Letters and Essays
Featured Items
The Blue Jay's Dance: A Birth Year
The Blue Jay's Dance
A Birth Year
Paperback      ISBN: 0060927011

" Louise ] Erdrich holds up an articulate strength. Moving, memorable... The Blue Jay's Dance is] a book that breaks ground."--Boston Sunday Globe

Fifteen years after its initial publication, New York Times bestselling author Louise Erdrich's beloved memoir The Blue Jay's Dance is available for a whole new generation of families to discover. The first major work of nonfiction by the author of such classics as Love Medicine and The Plague of Doves, The Blue Jay's Dance is, in the words of the New York Times Book Review, an "observant, tender, and honest" meditation on the experience of motherhood.

The Vietnam Reader: The Definitive Collection of Fiction and Nonfiction on the War
The Vietnam Reader
The Definitive Collection of Fiction and Nonfiction on the War
Paperback      ISBN: 0385491182
An extraordinary selection of the finest and best-known art from the American war in Vietnam, from Tim O'Brien to Marvin Gaye, from mainstream bestsellers to radical poetry.

This authoritative and accessible volume includes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, film, photography, and popular song lyrics from the Vietnam War era, covering a breadth of experiences and perspectives. Also included are incisive reader's questions--useful for educators and book clubs--in a volume that makes an essential contribution to a wider understanding of the Vietnam War.

An indispensable and provocative read for anyone who wants to know more about the war that changed the face of late-twentieth-century America.
Anatomy of Restlessness: Selected Writings 1969-1989
Anatomy of Restlessness
Selected Writings 1969-1989
Paperback      ISBN: 0140256989

Although he is best known for his luminous reports from the farthest-flung corners of the earth, Bruce Chatwin possessed a literary sensibility that reached beyond the travel narrative to span a world of topics--from art and antiques to archaeology and architecture. This spirited collection of previously neglected or unpublished essays, articles, short stories, travel sketches, and criticism represents every aspect and period of Chatwin's career as it reveals an abiding theme in his work: his fascination with, and hunger for, the peripatetic existence. While Chatwin's poignant search for a suitable place to "hang his hat," his compelling arguments for the nomadic "alternative," his revealing fictional accounts of exile and the exotic, and his wickedly en pointe social history of Capri prove him to be an excellent observer of social and cultural mores, Chatwin's own restlessness, his yearning to be on the move, glimmers beneath every surface of this dazzling body of work.

The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh
The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh
Paperback      ISBN: 0140446745
"If ever there was any doubt that Van Gogh's letters belong beside those great classics of artistic self-revelation, Cellini's autobiography and Delacroix's journal, this excellent edition dispels it."
--The Times (London)

"Be clearly aware of the stars and infinity on high. Then life seems almost enchanted after all."

Few artists' letters are as self-revelatory as Vincent Van Gogh's, and the selection included here, spanning the whole of his artistic career, sheds light on every facet of the life and work of this complex and tortured man. Engaging candidly and movingly with his religious struggles, his ill-fated search for love, his intense relationship with his brother Theo and his attacks of mental illness, the letters contradict the popular image of Van Gogh as an anti-social madman and a martyr to art, showing instead that he was capable of great emotional and spiritual depths. Above all, they stand as an intense personal narrative of artistic development and a unique account of the process of creation.
The letters are linked by explanatory biographical passages, revealing Van Gogh's inner journey as well as the outer facts of his life. This edition includes the drawings that originally illustrated the letters.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay: An Anthology
Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay
An Anthology
Hardcover      ISBN: 0393047008

An electrifying collection of the finest, most entertaining, and illuminating writing on and from the rock and roll scene--from its earliest days to the present, from the brightest moments of the biggest stars to obscure but compellingly significant treasures. The crazy, exhilarating, endlessly creative world of rock and roll has fascinated us--and some of our best writers--since the earliest days of the genre. William McKeen has assembled in this book the writing of those who played the music and pushed it to new limits, as well as those who were on the scene to witness and celebrate its magic. The story of rock and roll music and the rock and roll life lifts from these pages with marvelous immediacy, in selections ranging from Bruce Springsteen on his experience of backing up Chuck Berry, to Joan Didion sitting in on a Doors recording session, to Henry Rollins on Madonna, to Roddy Doyle's The Commitments. Tom Wolfe, Patti Smith, Don DeLillo, John Lennon, Frank Zappa, Nick Hornby, and many others contribute to this portrait of the music and its culture from its ancestors in the blues to its latest variants beyond grunge and rap. The book is organized into sections that create provocative and eye-opening juxtapositions, from "Superstardom" to "Weirdness," from "Present at the Creation" to "Soul." A section on rock critics shows how these writers matched the music with their own sharp rhythm, while "Tributes" rounds off the volume by remembering in their glory some of the greats who are making noise in the hereafter.

Prisons We Choose to Live Inside
Prisons We Choose to Live Inside
Paperback      ISBN: 0060390778

"One of the most important writers of the past hundred years." --The Times (London)

In this perceptive collection of essays, Doris Lessing addresses directly the prime questions before us all: how to think for ourselves, how to understand what we know, how to pick a path in a world deluged with opinions and information, and how to look at our society and ourselves with fresh eyes.

Gift from the Sea: 50th Anniversary Edition
Gift from the Sea
50th Anniversary Edition
Hardcover      ISBN: 0679406832

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.
Walden and Civil Disobedience
Walden and Civil Disobedience
Paperback      ISBN: 0140390448
A transcendentalist classic on social responsibility and a manifesto that inspired modern protest movements

Critical of 19th-century America's booming commercialism and industrialism, Henry David Thoreau moved to a small cabin in the woods of Concord, Massachusetts in 1845. Walden, the account of his stay near Walden Pond, conveys at once a naturalist's wonder at the commonplace and a transcendentalist's yearning for spiritual truth and self-reliance. But Thoreau's embrace of solitude and simplicity did not entail a withdrawal from social and political matters. Civil Disobedience, also included in this volume, expresses his antislavery and antiwar sentiments, and has influenced resistance movements worldwide. Both give rewarding insight into a free-minded, principled and idiosyncratic life.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Henry James: Travel Writings Vol. 2 (Loa #65): The Continent
Henry James: Travel Writings Vol. 2 (Loa #65)
The Continent
Hardcover      ISBN: 0940450771

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.
One Life at a Time, Please
One Life at a Time, Please
Paperback      ISBN: 0805006036

From stories about cattlemen, fellow critics, his beloved desert, cities, and technocrats to thoughts on sin and redemption, this is one of our most treasured writers at the height of his powers.