Stay tuned for the rest of the list soon, but here is the first part of our spring 2014 season. Enjoy.
The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos by Patrick Leigh Fermor
The long-awaited conclusion to Leigh Fermor’s account of his youthful walk through pre-war Europe follows…
NYRB Classics just released the first installment of their Spring 2014 Preview, and it features the likes of William H. Gass, Jean-Patrick Manchette, and Qiu Miaojin. Stay tuned for the second installment, which they say will come soon.
Books you want
Books you didn’t know you wanted
Presents for your niece
(and lots of books not even shown in the picture)
Check out the whole sale.
New York Review of Books Classics is having its annual Summer Sale, and some of the bundles this year are particularly enticing. For instance, you can grab perennial Millions favorite (and current international bestseller) Stoner as part of a bundle that also includes Renata Adler’s Speedboat. The publishers are also offering John Horne Burns’s lost masterpiece, The Gallery, as part of a collection of World War II novels. You may recall David Margolick’s great profile of Burns from the New York Times Magazine last month.
My experience of narrative — particularly in New York City, where every approaching train cuts off every approaching thought, where the constant abrasion of the unknown with the insane desensitizes, so that I’m often left with white noise, and jagged notes from the digital world seep further into reality — is piecemeal. I had a friend who assured me that it was impossible to read certain books in the 21st-century city. Henry James, for instance. You need a quiet nook, she said. Otherwise, ‘before you’ve even finished one sentence’ — but she was cut off. I became fascinated with this idea of a patchwork approach. Certainly, it’s nothing new, but who did it well?
"Scrolling through news bits and status updates between passages of Speedboat, I’m floored by how the novel reads as a somewhat verbose Twitter feed. That is, verbose for Twitter. Succinct for anything else.”
In the Wake of Speedboat: On Renata Adler’s 1976 Novel by Eric Dean Wilson
You see things differently when you’re in love. Two outpatients from a methadone clinic slap each other on the corner. A goiter rides the crosstown bus. We attend a dinner party; none of the dogs have tails. Men in the map room of the New York Public Library surveil passing breasts. Nights slip by. I sit on the curb outside a magazine launch and watch a famous author pour cold water down a woman’s arm. ‘Don’t be jealous,’ my companion says impatiently, cupping his own elbows. ‘He’s only applying a temporary tattoo.’
I was in love and then I wasn’t, and sometime during the drifting gray interim I was told by a bookseller friend to read Renata Adler’s 1976 debut, Speedboat, a novel that had long been out of print but was absolutely, he insisted, worth the trouble of the search.
”[Kingsley] Amis and [Philip] Larkin complain about women as often as they complain about writers, though here their troubles diverge. ‘I really do not think it likely I shall ever get into the same bed as anyone again because it is so much trouble, almost as much trouble as standing for parliament,’ writes Larkin, who was stooped, balding and myopic. Amis, who was tall and broad-shouldered, with a full head of hair, responds by regaling Larkin with tales of the multiple women he was juggling.”
- Keith Gessen introduces Lucky Jim