The Absent City
Ricardo Piglia Duke University Press, 2000 Library of Congress PQ7798.26.I4C5813 2000 | Dewey Decimal 863.64
Widely acclaimed throughout Latin America after its 1992 release in Argentina, The Absent City takes the form of a futuristic detective novel. In the end, however, it is a meditation on the nature of totalitarian regimes, on the transition to democracy after the end of such regimes, and on the power of language to create and define reality. Ricardo Piglia combines his trademark avant-garde aesthetics with astute cultural and political insights into Argentina’s history and contemporary condition in this conceptually daring and entertaining work. The novel follows Junior, a reporter for a daily Buenos Aires newspaper, as he attempts to locate a secret machine that contains the mind and the memory of a woman named Elena. While Elena produces stories that reflect on actual events in Argentina, the police are seeking her destruction because of the revelations of atrocities that she—the machine—is disseminating through texts and taped recordings. The book thus portrays the race to recover the history and memory of a city and a country where history has largely been obliterated by political repression. Its narratives—all part of a detective story, all part of something more—multiply as they intersect with each other, like the streets and avenues of Buenos Aires itself. The second of Piglia’s novels to be translated by Duke University Press—the first was Artifical Respiration—this book continues the author’s quest to portray the abuses and atrocities that characterize dictatorships as well as the difficulties associated with making the transition to democracy. Translated and with an introduction by Sergio Waisman, it includes a new afterword by the author.
Absinthe 24 pushes and prods Hellenism beyond its geographic and cultural comfort zones, and sets it tumbling off beyond both internal and external borders of its nation-state, in a wide-ranging but always site-specific and localized itinerary. At each stop along the way, this Greekness finds its plurals—hence the “Hellenisms” of the title. While they present no unified topography, tongue or even topic, these Hellenisms map out the contours of a shared conversation. Today’s Hellenism isn’t limited to Hellas, nor to the Hellenic language. The selected texts in this volume explore Greece from the perspective of visitors, displaced persons, and marginalized people looking in, or, conversely, from the perspective of locals striving to break out.
Absinthe: A Journal of World Literature in Translation publishes foreign literature in English translation, with a particular focus on previously untranslated contemporary fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction by living authors. The magazine has its home in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan and is edited by graduate students in the Department, as well as by occasional guest editors.
Acceleration Hours: Stories
Jesse Goolsby University of Nevada Press, 2020 Library of Congress PS3607.O59254 | Dewey Decimal 813.01083581
2020 Reading the West Book Awards, Longlist for Fiction
2020 Foreword INDIE awards, longlist
From the author of the critically-acclaimed novel, I’d Walk with My Friends If I Could Find Them, Jesse Goolsby’s Acceleration Hours is a haunting collection of narratives about families, life, and loss during America’s twenty-first-century forever wars. Set across the mountain west of the United States, these fierce, original, and compelling stories illuminate the personal search for human connection and intimacy. From a stepfather’s grief to an AWOL soldier and her journey of reconciliation to a meditation on children, violence, and hope, Acceleration Hours is an intense and necessary portrayal of the many voices living in a time of perpetual war.
An epic story of a Bedouin family’s survival and legacy amid their changing world in the unforgiving Sahara Desert.
Ahmed is a camel herder, as his father was before him and as his young son Abdullahi will be after him. The days of Ahmed and the other families in their nomadic freeg are ruled by the rhythms of changing seasons, the needs of his beloved camel herd, and the rich legends and stories that link his life to centuries of tradition.
But Ahmed’s world is threatened—by the French colonizers just beyond the horizon, the urbanization of the modern world, and a drought more deadly than any his people have known. At first, Ahmed attempts to ignore these forces by concentrating on the ancient routines of herding life. But these routines are broken when a precious camel named Zarga goes missing. Saddling his trusted Laamesh, praying at the appointed hours, and singing the songs of his fathers for strength, Ahmed sets off to recover Zarga on a perilous journey that will bring him face to face with the best and the worst of humanity and test every facet of his Bedouin desert survival skills.
A major literary event, the publication of this masterly translation makes one of the towering works of twentieth-century German literature available to English-speaking readers for the first time. The three-volume novel The Aesthetics of Resistance is the crowning achievement of Peter Weiss, the internationally renowned dramatist best known for his play Marat/Sade. The first volume, presented here, was initially published in Germany in 1975; the third and final volume appeared in 1981, just six months before Weiss’s death.
Spanning the period from the late 1930s to World War II, this historical novel dramatizes antifascist resistance and the rise and fall of proletarian political parties in Europe. Living in Berlin in 1937, the unnamed narrator and his peers—sixteen- and seventeen-year-old working-class students—seek ways to express their hatred for the Nazi regime. They meet in museums and galleries, and in their discussions they explore the affinity between political resistance and art, the connection at the heart of Weiss’s novel. Weiss suggests that meaning lies in embracing resistance, no matter how intense the oppression, and that we must look to art for new models of political action and social understanding. The novel includes extended meditations on paintings, sculpture, and literature. Moving from the Berlin underground to the front lines of the Spanish Civil War and on to other parts of Europe, the story teems with characters, almost all of whom are based on historical figures. The Aesthetics of Resistance is one of the truly great works of postwar German literature and an essential resource for understanding twentieth-century German history.
A major literary event, the publication of the second volume of Peter Weiss's three-volume novel The Aesthetics of Resistance makes one of the towering works of twentieth-century German literature available to English-speaking readers for the first time. The crowning achievement of Peter Weiss, the internationally renowned writer best known for his play Marat/Sade, The Aesthetics of Resistance spans the period from the late 1930s to World War II, dramatizing antifascist resistance and the rise and fall of proletarian political parties in Europe.
Volume II, initially published in 1978, opens with the unnamed narrator in Paris after having retreated from the front lines of the Spanish Civil War. From there, he moves on to Stockholm, where he works in a factory, becomes involved with the Communist Party, and meets Bertolt Brecht. Featuring the narrator's extended meditations on paintings, sculpture, and literature, the novel teems with characters, almost all of whom are based on historical figures. Throughout, the narrator explores the affinity between political resistance and art—the connection at the heart of Weiss's novel. Weiss suggests that meaning lies in embracing resistance, no matter how intense the oppression, and that we must look to art for new models of political action and social understanding. The Aesthetics of Resistance is one of the truly great works of postwar German literature and an essential resource for understanding twentieth-century German history.
After the Divorce
Grazia Deledda Northwestern University Press, 1995 Library of Congress PQ4811.E6N313 1995 | Dewey Decimal 853.8
The novel begins with Costantino Ledda's conviction and sentencing for the murder of his cruel uncle. Though innocent of the crime, he accepts the guilty verdict as punishment for marrying Giovanna Era through a civil ceremony rather than an expensive church wedding. When her husband is taken away, Giovanna has no way to provide for herself, her mother, and her son, who soon dies of malnutrition. Out of desperation she divorces Costantino, according to a new law for wives of convicts, and marries a wealthy but brutish landowner. When the true murderer confesses and Costantino returns, he and Giovanna begin a forbidden and ultimately destructive affair.
Deleda's tragic story of poverty, passion, and guilt portrays the primitive and remote world of the church, pre-Christian superstitions, and laws dictated from the mainland, in her native Sardinia, where society hangs in a delicate balance. Once this order is disrupted, none of these characters can escape the spiral of destruction dictated by fate, God, and society.
Afternoon Men: A Novel
Anthony Powell University of Chicago Press, 2014 Library of Congress PR6031.O74A73 2015 | Dewey Decimal 823.912
Written from a vantage point both high and deliberately narrow, the early novels of the late British master Anthony Powell nevertheless deal in the universal themes that would become a substantial part of his oeuvre: pride, greed, and the strange drivers of human behavior.
More explorations of relationships and vanity than plot-driven narratives, Powell’s early works reveal the stirrings of the unequaled style, ear for dialogue, and eye for irony that would reach their caustic peak in his epic, A Dance to the Music of Time.
In Afternoon Men, the earliest and perhaps most acid of Powell’s novels, we meet the museum clerk William Atwater, a young man stymied in both his professional and romantic endeavors. Immersed in Atwater’s coterie of acquaintances—a similarly unsatisfied cast of rootless, cocktail-swilling London sophisticates—we learn of the conflict between his humdrum work life and louche social scene, of his unrequited love, and, during a trip to the country, of the absurd contrivances of proper manners.
A satire that verges on nihilism and a story touched with sexism and equal doses self-loathing and self-medication, AfternoonMen has a grim edge to it. But its dialogue sparks and its scenes grip, and for aficionados of Powell, this first installment in his literary canon will be a welcome window onto the mind of a great artist learning his craft.
Against a Darkening Sky
Janet Lewis Ohio University Press, 1943 Library of Congress PS3523.E866A7 1985 | Dewey Decimal 813.52
Against a Darkening Sky was originally published in 1943. Set in a semirural community south of San Francisco, it is the story of an American mother of the mid-1930s and the sustaining influence she brings, through her own profound strength and faith, to the lives of her four growing children.
Scottish by birth, but long a resident of America, Mary Perrault is married to a Swiss-French gardener. Their life in South Encina, though anything but lavish, is gay, serene, and friendly. As their children mature and the world outside, less peaceful and secure than the Perrault home, begins to threaten the equilibrium of their tranquil lives, Mrs. Perrault becomes increasingly aware of a moral wilderness rising from the physical wilderness which her generation has barely conquered.
Her struggle to influence, while not invading the lives of her children, is the focus of this novel of family life during the Depression years.
Against the Flood
Ma Van Khang Northwestern University Press, 2000 Library of Congress PL4378.9.M25N4813 2000 | Dewey Decimal 895.922334
Against the Flood caused a sensation in Viet Nam when it was published in 1999 because of its controversial description of sex and politics in that country. The plot revolves around a writer, Khiem, whose book is banned and who is publicly censured by his contemporaries, while the tangled relationships in his own circle involve drug-trafficking and adultery. His lover, a pretty and intelligent woman, is slandered and sacked from her job and becomes involved in the opium trade. Meanwhile, his wife, a smuggler, has an extramarital affair that results in pregnancy. The novel presents a vivid picture of contemporary Vietnamese society, examining the dramatic tensions inherent in a changing society, and is imbued with the themes of friendship, love, and betrayal.
“At its essence, this enjoyable collection explores how nothing is ever exactly as it seems.”—Booklist
“These ingenious stories are so funny and sparkling and slyly inventive that their pain catches you by surprise, like a sunburn after a day at the beach.”—Eric Puchner
In Becky Hagenston’s fourth collection, the real and the fantastic collide in stories that span from Mississippi to Europe, and from the recent past to the near future. The characters are sex-toy sellers, internet trolls, parents, students, and babysitters—all trying to make sense of a world where nothing is quite what it appears to be. A service robot makes increasingly disturbing requests. A middle school teacher is accused of witchcraft—and realizes the accusations might be true. Two college students devise a way to avoid getting hit on in bars. A baker finds bizarre anomalies in his sourdough. A librarian follows her dead ex-husband through the Atlanta airport. In these stories, men and women confront grief, danger, loneliness, and sometimes—the strangest discovery of all—unexpected joy. Hagenston delivers a collection that is, at its weird and shining heart, about people discovering what—for better or worse—they are capable of.
Agents and Patients: A Novel
Anthony Powell University of Chicago Press, 2014 Library of Congress PR6031.O74A74 2014 | Dewey Decimal 823.912
Unsavory artists, titled boobs, and charlatans with an affinity for Freud—such are the oddballs whose antics animate the early novels of the late British master Anthony Powell. A genius of social satire delivered with a very dry wit, Powell builds his comedies on the foibles of British high society between the wars, delving into subjects as various as psychoanalysis, the film industry, publishing, and (of course) sex. More explorations of relationships and vanity than plot-driven narratives, these slim novels reveal the early stirrings of the unequaled style, ear for dialogue, and eye for irony that would reach their caustic peak in Powell’s epic A Dance to the Music of Time.
In Agents and Patients, we return to London with the newly wealthy, memorably named Blore-Smith: an innocent, decent enough chap . . . and a drip. Vulnerable to the machinations of those with less money and more lust, Blore-Smith falls victim to two con artists whose ploys carry him through to the art galleries and whorehouses of Paris, Berlin, and beyond.
Written from a vantage point both high and necessarily narrow, Powell’s early novels nevertheless deal in the universal themes that would become a substantial part of his oeuvre: pride, greed, and what makes people behave as they do. Filled with eccentric characters and piercing insights, Powell’s work is achingly hilarious, human, and true.
Wendy Rawlings University of Michigan Press, 2007 Library of Congress PS3618.A958A38 2007 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
“Who knows if there’s a God? There’s us, now, and caterpillars and other insects and mulch. So thinks Stephen Wirth as he watches his marriage collapse. Between bouts of alcoholism and attempts to restore a fleet of decrepit boats, Stephen does his best to help his daughters cope with their mother having fallen in love with another woman. But growing up and making sense of the world is something the girls must do on their own, just as for their mother there is no easy way around building a new life. Set on Long Island, The Agnostics follows the Wirths through several decades as they struggle to redefine themselves and their idea of family.
Painting with a fine and delicate brush, Wendy Rawlings reveals her characters’ lives as a series of discrete moments, illuminating the intimate story of one American middle-class family.
“Already an accomplished stylist, Rawlings has given us a first novel that is at once delicate and intense. The characters are so finely engraved and their passions so recognizable, the river of their daily lives runs so broad and deep, in the end we feel not that we have merely read about them but that we have lived with them, side by side. A poignant, exquisitely focused book.”
—Sigrid Nunez, author of The Last of Her Kind
The Airship: Incantations
Adam Tipps Weinstein University of Alabama Press, 2021 Library of Congress PS3623.E4324465A76 2021 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
A hypnotic tale of a Jewish refugee from Europe and his three years stranded aboard the Vasari The Airship is the entrancing fictional biography of Nathan Cohen, who was deported from the US in 1912 under the Alien Act and spent the first years of World War I on a passenger ship, shuttled between the US and Argentina. Newspapers called him “The Wandering Jew” and “The Man Without a Country,” speculating he would spend the rest of his life at sea.
Adam Tipps Weinstein provides a wise, rich, nuanced, and mischievous exploration of Cohen’s emigration from Bauska, in the Russian Pale of Settlement, to Las Pampas, in Argentina. The Airship is finally Cohen’s wish for a new line of flight, which he realizes when he launches his beloved Laika, aboard a scavenged hot-air balloon.
Told through a series of incantations—spells, songs, folk tales, ghosts, charms—the book traces Cohen’s biography across time and a great expanse of geography. The concepts of home and homeland are stretched until they break. Was there ever a home? The Airship incants these paradoxes of location, nationality, faith, and belonging in a bordered and borderless world.
All Coyote's Children
Bette Lynch Husted Oregon State University Press, 2018 Library of Congress PS3608.U852 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
Jack and Annie Fallon had been living what seemed the ideal life with their son Riley, spending the school year in Portland, where Jack was a professor of Native American history, and summers at Jack’s family ranch in northeastern Oregon, on land surrounded by the Umatilla Indian Reservation. But a good way of life can disappear almost overnight, as the Umatilla, Cayuse, and Walla Walla peoples already know. Now the teenage Riley is in rehab, Jack has disappeared without a trace into the remote wilderness, and Annie is recovering from her own hospitalization following a mental health crisis.
Still fragile, a bereft Annie returns to the ranch, where she is befriended by Leona, a Umatilla-Cayuse neighbor. Leona, as it turns out, has a long connection to the family that even Jack never knew about. At the time of his disappearance, Jack had been grappling with his family’s legacy—with the conflicts and consequences of white settlement of native ground. Three generations before he was born, the family ranch was taken from the Umatilla reservation through the Allotment Act. Jack’s mother died when he was six, but his father’s stern presence still cast a shadow on the land.
“Survival is hard sometimes,” Leona says, but with her help, Annie is able to bring Riley home from rehab and begin the work of healing their small family, learning, season by season, how to go on living without Jack. Leona, Riley’s friends Alex and Mattie, and old neighbors Gus and Audrey become a larger family for Annie as they share the stories that connect them—long-silenced stories from both cultures that could solve the mystery of Jack’s disappearance.
In prose that is lyrical and clear-eyed, All Coyote’s Children weaves an unforgettable tale of cultures and families caught in the inescapable web of who they are and what they have inherited.
All Night Movie
Alicia Borinsky Northwestern University Press, 2002 Library of Congress PQ7798.12.O687C5613 2002 | Dewey Decimal 863.64
An irreverent picaresque, All Night Movie follows the adventures of a young woman determined to conquer the world. A rogues' gallery of labor union leaders, cultists, lesbians, murderers, ne'er-do-wells, prostitutes, and visitors to a disconcertingly erotic telephone booth accompany the picara as she pushes the limits established in patriarchal postdictatorship Argentina. With lyric prose, Alicia Borinsky creates a hypnotic kaleidoscope of voices--a tantalizing and illuminating mix of the pop culture, politics, sexuality, tango, and cinema of an enigmatic society that celebrates its own demise.
In June 1939 Annemarie Schwarzenbach and fellow writer Ella Maillart set out from Geneva in a Ford, heading for Afghanistan. The first women to travel Afghanistan’s Northern Road, they fled the storm brewing in Europe to seek a place untouched by what they considered to be Western neuroses.
The Afghan journey documented in All the Roads Are Open is one of the most important episodes of Schwarzenbach’s turbulent life. Her incisive, lyrical essays offer a unique glimpse of an Afghanistan already touched by the “fateful laws known as progress,” a remote yet “sensitive nerve centre of world politics” caught amid great powers in upheaval. In her writings, Schwarzenbach conjures up the desolate beauty of landscapes both internal and external, reflecting on the longings and loneliness of travel as well as its grace.
Maillart’s account of their trip, The Cruel Way, stands as a classic of travel literature, and, now available for the first time in English, Schwarzenbach’s memoir rounds out the story of the adventure.
Praise for the German Edition
“Above all, [Schwarzenbach’s] discovery of the Orient was a personal one. But the author never loses sight of the historical and social context. . . . She shows no trace of colonialist arrogance. In fact, the pieces also reflect the experience of crisis, the loss of confidence which, in that decade, seized the long-arrogant culture of the West.”—Süddeutsche Zeitung
Traveling through China in 1989, not long after the Tiananmen Square massacre, Fanny hopes to make sense of her brother Bruno’s death in a motorcycle accident by finding a woman with whom he had exchanged letters. On her journey Fanny’s fate becomes entwined with a handsome British rogue, an American of Russian-Cuban descent returning to Tashkent, and two Chinese men—one who loves Charles Dickens, the other a budding, entrepreneurial con man—struggling to find their way in a country undergoing tumultuous transformation. Kathleen Lee’s debut novel explores the tension between the allure of the unfamiliar that draws us to distant lands and its unbidden tendency to reveal us to ourselves. With its rollicking sense of humor and slyly lyrical voice, as well as an extraordinary deftness in the rendering of place, All Things Tending towards the Eternal is an unforgettable ride.
The complex friendship between a black housekeeper and her Jewish employer is at the heart of Hoffman’s prize-winning novel about life in the civil rights era South
Nebraska Waters is black. Vivian Gold is Jewish. In an Alabama kitchen where, for nearly thirty years, they share cups of coffee, fret over their children, and watch the civil rights movement unfold out their window, and into their homes, they are like family—almost.
As Nebraska makes her way, day in and out, to Vivian’s house to cook and help tend the Gold children, the “almost” threatens to widen into a great divide. The two women’s husbands affect their relationship, as do their children, Viv Waters and Benjamin Gold, born the same year and coming of age in a changing South. The bond between the women both strengthens and frays.
Winner of the Lillian Smith Book Award and Alabama Library Association Award for fiction, Roy Hoffman’s Almost Family explores the relationship that begins when one person goes to work for another, and their friendship—across lines of race, income, and religion—develops degrees of understanding yet growing misunderstanding. This edition commemorates the 35th anniversary of the book’s publication and features a foreword by the author and includes a discussion guide for readers and book clubs.
With brilliantly vivid irony, a mosaic of voices tells the true story of Switzerland's most notorious bank robbers: Kurt Sandweg and Waldemar Velte. As 1933 draws to a close, the pair arrive in Basel from Wuppertal, Germany. Rebels on the run, they are searching for an escape from the confines of a callously regimented society left impoverished by the Depression and the onset of Nazi power. However, their desperation leads them to a realm outside reality, on a destructive path of vengeance for the world's abhorrent lack of justice. Resolute on their doomed mission, neither expected to fall in love. Seen through the benign eyes of Dorly Schupp, the agonising humanity of their relationships are sharply juxtaposed against the reckless cruelty of their crimes. Yet in a world equally heartless and unremitting, who should shoulder the blame? Capus relates the portrait of these chillingly charismatic figures in a curious blend of documentary and narrative where precision of detail collides with an economy of emotion, and leaves the desolation of their situation stark and blindingly poignant. Suspended between the tragic and comic, Capus's novel mimics the absurd idiosyncrasies of life where often nothing but interpretation is left to determine the sacred from the profane.
The first American novel by a writer of Japanese ancestry, The American Diary of a Japanese Girl is a landmark of modern American fiction and Japanese American transnationalism. First published in 1902, Yone Noguchi's novel describes the turn-of-the-century adventures of Tokyo belle Miss Morning Glory in a first-person narrative that The New York Times called "perfectly ingenuous and unconventional." Initially published as an authentic journal, the Diary was later revealed to be a playful autobiographical fiction written by a man. No less than her creator, Miss Morning Glory delights in disguises, unabashedly switching gender, class, and ethnic roles. Targeting the American fantasy of Madame Butterfly, Noguchi's New Woman heroine prays for "something more decent than a marriage offer," and freely dispenses her insights on Japanese culture and American lifestyles. With the addition of perceptive critical commentary and comprehensive notes, this first annotated edition sheds new light on the creative inventiveness of an important modernist writer.
Ryan Ridge University of Michigan Press, 2015 Library of Congress PS3618.I3916A84 2015 | Dewey Decimal 818.6
Poetry / Fiction / Art / Aphorisms. American Homes incorporates poetry, prose, and various schematic devices, including dozens of illustrations by the artist Jacob Heustis, to create a cracked narrative of the domestic spaces we inhabit.
And Never Said a Word
Heinrich Boll Northwestern University Press, 1994 Library of Congress PT2603.O394U513 1994 | Dewey Decimal 833.914
"First published in 1953, And Never Said a Word is one of Heinrich BÃ¶ll's richest works, a novel that explores marriage with depth and compassion. BÃ¶ll evokes an entire emotional world in the space of a day and a half as a husband and wife alternately relate a story of love and isolation, poverty and injustice. Weakness, as well as strength, provides the subtle emotional threads that form the bonds of their love; and they discover married life takes a far greater toll on those who love than on those whose hearts are empty.
""BÃ¶ll is a master storyteller."" --New York Times
""BÃ¶ll has a talent with fiction that is not hindered by translation--a low-key grace of style and a depth of human understanding."" --Publishers' Weekly"
"This is a fascinating, enjoyable book. It could well be used in study groups at the high school or college level to explore both history and attitudes toward deafness."
"The editors are not enthralled, as so many of us seem to be, simply that deaf (or disabled) characters exist in literature; they ask why... The rest of the disability movement could learn from them."
--The Disability Rag
Dickens, Welty, and Turgenev are only three of the master storytellers in Angels and Outcasts. This remarkable collection of 14 short stories offers insights into what it means to be deaf in a hearing world.
The book is divided into three parts: the first section explores works by nineteenth-century authors; the second section concentrates on stories by twentieth-century authors; and the final section focuses on stories by authors who are themselves deaf.
Each section begins with an introduction by the editors, and each story is preceded by a preface. Angels and Outcasts concludes with an annotated bibliography of other prose works about the deaf experience. In addition to fascinating reading, it provides valuable insights into the world of the deaf.
Trent Batson is Director of Academic Technology at Gallaudet University.
Eugene Bergman, former Associate professor of English at Gallaudet University, is now retired.
Widely regarded as a major writer of his generation, Yuri Trifonov tolerated attack and admiration in the Soviet Union. His novellas are celebrated as being in the tradition of great nineteenth-century Russian writing. In "Another Life," a woman suddenly widowed attempts to grasp the memory of her brilliant, erratic husband, and to understand their life together. "The House on the Embankment" is the story of an academic opportunist who rises to apparatchik but suffers the oppression of society, friends, and most of all his inability to make decisions.
Renewed interest in aesthetics, in form, and the idea of the literary has led some scholars to announce the arrival of a “new formalism,” but the provisional histories of such a critical rebirth tend to begin well after the beginning, paying scant attention to medieval literary scholarship, much less the Middle Ages. The essays in Answerable Style: The Idea of the Literary in Medieval England offer a collective rebuke to the assumption that any such aesthetic turn can succeed without careful attention to the history and criticism of “the medieval literary.”
Taking as their touchstone the influential work of Anne Middleton, whose searching explorations of the dialectical intersection of form and history in Middle English writing lie at the heart of the medievalist’s literary critical enterprise, the essays in this volume address the medieval idea of the literary, with special focus on the poetry of Chaucer, Langland, and Gower. The essays, by a notable array of medievalists, range from the “contact zones” between clerical culture and vernacular writing, to manuscript study and its effects on the modalities of “persona” and voicing, to the history of emotion as a basis for new literary ideals, to the reshapings of the genre of tragedy in response to late-medieval visions of history, and finally to the relations between poets writing in different medieval vernaculars. With this unusually broad yet thematically complementary set of essays, Answerable Style offers a set of key critical and historical reference points for questions currently preoccupying literary study.
Evgeniya Tur Northwestern University Press, 1996 Library of Congress PG3418.T75A8513 1996 | Dewey Decimal 891.733
Patterned on the novels of the Brontë sisters, Antonina is a poignant account of a young Russian whose life is shaped by the cruel neglect of her stepparents, the financial ruin of her father and husband, and—the centerpiece of the novel—her failed love affair with a sensitive but weak young man.
Sibylle Lewitscharoff Seagull Books, 2019 Library of Congress MLCS 2014/01660 (P)
“Gone, finito, The End, I say. A father who puts an end to it all before he wears down the whole family deserves more praise than damnation.”
Two sisters travel to Sofia—in a convoy of luxury limousines arranged by a fellow Bulgarian exile—to bury their less-than-beloved father. Like tourists, they are chauffeured by the ever-charming Ruben Apostoloff—one sister in the back seat, one in the passenger seat, one sharp-tongued and aggressive, the other polite and considerate. In a caustic voice, Apostoloff shows them the treasures of his beloved country: the peacock-eye pottery (which contains poisonous dye), the Black Sea coast (which is utterly destroyed), the architecture (a twentieth-century crime). His attempts to win them over seem doomed to fail, as the sisters’ Bulgarian heritage is a heavy burden—their father, a successful doctor and melancholy immigrant, appears in their dreams still dragging the rope with which he hanged himself.
An account of a daughter’s bitterly funny reckoning with her father and his country, laden with linguistic wit and black humor, Apostoloff will introduce the unique voice of Sibylle Lewitscharoff to a new and eager audience.
Featuring the work of twenty-five fiction writers and poets, this anthology is a captivating introduction to the finest of contemporary Appalachian literature. Here are short stories and poems by some of the region’s most dynamic and best-loved authors: Barbara Kingsolver, Ron Rash, Nikki Giovanni, Robert Morgan, Lisa Alther, and Lee Smith among others. In addition to compelling selections from each writer’s work, the book includes illuminating biographical sketches and bibliographies for each author.
These works encompass a variety of themes that, collectively, capture the essence of Appalachia: love of the land, family ties, and the struggle to blend progress with heritage. Readers will enjoy this book not just for the innate value of good literature but also for the insights it provides into this fascinating area. This book of fiction is an enlightening companion to non-fiction overviews of the region, including the Encyclopedia of Appalachia and A Handbook to Appalachia: An Introduction to the Region, both published by the University of Tennessee Press in 2006. In fact the five sections of this book are the same as those of the Encyclopedia.
Educators and students will find this book especially appropriate for courses in creative writing, Appalachian studies and Appalachian literature. Editor George Brosi’s foreword presents an historical overview of Appalachian Literature, while Kate Egerton and Morgan Cottrell’s afterword offers a helpful guide for studying Appalachian literature in a classroom setting.
George Brosi is the editor of Appalachian Heritage, a literary quarterly, and, along with his wife, Connie, runs a retail book business specializing in books from and about the Appalachian region. He has taught creative writing, Appalachian studies and Appalachian literature.
Kate Egerton is an associate professor of English at Berea College. She has taught Appalachian literature and published scholarship in that field as well as in modern drama.
Samantha Cole majored in Appalachian Studies and worked for Appalachian Heritage while a student at Berea College. Morgan Cottrell is a West Virginia native who took Kate Egerton's Appalachian literature class at Berea College.
William Goyen Northwestern University Press, 1994 Library of Congress PS3513.O97A77 1994 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
Completed while he was dying, William Goyen's Arcadio is one of the most affecting and imaginative farewells to life ever written. Arcadio is a half man, half woman raised in a whorehouse and for years the veteran exhibitionist in an itinerant circus sideshow. After he escapes he searches for his lost family, and during the journey tells the fantastic story of his life.
Stefan Heym Northwestern University Press, 2006 Library of Congress PR9110.9.H48A73 2006 | Dewey Decimal 823.914
Written between 1963 and 1966, when its publication would have proved to be political dynamite—and its author's undoing—The Architects of political intrigue and personal betrayal takes readers into the German Democratic Republic in the late 1950s, shortly after Khruschev's "secret speech" denouncing Stalin and his methods brought about a "thaw" in the Soviet bloc and, with it, the release of many victims of Stalinist brutality. Among these is Daniel, a Communist exile from Hitler who has been accused of treachery while in Moscow and who now returns to Germany after years of imprisonment. A brilliant architect, he is taken on by his former colleague, Arnold Sundstrom, who was in exile in Moscow as well but somehow fared better. He is now in fact the chief architect for the World Peace Road being built by the GDR. In Daniel, Arnold's young wife Julia finds the key that will unlock the dark secret of her husband's success and of her own parents' deaths in Moscow-and will undermine the very foundation on which she has built her life. A novel of exquisite suspense, romance, and drama, The Architects is also a window on a harrowing period of history that its author experienced firsthand-and that readers would do well to remember today.
The Art of the Break
Mary Wimmer University of Wisconsin Press, 2022 Library of Congress PS3623.I5886A88 2022 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
Charlotte “Charlie” Sobczak finds the most comfort in making cheese—a craft she learned at the side of her father, Karl Mayer. In the wake of his untimely death, she and her daughter, Lucy, return to her rural hometown of Falls River, Wisconsin. With her marriage to Rick floundering, and still grieving the childhood loss of her sister and mother to polio and depression, she decides to pour all her efforts into reopening the family’s Morgan Cheese Factory.
Hyperaware of her own childhood losses and the challenges posed by Rick’s PTSD and heavy drinking, Charlie strives to build a stable home for Lucy. Her degree in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin gives her a leg up, and the quiet joys of working at the cheese vat provide a deep, healing peace that points the way toward happiness.
But Falls River is too narrow-minded to accept a female business owner, and Charlie is ill-prepared for the pettiness and conventions of small-town life. When debts come due, including a lien against her family’s land, she must quickly figure out who is on her side—and how to keep her dreams alive.
Artaud the Mômo is Antonin Artaud’s most extraordinary poetic work from the brief final phase of his life, from his return to Paris in 1946 after nine years of incarceration in French psychiatric institutions to his death in 1948. This work is an unprecedented anatomical excavation carried through in vocal language, envisioning new gestural futures for the human body in its splintered fragments. With black humor, Artaud also illuminates his own status as the scorned, Marseille-born child-fool, the “mômo” (a self-naming that fascinated Jacques Derrida in his writings on this work). Artaud moves between extreme irreligious obscenity and delicate evocations of his immediate corporeal perception and his sense of solitude. The book’s five-part sequence ends with Artaud’s caustic denunciation of psychiatric institutions and of the very concept of madness itself.
This edition is translated by Clayton Eshleman, the acclaimed foremost translator of Artaud’s work. This will be the first edition since the original 1947 publication to present the work in the spatial format Artaud intended. It also incorporates eight original drawings by Artaud—showing reconfigured bodies as weapons of resistance and assault—which he selected for that edition, after having initially attempted to persuade Pablo Picasso to collaborate with him. Additional critical material draws on Artaud’s previously unknown manuscript letters written between 1946 and 1948 to the book’s publisher, Pierre Bordas, which give unique insights into the work from its origins to its publication.
A visually stunning narrative of three eras in humankind’s vexed relationship with nature
Ascension is a novel about the end of nature, or rather, the end of three “natures”: the time just before Darwin changed the natural world; the 1980s, just as the digital and genetic revolutions begin to replace “nature” with “environment”; and today, a time when we have the ability to manipulate nature at both the scale of the planet and at the genome. The narrative follows three different biologists on the brink of each of these cultural extinctions to explore how nature occupies our imaginations and how our imaginations bring the natural world, and our place in it, into existence.
Ascension is a story of how we continually remake the world and are in turn remade by the new nature we’ve created. It is the story of humans yearning to understand their families, themselves, and the world they live in as it comes to a close, leaving them to anticipate what will follow. Rich in visual depictions of the natural world—from nineteenth century engraving and paintings to twentieth century photography and twenty-first century databases—Ascension uses the materials of three eras to drive home our inability to escape nature, and the ways our fates are irrevocably bound together even as our actions usher in an end-time.
Ashes and Diamonds
Jerzy Andrzejewski Northwestern University Press, 1997 Library of Congress PG7158.A7P613 1996 | Dewey Decimal 891.8537
Originally published in Poland in 1948, and acclaimed as one of the finest postwar Polish novels, Ashes and Diamonds takes place in the spring of 1945, as the nation is in the throes of its transformation to People' Poland. Communists, socialists, and nationalists; thieves and black marketeers; servants and fading aristocrats; veteran terrorists and bands of murderous children bewitched by the lure of crime and adventure—all of these converge on a provincial town's chief hotel, a microcosm of an uprooted world.
Assault on Paradise
Tatiana Lobo Northwestern University Press, 1998 Library of Congress PQ7489.2.L58A7313 1998 | Dewey Decimal 863
Assault on Paradise vividly depicts the Conquistadores and the Church invading Central America, impoverishing one world to enrich another. In a fast-paced, bawdy, swashbuckling adventure in Central America of the early 1700s, Costa Rican novelist Tatiana Lobo lays bare the dark legacy of the Conquistadores and the Church. Through the central picaresque story of Pedro Albaran, Lobo dramatizes the intrigues of politicians and the Inquisition and the bloody battles between the native people and the invaders, while simultaneously presenting a reverent poetic recreation of indigenous cosmogony and mystical values which the natives seek to use to drive out the invaders.
In Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s experimental thriller The Assignment, the wife of a psychiatrist has been raped and killed near a desert ruin in North Africa. Her husband hires a woman named F. to reconstruct the unsolved crime in a documentary film. F. is soon unwittingly thrust into a paranoid world of international espionage where everyone is watched—including the watchers. After discovering a recent photograph of the supposed murder victim happily reunited with her husband, F. becomes trapped in an apocalyptic landscape riddled with political intrigue, crimes of mistaken identity, and terrorism.
F.’s labyrinthine quest for the truth is Dürrenmatt’s fictionalized warning against the dangers of a technologically advanced society that turns everyday life into one of constant scrutiny. Joel Agee’s elegant translation will introduce a fresh generation of English-speaking readers to one of European literature’s masters of language, suspense, and dystopia.
“The narrative is accelerated from the start. . . . As the novella builds to its horripilating climax, we realize the extent to which all values have thereby been inverted. The Assignment is a parable of hell for an age consumed by images.”—New York Times Book Review
“His most ambitious book . . . dark and devious . . . almost obsessively drawn to mankind’s most fiendish crimes.”—ChicagoTribune
“A tour-de-force . . . mesmerizing.”—Village Voice
Munro’s stories were born five decades ago in a small English village where children were seen and not heard, fathers were wacky, neighbors were snoopy, and maiden aunts were beautifully crafted artifices. Her original stories, dolloped with characters reminiscent of those from her childhood, telling of domestic shenanigans and outings gone revealingly awry are written with meticulous timing. Rich in details about the frailty and strength of the human spirit, her stories resonate with the truth of what is means to be human.
Ludvik Vaculik Northwestern University Press, 1994 Library of Congress PG5039.32.A2S413 1994 | Dewey Decimal 891.8635
Alongside Kundera's The Joke, The Axe was one of the most influential novels to appear in Czechoslovakia during the cultural awakening of the 1960s.
In late Sixties Czechoslovakia, communist ideology is failing. A disillusioned middle-aged journalist retreats from the politics of Prague to the Moravian countryside of his youth. There he rediscovers the complex relationship with his dead father, a communist crusader. But when the journalist is accused of disgracing his father and his proletariat background, he realizes that he, too, is a leader—and that the stakes are now reversed.