many books for both adults and children, including the memoirs Under a Wing and No More Words.
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.