"Reading Julia Alvarez's new collection of essays is like curling up with a glass of wine in one hand and the phone in the other, listening to a big-hearted, wisecracking friend share hard-earned wisdom about family, identity, and the art of writing." --People
The rich and revealing essays in Something to Declare offer Julia Alvarez's dual meditations on coming to America and becoming a writer. In the first section, "Customs," Alvarez relates how she and her family fled the Dominican Republic and its oppressive dictator, Rafael Trujillo, settling in New York City in the 1960s. Here Julia begins a love affair with the English language under the tutelage of the aptly named Sister Maria Generosa. Part Two--"Declarations"--celebrates Alvarez's enduring passion for the writing life. From the valentine to mythic storyteller Scheherazade that is "First Muse," to a description of Alvarez's itinerant life as a struggling poet, teacher, and writer in "Have Typewriter, Will Travel," to the sage and witty advice of "Ten of My Writing Commandments," Alvarez generously shares her influences and inspirations with aspiring writers everywhere.
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 This spirited collection of previously neglected or unpublished essays, articles, short stories, travel sketches, and criticism represents every aspect and period of Chatwin's career as it reveals an abiding theme in his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 eccentric, manic, often moving collaborative explorations of London's hidden streets, cemeteries, parks and canals by photographer Marc Atkins and writer Iain Sinclair were first recorded in Sinclair's highly acclaimed 1997 book Lights Out for the Territory, praised in the Guardian as "one of the most remarkable books ever written on London." Liquid City documents Atkins and Sinclair's further peregrinations, focusing on the city's eastern and south-eastern quadrants. An array of famous and lesser-known writers, booksellers and film-makers slip in and out of Sinclair's annotations, as do memories and remnants of the East End's criminal mobs. The title Liquid City is meant to evoke the Thames, which flows silently through the photographic and textual narrative, and to suggest the changes London has undergone and, like all cities, is constantly undergoing.
Reflections by the creator of the essay form display the humane, skeptical, humorous, and honest views of Montaigne, revealing his thoughts on sexuality, religion, cannibals, intellectuals, and other unexpected themes. Included are such celebrated works as "On Solitude," "To Philosophize Is to Learn How to Die," and "On Experience."
Letters chronicle a century of life in the United States, from Mark Twain's humorous letter to the head of Western Union to Einstein's warning to Roosevelt about atomic warfare and a young Bill Gates begging hobbyists not to share software.
Joseph Mitchell was a legendary New Yorker writer and the author of the national bestseller Up in the Old Hotel, in which these two pieces appeared. What Joseph Mitchell wrote about, principally, was New York. In Joe Gould, Mitchell found the perfect subject. And Joe Gould's Secret has become a legendary piece of New York history.
Joe Gould may have been the quintessential Greenwich Village bohemian. In 1916, he left behind patrician roots for a scrappy, hand-to-mouth existence: he wore ragtag clothes, slept in Bowery flophouses, and mooched food, drinks, and money off of friends and strangers. Thus he was able to devote his energies to writing "An Oral History of Our Time," which Gould said would constitute "the informal history of the shirt-sleeved multitude." But when Joe Gould died in 1957, the manuscript could not be found. Where had he hidden it? This is Joe Gould's Secret.
" Mitchell is] one of our finest journalists."--Dawn Powell, The Washington Post
"What people say is history--Joe Gould was right about that--and history, when recorded by Mitchell, is literature."--The New Criterion
This classic guide, from the renowned novelist and professor, has helped transform generations of aspiring writers into masterful writers--and will continue to do so for many years to come.John Gardner was almost as famous as a teacher of creative writing as he was for his own works. In this practical, instructive handbook, based on the courses and seminars that he gave, he explains, simply and cogently, the principles and techniques of good writing. Gardner's lessons, exemplified with detailed excerpts from classic works of literature, sweep across a complete range of topics--from the nature of aesthetics to the shape of a refined sentence. Written with passion, precision, and a deep respect for the art of writing, Gardner's book serves by turns as a critic, mentor, and friend. Anyone who has ever thought of taking the step from reader to writer should begin here.
" "Mythologies"] illustrates the beautiful generosity of Barthes's progressive interest in the meaning (his word is signification) of practically everything around him, not only the books and paintings of high art, but also the slogans, trivia, toys, food, and popular rituals (cruises, striptease, eating, wrestling matches) of contemporary life . . . For Barthes, words and objects have in common the organized capacity to say something; at the same time, since they are signs, words and objects have the bad faith always to appear natural to their consumer, as if what they say is eternal, true, necessary, instead of arbitrary, made, contingent. "Mythologies" finds Barthes revealing the fashioned systems of ideas that make it possible, for example, for 'Einstein's brain' to stand for, be the myth of, 'a genius so lacking in magic that one speaks about his thought as a functional labor analogous to the mechanical making of sausages.' Each of the little essays in this book wrenches a definition out of a common but constructed object, making the object speak its hidden, but ever-so-present, reservoir of manufactured sense."--Edward W. Said
This major collection demonstrates the extent to which Thomas Paine was an inspiration to the Americans in their struggle for independence, a passionate supporter of the French Revolution and perhaps the outstanding English radical writer of his age. It contains all of Paine's major works including Rights of Man, his groundbreaking defence of the revolutionary cause in France; Common Sense, which won thousands over to the side of the American rebels; and the first part of The Age of Reason, a ferocious attack on Christianity. The shorter pieces--on capital punishment, social reform and the abolition of slavery--also confirm the great versatility and power of this master of democratic prose.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.