Beloved by Toni MorrisonNominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read
Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.
Cloud Moving Hands by Cathy SongGeneral Books publication date: 2009 Original publication date: 1913 Original Publisher: T.F. Unwin Subjects: Great Britain Liberalism Political Science / General Political Science / History
The House on Mango Street by Sandra CisnerosThe bestselling coming-of-age classic, acclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught in schools and universities alike, and translated around the world from the winner of the 2018 PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature. The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Told in a series of vignettes-sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous-Sandra Cisneros' masterpiece is a classic story of childhood and self-discovery. Few other books in our time have touched so many readers.
The Letters of Allen Ginsberg by Allen GinsbergAllen Ginsberg (1926#150;1997) was one of twentieth-century literature’s most prolific letter-writers. This definitive volume showcases his correspondence with some of the most original and interesting artists of his time, including Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Neal Cassady, Lionel Trilling, Charles Olson, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Philip Whalen, Peter Orlovsky, Philip Glass, Arthur Miller, Ken Kesey, and hundreds of others. Through his letter writing, Ginsberg coordinated the efforts of his literary circle and kept everyone informed about what everyone else was doing. He also preached the gospel of the Beat movement by addressing political and social issues in countless letters to publishers, editors, and the news media, devising an entirely new way to educate readers and disseminate information. Drawing from numerous sources, this collection is both a riveting life in letters and an intimate guide to understanding an entire creative generation.
The Tennis Court Oath by John AshberyJohn Ashbery writes like no one else among contemporary American poets. In the construction of his intricate patterns, he uses words much as the contemporary painter uses form and color- words painstakingly chosen as conveyors of precise meaning, not as representations of sound. These linked in unexpected juxtapositions, at first glance unrelated and even anarchic, in the end create by their clashing interplay a structure of dazzling brilliance and strong emotional impact. From this preoccupation arises a poetry that passes beyond conventional limits into a highly individual realm of effectiveness, one that may be roughly likened to the visual world of Surrealist painting. Some will find Mr. Ashbery's work difficult, even forbidding; but those who are sensitive to new directions in ideas and the arts will discover here much to quicken and delight them. A 35th anniversary edition of classic work from a celebrated American poet who has received the Pulitzer Prize, the national Book Award, and the national Book Critics Circle Award. John Ashbery's second book, The Tennis Court Oaths, first published by Wesleyan in 1962, remains a touchstone of contemporary avant-garde poetry.
To Be the Poet by Maxine Hong KingstonI have almost finished my longbook, Maxine Hong Kingston declares. "Let my life as Poet begin...I won't be a workhorse anymore; I'll be a skylark." To Be the Poet is Kingston's manifesto, the avowal and declaration of a writer who has devoted a good part of her sixty years to writing prose, and who, over the course of this spirited and inspiring book, works out what the rest of her life will be, in poetry.
Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth by Alice WalkerThe Pulitzer Prize–winning author ofThe Color Purplegives us her first new collection of poetry in more than a decade, poems that reaffirm her as “one of the best American writers of today” (The Washington Post). The forces of nature and the strength of the human spirit inspire the poems inAbsolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth. Alice Walker opens us up to feeling and understanding with poems that cover a broad spectrum of emotions. With profound artistry, Walker searches for, discovers, and declares the fundamental beauty of existence, as she explores what it means to live life fully, to learn from it, and to grow both as an individual and as part of a greater spiritual community. In “The Same as Gold,” Walker writes of the essence of grief, and of our inherent powers of love and acceptance. In “Everyone Who Works for Me,” Walker considers, with humor and grace, the frenzy that permeates modern life—a frenzy that prevents us from seeing the beauty in everything we do until we step back and take the time to look at and comprehend ourselves and those around us. In “The Love of Bodies,” Walker elegantly expresses the gratitude and tenderness we are capable of feeling for loved ones, living and dead, and the inescapable emotional connections that bind us together. About Walker’s poetry, America has said, “In the tradition of Whitman, Walker sings, celebrates and agonizes over the ordinary vicissitudes that link and separate all of humankind,” and the same could be said about this astonishing new collection. Despite the hunger we cannot possess more than this: Peace in a garden of our own. —fromAbsolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth
All the King's Men by Robert Penn WarrenWinner of the Pulitzer Prize, this classic book is generally regarded as the finest novel ever written on american politics. It describes the career of Willie Stark, a back-country lawyer whose idealism is overcome by his lust for power. New Foreword by Joseph Blotner for this fiftieth anniversary edition.
Axe Handles: Poems by Gary SnyderThis is a collection of discovery, of insight, and of vision. These poems see the roots of community in the family, and the roots of culture and government in the community. "In making the handle of an axe by cutting wood with an axe the model is indeed near at hand." In exploring this axiom of Lu Ji's, Gary Snyder continues: I am an axeAnd my son a handle, soonTo be shaping again, modelAnd tool, craft of culture, How we go on.Formally, the 71 poems in Axe Handles range from lyrics to riddles to narratives. The collection is divided into three parts, called "Loops, " "Little Songs for Gaia, " and "Nets, " each containing poems of disciplined clarity. Gary Snyder knows well the great power of silence in a poem, silence that allows the mind space enough to discover the magic of song.
Baldwin - Collected Essays by James BaldwinJames Baldwin was a uniquely prophetic voice in American letters. His brilliant and provocative essays made him the literary voice of the Civil Rights Era, and they continue to speak with powerful urgency to us today, whether in the swirling debate over the Black Lives Matter movement or in the words of Raoul Peck's documentary "I Am Not Your Negro." Edited by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, the Library of America's Collected Essays is the most comprehensive gathering of Baldwin's nonfiction ever published. With burning passion and jabbing, epigrammatic wit, Baldwin fearlessly articulated issues of race and democracy and American identity in such famous essays as "The Harlem Ghetto," "Everybody's Protest Novel," "Many Thousands Gone," and "Stranger in the Village." Here are the complete texts of his early landmark collections, Notes of a Native Son (1955) and Nobody Knows My Name (1961), which established him as an essential intellectual voice of his time, fusing in unique fashion the personal, the literary, and the political. "One writes," he stated, "out of one thing only--one's own experience. Everything depends on how relentlessly one forces from this experience the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give." With singular eloquence and unblinking sharpness of observation he lived up to his credo: "I want to be an honest man and a good writer." The classic The Fire Next Time (1963), perhaps the most influential of his writings, is his most penetrating analysis of America's racial divide and an impassioned call to "end the racial nightmare...and change the history of the world." The later volumes No Name in the Street (1972) and The Devil Finds Work (1976) chart his continuing response to the social and political turbulence of his era and include his remarkable works of film criticism. A further 36 essays--nine of them previously uncollected--include some of Baldwin's earliest published writings, as well as revealing later insights into the language of Shakespeare, the poetry of Langston Hughes, and the music of Earl Hines.
Baldwin - Early Novels and Stories by James BaldwinHere, in a Library of America volume edited by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, is the fiction that established James Baldwin's reputation as a writer who fused unblinking realism and rare verbal eloquence. His first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953), tells the story, rooted in Baldwin's own experience, of a preacher's son coming of age in 1930's Harlem. Ten years in the writing, its exploration of religious, sexual, and generational conflicts was described by Baldwin as "an attempt to exorcise something, to find out what happened to my father, what happened to all of us." Giovanni's Room (1956) is a searching, and in its day controversial, treatment of the tragic self-delusions of a young American expatriate at war with his own homosexuality. Another Country (1962), a wide-ranging exploration of America's racial and sexual boundaries, depicts the suicide of a gifted jazz musician and its ripple effect on those who knew him. Complex in structure and turbulent in mood, it is in many ways Baldwin's most ambitious novel. Going to Meet the Man (1965) collects Baldwin's short fiction, including the masterful "Sonny's Blues," the unforgettable portrait of a jazz musician struggling with drug addiction in which Baldwin came closest to defining his goal as a writer: "For, while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it must be heard. There isn't any other tale to tell, it's the only light we've got in all this darkness."
The Bell Jar by Sylvia PlathA Special Hardcover Edition to Commemorate the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Publication of Sylvia Plath's Remarkable Novel Sylvia Plath's shocking, realistic, and intensely emotional novel about a woman falling into the grip of insanity Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under--maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther's breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational--as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic.
Bellow - Novels, 1944-1953 by Saul BellowWinner of the Nobel Prize and a towering figure of twentieth-century literature, Saul Bellow secured his place as one of the most distinctive and significant writers of the postwar era with the publication of his third novel, The Adventures of Augie March. This Library of America volume collects all three of Bellow's early works, beginning with Dangling Man (1944), an incisive character study cast in the form of a diary that depicts the anguish and uncertainty of a man known only as Joseph. Expecting to be deployed to the war overseas, Joseph quits his job and finds himself increasingly on edge when his draft board defers his enlistment. The first of his many books to take place in Chicago, Dangling Man is a spare, haunting novel in which Bellow lays bare Joseph's dilemma with rigorous precision and subtlety. The Victim (1947), which Bellow described as "a novel whose theme is guilt," is an unsettling moral parable. Left alone in New York City while his wife is visiting her family, Asa Leventhal is confronted by a former co-worker whom he can barely remember. What seems like a chance encounter evolves into an uncanny bond that threatens to ruin Leventhal's life. As their relationship grows ever more volatile, Bellow stages a searching exploration of our obligations toward others. In a radical change of direction, Bellow next wrote The Adventures of Augie March (1953). Its eponymous hero grows up in a bustling Chicago peopled by characters as large as vital as the city itself, then sets off on travels that lead him through the byways of love and the disappointments of a fast-vanishing youth. Exuberant, uninhibited, jazzy, infused with Yiddishisms and a panoply of Depression-era voices, Augie March is borne aloft by an ebullient sense of irony. Winner of the 1954 National Book Award and praised by writers and critics ranging from Alfred Kazin to Salman Rushdie and Martin Amis, The Adventures of Augie March has had a lasting impact that shows no sign of abating.
Bellow - Novels, 1956-1964 by Saul BellowPassionate, insightful, often funny, and exhibiting a linguistic richness few writers have equaled, the novels of Saul Bellow are among the defining achievements of postwar American literature. The Library of America volume Novels 1956-1964 opens with Seize the Day, a tightly wrought novella that, unfolding over the course of a single devastating day, explores the desperate predicament of the failed actor and salesman Tommy Wilhelm. The austere psychological portraiture of Seize the Day is followed by an altogether different book, Henderson the Rain King, the ebullient tale of the irresistible eccentric Eugene Henderson, best characterized by his primal mantra "I want! I want!" Beneath the novel's comic surface lies an affecting parable of one man's quest to know himself and come to terms with morality; like Don Quixote, Henderson is, as Bellow later described him, "an absurd seeker of high qualities." Henderson's irrepressible vitality is matched by that of Moses Herzog, the eponymous hero of Bellow's best-selling 1964 novel. His wife having abandoned him for his best friend, Herzog is on the verge of mental collapse and has embarked on a furious letter-writing campaign as an outlet for his all-consuming rage. Bellow's bravura performance in Herzog launched a new phase of his career, as literary acclaim was now joined by a receptive mass audience in America.
The Best American Short Stories 2017Best-selling author Meg Wolitzer guest edits the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction. "If you know exactly what you are going to get from the experience of reading a story, you probably wouldn't go looking for it; you need, in order to be an open reader of fiction, to be willing. To cast a vote for what you love and then wait for the outcome," writes Meg Wolitzer in her introduction.The Best American Short Stories 2017 casts a vote for and celebrates all that is our country. Here you'll find a man with a boyfriend and a girlfriend, naval officers trapped on a submarine, a contestant onAmerica's Funniest Home Videos,and a gay man desperate to be a father--unforgettable characters waiting for an outcome, burning with stories to tell. The Best American Short Stories 2017includes T. C. BOYLE * JAI CHAKRABARTI * EMMA CLINE * DANIELLE EVANS * LAUREN GROFF * ERIC PUCHNER * JIM SHEPARD * CURTIS SITTENFELD * JESS WALTER and others
Bishop: Poems, Prose, and Letters by Elizabeth BishopJames Merrill described Elizabeth Bishop's poems as "more wryly radiant, more touching, more unaffectedly intelligent than any written in our lifetime" and called her "our greatest national treasure." Robert Lowell said, "I enjoy her poems more than anybody else's." Long before a wider public was aware of Bishop's work, her fellow poets expressed astonished admiration of her formal rigor, fiercely observant eye, emotional intimacy, and sometimes eccentric flights of imagination. Today she is recognized as one of America's great poets of the twentieth century. This unprecedented collection offers a full-scale presentation of a writer of startling originality, at once passionate and reticent, adventurous and perfectionist. It presents all the poetry that Elizabeth Bishop published in her lifetime, in such classic volumes as North & South, A Cold Spring, Questions of Travel, and Geography III. In addition it contains an extensive selection of unpublished poems and drafts of poems (several not previously collected), as well as all her published poetic translations, ranging from a chorus from Aristophanes' The Birds to versions of Brazilian sambas. Poems, Prose, and Letters also brings together most of her published prose writings, including stories; reminiscences; travel writing about the places (Nova Scotia, Florida, Brazil) that so profoundly marked her poetry; and literary essays and statements, including a number of pieces published here for the first time. The book is rounded out with a selection of Bishop's irresistibly engaging and self-revelatory letters. Of the fifty-three letters included here, written between 1933 and 1979, a considerable number are printed for the first time, and all are presented in their entirety. Their recipients include Robert Lowell, Marianne Moore, Randall Jarrell, Anne Stevenson, May Swenson, and Carlos Drummond de Andrade.
Bleeding Edge by Thomas PynchonIt is 2001 in New York City, in the lull between the collapse of the dot-com boom and the terrible events of September 11th. Silicon Alley is a ghost town, Web 1.0 is having adolescent angst, Google has yet to IPO, Microsoft is still considered the Evil Empire. There may not be quite as much money around as there was at the height of the tech bubble, but there's no shortage of swindlers looking to grab a piece of what's left.
Borderlands / la Frontera by Gloria AnzaldúaLiterary Nonfiction. Poetry. Latino/Latina Studies. LGBT Studies. Fourth Edition. Rooted in Gloria Anzaldua's experience as a Chicana, a lesbian, an activist, and a writer, the essays and poems in this volume profoundly challenged, and continue to challenge, how we think about identity. BORDERLANDS/LA FRONTERA remaps our understanding of what a "border" is, presenting it not as a simple divide between here and there, us and them, but as a psychic, social, and cultural terrain that we inhabit, and that inhabits all of us.
Ceremony by Leslie Marmon SilkoThe great Native American Novel of a battered veteran returning home to heal his mind and spirit More than thirty-five years since its original publication, Ceremony remains one of the most profound and moving works of Native American literature, a novel that is itself a ceremony of healing. Tayo, a World War II veteran of mixed ancestry, returns to the Laguna Pueblo Reservation. He is deeply scarred by his experience as a prisoner of the Japanese and further wounded by the rejection he encounters from his people. Only by immersing himself in the Indian past can he begin to regain the peace that was taken from him. Masterfully written, filled with the somber majesty of Pueblo myth, Ceremony is a work of enduring power. The Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition contains a new preface by the author and an introduction by Larry McMurtry. 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.
Collected Poems, 1950-2012 by Adrienne RichAdrienne Rich was the singular voice of her generation and one of our most important American poets. She brought discussions of gender, race, and class to the forefront of poetical discourse, pushing formal boundaries and consistently examining both self and society. This collected volume traces the evolution of her poetry, from her earliest work, which was formally exact and decorous, to her later work, which became increasingly radical in both its free-verse form and feminist and political content. The entire body of her poetry is on display in this vast volume, including the National Book Award-winning Diving Into the Wreck and her prize-winning Atlas of the Difficult World. The Collected Poems of Adrienne Rich gathers and memorializes all of her boldly political, formally ambitious, thoughtful, and lucid work, the whole of which makes her one of the most prolific and influential poets of our time.
Collected Poems 1943-2004 by Richard WilburOver the course of his distinguished sixty-year career, Richard Wilbur has written seventeen collections of poetry, four children's books, and numerous works in prose and translations. This comprehensive collection presents Wilbur's poems, including several new and never before published. In trackless woods, it puzzled me to find Four great rock maples seemingly aligned, As if they had been set out in a row Before some house a century ago, To edge the property and lend some shade. I looked to see if ancient wheels had made Old ruts to which the trees ran parallel, But there were none, so far as I could tell- There'd been no roadway. Nor could I find the square Depression of a cellar anywhere, And so I tramped on further, to survey Amazing patterns in a hornbeam spray Or spirals in a pine cone, under trees Not subject to our stiff geometries. -from "In Trackless Woods"
Collected Poems 1956-1987 by John AshberyWith this volume, published in 2008, John Ashbery became the first living poet to have his work collected in the Library of America series. Beginning with Some Trees in 1956, John Ashbery charted a profoundly original and individual course that has opened up pathways for subsequent generations of poets. At once hermetic and exuberantly curious, meditative and unnervingly funny, dreamlike and steeped in everyday realities, and alive to every nuance of American speech, these are poems that constantly discover new worlds within language. This first volume of the collected Ashbery includes the complete texts of his first twelve books, including such groundbreaking collections as Rivers and Mountains, Three Poems, Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (which won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1975), and Houseboat Days. It also features an unprecedented gathering of more than sixty previously uncollected poems written over a period of four decades, a rare treasure trove for poetry lovers. This volume is a landmark portrait of a modern master.
The Collected Poems of Tennessee Williams by Tennessee WilliamsIn this definitive edition of The Collected Poems of Tennessee Williams, all of the playwright/poet's previously collected and uncollected published poems, including poems from the plays, have been assembled, accompanied by explanatory notes and selected variants.
The Color Purple by Alice WalkerThe Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that tells the story of two sisters through their correspondence. With a new Preface by the author.
The Dream of a Common Language : Poems, 1974-1977 by Adrienne Rich"The Dream of a Common Language explores the contours of a woman's heart and mind in language for everybody--language whose plainness, laughter, questions and nobility everyone can respond to. . . . No one is writing better or more needed verse than this."--Boston Evening Globe
Flying Home by Ralph EllisonThese 13 stories by the author of The Invisible Man approach the elegance of Chekhov (Washington Post) and provide early explorations of (Ellison's) lifelong fascination with the 'complex fate' and 'beautiful absurdity' of American identity (John Callahan). NPR sponsorship.
A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor"A Good Man Is Hard to Find" is Flannery O'Connor's most famous and most discussed story. O'Connor herself singled it out by making it the title piece of her first collection and the story she most often chose for readings or talks to students. It is an unforgettable tale, both riveting and comic, of the confrontation of a family with violence and sudden death. More than anything else O'Connor ever wrote, this story mixes the comedy, violence, and religious concerns that characterize her fiction. This casebook for the story includes an introduction by the editor, a chronology of the author's life, the authoritative text of the story itself, comments and letters by O'Connor about the story, critical essays, and a bibliography. The critical essays span more than twenty years of commentary and suggest several approaches to the story--formalistic, thematic, deconstructionist-- all within the grasp of the undergraduate, while the introduction also points interested students toward still other resources. Useful for both beginning and advanced students, this casebook provides an in-depth introduction to one of America's most gifted modern writers.
Hayden: Collected Poems by Robert HaydenRobert Hayden was one of the most important American poets of the twentieth century. He left behind an exquisite body of work, collected in this definitive edition, including A Ballad of Remembrance, Words in the Mourning Time, The Night-Blooming Cereus, Angle of Ascent, and American Journal, which was nominated for a National Book Award. Also included is an introduction by American poet Reginald Dwayne Betts, as well as an afterword by Arnold Rampersad that provides a critical and historical context. In Hayden’s work the actualities of history and culture became the launching places for flights of imagination and intelligence. His voice—characterized by musical diction and an exquisite feeling for the formality of pattern—is a seminal one in American life and literature.
Horoscopes for the Dead: Poems by Billy CollinsBilly Collins is widely acknowledged as a prominent player at the table of modern American poetry. And in this new collection, Horoscopes for the Dead, the verbal gifts that earned him the title "America's most popular poet" are on full display. The poems here cover the usual but everlasting themes of love and loss, life and death, youth and aging, solitude and union.
I Love a Broad Margin to My Life by Maxine Hong KingstonIn her singular voice, humble, elegiac, practical, Maxine Hong Kingston sets out to reflect on aging as she turns sixty-five. Kingston's swift, effortlessly flowing verse lines feel instantly natural in this fresh approach to the art of memoir, as she circles from present to past and back, from lunch with a writer friend to the funeral of a Vietnam veteran, from her long marriage to her arrest at a peace march in Washington, where she and her "sisters" protested the Iraq war in the George W. Bush years.
John Ashbery: Selected Prose by John Ashbery"By the end of the book, Ashbery has laid out not only a course in contemporary poetics but a portrait of the artist teaching himself to become a thoroughly Modernist poet---in small bites, easy to savor, easy to digest." ---Los Angeles Times Book Review "This is a marvelous book by one of our greatest poets. Reading John Ashbery's Selected Prose is like listening to a brilliant talker who not only keeps us entertained and laughing, but who also has wise things to say about all sorts of interesting subjects." ---Charles Simic "At last! Many of the fugitive pieces collected in this volume---on Gertude Stein, on Frank O'Hara, on Marianne Moore or Adrienne Rich---published as many of them were in out-of-the way places, have already become collectors' items, providing fascinating---and often startling--- assessments of their subjects as well as new insight into Ashbery himself. Now here they are between two covers, along with many hitherto unknown pieces on subjects ranging from Michel Butor to Mary Butts, Jane Freilicher to Mark Ford. For anyone who cares about the contemporary poetry/art scene, this is an indispensable collection." ---Marjorie Perloff, Stanford University Selected Prose contains a broad selection of texts by internationally acclaimed poet and critic John Ashbery. This third collection of Ashbery's critical writings dramatically expands the terrain covered by the first two, Reported Sightings: Art Chronicles 1957-1987 and Other Traditions (first presented as the Norton Lectures at Harvard). These essays on writers, artists, filmmakers and the life of a poet provide insight into Ashbery's evolution as one of the major poets in English. Ashbery's criticism is as essential to the cultural history of the twentieth century as was that of T.S. Eliot and W.H. Auden. His unique sensibility has had a profound impact on the literature and arts of our time, and his influence is certain to be felt for decades to come. Editor Eugene Richie's introduction provides a meaningful context for fifty years' worth of critical and creative prose by one of America's finest poets.
John Cheever - Collected Stories and Other Writings by John CheeverJohn Cheever's stories rank among the finest achievements of twentieth-century short fiction. Ensnared by the trappings of affluence, adrift in the emptiness of American prosperity, his characters find themselves in the midst of dramas that, however comic, pose profound questions about conformity and class, pleasure and propriety, and the conduct and meaning of an individual life. At the same time, the stories reveal their author to be a master whose prose is at once precise and sensuous, in which a shrewd eye for social detail is paired with a lyric sensitivity to the world at large. "The constants that I look for," he wrote in the preface to The Stories of John Cheever, "are a love of light and a determination to trace some moral chain of being." Cheever's superlative gifts as a storyteller are evident even in his first published work, "Expelled" (1930), which appeared in The New Republic when he was only 18: "I felt that I was hearing for the first time the voice of a new generation," said Malcolm Cowley, then an editor at the magazine. Moving to Manhattan from his native Massachusetts, Cheever began publishing stories in The New Yorker in the 1930s, establishing a crucial if sometimes contentious relationship that would last for much of his career. His debut collection, The Way Some People Live (1943), was a book that he effectively disowned, regarding it as apprentice work; the best stories in the volume, as selected by editor Blake Bailey, are here restored to print for the first time, offering--along with seven other stories that Cheever never collected--an intriguing glimpse into his early development. By the late 1940s Cheever had come into his own as a writer, achieving a breakthrough in 1947 with the Kafkaesque tale "The Enormous Radio." It was soon followed by works of startling fluency and power, such as the unsettling "Torch Song," with its suggestion of menace and the uncanny, as well as the searing, beautiful treatment of fraternal conflict, "Goodbye, My Brother." Finally, when Cheever and his family moved to Westchester County in the 1950s, he began writing about the disappointments of postwar suburbia in such definitive classics as "The Sorrows of Gin," "The Five-Forty-Eight," "The Country Husband," and "The Swimmer." This volume, published to coincide with Blake Bailey's groundbreaking biography, is the largest collection of Cheever's stories ever published, and celebrates his indelible achievement by gathering the complete Stories of John Cheever (1978), as well as seven stories from The Way Some People Live and seven additional stories first published in periodicals between 1930 and 1953. Also included are several short essays on writers and writing, including a previously unpublished speech on Saul Bellow.
John Cheever - Complete Novels by John CheeverPublished to coincide with editor Blake Bailey's groundbreaking new biography, here are the five novels of John Cheever, together in one volume for the first time. In these dazzling works Cheever laid bare the failings and foibles of not just the ascendant postwar elite but also the fallen Yankee aristocrats who stubbornly? and often grotesquely and hilariously'cling to their shabby gentility as the last vestige of former glory. Complete Novels gathers: the riotous family saga The Wapshot Chronicle (winner of the National Book Award) and its sequel The Wapshot Scandal (winner of the William Dean Howells Medal); the dark suburban drama Bullet Park (?a magnificent work of fiction,? John Gardner remarked in The New York Times Book Review); the prison novel Falconer, a radical departure that met with both critical and popular acclaim; and the lyrical ecological fable Oh What a Paradise It Seems. A companion volume, Collected Stories and Other Writings, is the largest edition of Cheever's stories ever.
John Updike: Collected Early Stories by John UpdikeIn John Updike's later stories, his signature protagonist a onetime small-town Pennsylvania boy deeply moved by art, sex, faith, and the mystery of existence arrives at middle age to find that the world remains a vale of soul-making. In some of these stories he is balancing two families, the one that he started in his twenties with his former college sweet-heart and the one he has just married into. In others he is traveling to Italy or Greece, Ireland or England; to Egypt, Ethiopia, or Morocco; to the world of his personal past or to some other sunken Atlantis which heightens sensations and enlarges his sense of time, distance, and life's possibilities. He encounters feral cats and near-fatal bee stings, prostitutes and plastic surgeons, omniscient Scottish caddies and sunglass-wearing Spanish polic#65533;a. He improves his golf game, his German, and his portfolio. He inherits property, keeps his own counsel, and loses his wallet and his appendix. And he grows older. Updike's aging heroes are citizens of universe that is expanding ever outward, dismayed by modern cosmology's insistence that the future holds not a second Big Bang and another, perhaps better, chance for Life but only a further thinning-out of reality. This, like so much else in recent thought, is at odds with their churchgoer's faith that life has pattern and purpose, that beginnings knit tightly with endings and crate stories with hearing, worth telling, worth living. Despite all, they remain prey to moments of wonder, as when, one morning in the rural south of England, one of them observe the 'a miraculous lacquer lay upon everything, breading each roadside twig, each reed of thatch in the cottage roofs, each tiny daisy trembling in the grass,' as if with the glow of an afterlife. Of the eighty-four stories gathered here, fifty-three first appeared in The New Yorker. Most were revised by the author for his collections Problems(1979), Trust Me(1987), The Afterlife(1994), Licks of Love(2000), and My Father's Tears(2009). All were written from 1976 to 2008, when Updike was in his mid-forties to mid-seventies, and are arranged here, for the first time, in order in which they were completed. Each is offered in its latest, definitive text, and some incorporate posthumous corrections found in Updike's personal copies of his books. A companion Library of America volume, Collected Early Stories, gathers stories written from 1953 to 1975. Christopher Carduff, editor, has been a consulting editor at The Library of America since 2006. He is the editor of John Updike's posthumous collections Higher Gossip- Essays and Criticismand Always Looking- Essays on Art. The Library of America helps to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping in print, authoritative editions of America's best and most significant writing. An independent nonprofit organization, it was founded in 1979 with seed funding from the National Endownment for the Humanities and the Ford Foundation. Library of America editions will last for generations and withstand the wear of frequent use. They are printed on lightweight, acid-free paper that will not turn yellow or brittle with age. Sewn bindings allow the books to open easily and lie flat. Flexible yet strong binding boards are covered with a closely woven rayon cloth. The page layout has been designed for readability as well as elegance.
Juneteenth by Ralph EllisonShot on the Senate floor by a young Black man, a dying racist senator summons an elderly Black Baptist minister from Oklahoma to his side for a remarkable dialogue that reveals the deeply buried secrets of their shared past and the tragedy that reunites them.
Kerouac - Road Novels, 1957-1960 by Jack KerouacThe raucous, exuberant, often wildly funny account of a journey through America and Mexico, Jack Kerouac's On the Road instantly defined a generation on its publication in 1957: it was, in the words of a New York Times reviewer, "the clearest and most important utterance yet made by the generation Kerouac himself named years ago as 'beat.'" Written in the mode of ecstatic improvisation that Allen Ginsberg described as "spontaneous bop prosody," Kerouac's novel remains electrifying in its thirst for experience and its defiant rebuke of American conformity. In his portrayal of the fervent relationship between the writer Sal Paradise and his outrageous, exasperating, and inimitable friend Dean Moriarty, Kerouac created one of the great friendships in American literature; and his rendering of the cities and highways and wildernesses that his characters restlessly explore are a hallucinatory travelogue of a nation he both mourns and celebrates. Now, The Library of America collects On the Road together with four other autobiographical "road books" published during a remarkable four-year period. The Dharma Bums (1958), at once an exploration of Buddhist spirituality and an account of the Bay Area poetry scene, is notable for its thinly veiled portraits of Kerouac's acquaintances, including Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, and Kenneth Rexroth. The Subterraneans (1958) recounts a love affair set amid the bars and bohemian haunts of San Francisco. Tristessa (1960) is a melancholy novella describing a relationship with a prostitute in Mexico City. Lonesome Traveler (1960) collects travel essays that evoke journeys in Mexico and Europe, and concludes with an elegiac lament for the lost world of the American hobo. Also included in Road Novels are selections from Kerouac's journal, which provide a fascinating perspective on his early impressions of material eventually incorporated into On the Road.
Left Out in the Rain : New Poems, 1947-1985 by Gary SnyderElk Trails -- Out of the soil and Rock -- Lines on a Carp -- A Sinecure for P. Whalen -- For George Leigh-Mallory -- Spring Songs -- Message from Outside -- A Change of Straw -- Under the Skin of It -- Dogs, sheep, cows, Goats -- Birth of the Shaman -- The Painful -- Her Life -- Still. She -- Tiger Song -- Poorness and -- You've Gone Cold -- Love me Love -- Half-known Stars -- Up the Dosewallips -- Seaman's Ditty -- Bakers Cabin on Boone's Ferry Road -- Numerous Broken Eggs -- The Lookouts -- History Must Have a Start -- Poem Left in Sourdough Mountain Lookout -- Geological Meditation -- Fording the Flooded Goldie River -- Svaha a Feminine Ending for Mantra -- Wind has Blown -- Song for a Cougar Hide -- Plum Petals Falling -- The Rainy Season -- The Genji Story -- Late October Camping in the Sawtooths -- Point Reyes -- April -- Makings -- Longitude 170 West, Latitude 35 North -- For Example -- Chion-In -- Bomb Test -- Dullness in February: Japan -- Map -- The Feathered Robe -- On Vulture Peak -- The Bodhisattvas -- A Monument on Okinawa -- Straits of Malacca 24 oct 1957 -- The Engine Room, S.S. Sappa Creek -- Hills of Home -- The North Coast -- One Year -- Housecleaning in Kyoto -- Seeing the Ox -- After the Typhoon -- Loving Words -- The Heart of the Wood -- Joanne My Wife -- Tenjin -- Parting with Claude Dalenberg -- Crash -- Two Comments -- Riding the hot electric train -- Foreigners -- Kyoto Vacation -- This is Living -- In Tokyo: At Loose Ends -- English Lessons at the Bolier Company -- From Below -- The Fruit -- The Ride -- Then -- Saying Farewell -- Farewell to Burning Island -- First Landfall on Turtle Island -- Alabster -- The Years -- Burned Out -- O -- To Meet with Agaricus Augustus -- Too Many Chickens Gone -- For Alan Watts -- Original Vow -- No Shoes No Shirt No Service -- Kine -- The Trail Is Not a Trail -- Poetry Is the Eagle of Experience -- Calcium -- High Quality Information -- The Arts Council Meets in Eureka -- Ordering Chile Verde in Gallup -- Getting There -- Sustained Yield -- Low Winter Sun -- The Weave -- Enforcement -- Yuba Country Autumn -- The Spirits Wait -- Bear -- Arktos -- Fear Not -- I See Old Friend -- Waikiki -- She Dreames -- We Make Our Vows -- At Write River Roadhouse -- The Persimmons -- Dragonfly -- Through -- Spring -- For Berkeley -- The Songs at Custer's Battlefield -- Some lovers wake one day -- What History fails to Mention Is -- Channelled Scablands -- The Taste -- Home on the Range -- The Forest Fire at Ananda -- The Route -- The Other Side of Each Coin -- Serves -- W -- The Net -- Tibetan Army Surplus Store -- Lots of Play -- The Orchard -- Know -- Gatha for All Threatened Beings -- There are those who love to get dirty -- Lizards, Wind, Sunshine, Apples -- How Zen Master Are Like Mature Herring -- Villanelle of the Wandering Lapps -- The Professor as Transformer -- The Elusiad -- The Third Watch -- Sestina of the End of the Kalpa -- Epistemological Fancies -- A War of Dwarfs and Birds -- Exclamations Gone to the -- Balled of Rolling Heads -- After T'ao Ch'ien -- After the Chinese -- Versions of Anacreon -- Tree Song -- Joe Hill Fragment -- Prepotent -- A Work for Burke -- Smog -- Sherry in July -- Coyote Man, Mr. President.
Mother Love: Poems by Rita DoveIn settings as various as a patio in Arizona, the bistros and boulevards of Paris, the sun-drenched pyramids of Mexico--and directly from the Greek myth itself--Rita Dove explores this relationship and the dilemma of letting go.
The Namesake by Jhumpa LahiriJhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies established this young writer as one the most brilliant of her generation. Her stories are one of the very few debut works -- and only a handful of collections -- to have won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Among the many other awards and honors it received were the New Yorker Debut of the Year award, the PEN/Hemingway Award, and the highest critical praise for its grace, acuity, and compassion in detailing lives transported from India to America. In The Namesake, Lahiri enriches the themes that made her collection an international bestseller: the immigrant experience, the clash of cultures, the conflicts of assimilation, and, most poignantly, the tangled ties between generations. Here again Lahiri displays her deft touch for the perfect detail -- the fleeting moment, the turn of phrase -- that opens whole worlds of emotion. The Namesake takes the Ganguli family from their tradition-bound life in Calcutta through their fraught transformation into Americans. On the heels of their arranged wedding, Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli settle together in Cambridge, Massachusetts. An engineer by training, Ashoke adapts far less warily than his wife, who resists all things American and pines for her family. When their son is born, the task of naming him betrays the vexed results of bringing old ways to the new world. Named for a Russian writer by his Indian parents in memory of a catastrophe years before, Gogol Ganguli knows only that he suffers the burden of his heritage as well as his odd, antic name. Lahiri brings great empathy to Gogol as he stumbles along the first-generation path, strewn with conflicting loyalties, comic detours, and wrenching love affairs. With penetrating insight, she reveals not only the defining power of the names and expectations bestowed upon us by our parents, but also the means by which we slowly, sometimes painfully, come to define ourselves. The New York Times has praised Lahiri as "a writer of uncommon elegance and poise." The Namesake is a fine-tuned, intimate, and deeply felt novel of identity.
O'Connor - Collected Works by Flannery O'ConnorIn her short lifetime, Flannery O'Connor became one of the most distinctive American writers of the twentieth century. By birth a native of Georgia and a Roman Catholic, O'Connor depicts, in all its comic and horrendous incongruity, the limits of worldly wisdom and the mysteries of divine grace in the "Christ-haunted" Protestant South. This Library of America collection, the most comprehensive ever published, contains all of her novels and short-story collections, as well as nine other stories, eight of her most important essays, and a selection of 259 witty, spirited, and revealing letters, twenty-one published here for the first time. Her fiction brilliantly explores the human obsession with seemingly banal things. It might be a new hat or clean hogs or, for Hazel Motes, hero of Wise Blood (1952), an automobile. "Nobody with a good car needs to be justified," Hazel assures himself while using its hood for a pulpit to preach his "Church Without Christ." As in O'Connor's subsequent work, the characters in this novel are driven to violence, even murder, and their strong vernacular endows them with the discomforting reality of next-door neighbors. "In order to recognize a freak," she remarks in one of her essays, "you have to have a conception of the whole man." In the title story of her first, dazzling collection of stories, A Good Man Is Hard to Find (1955), the old grandmother discovers the comic irrelevance of good manners when she and her family meet up with the sinister Misfit, who claims there is "no pleasure but meanness." The terror of urban dislocation in "The Artificial Nigger," the bizarre baptism in "The River," or one-legged Hulga Hopewell's encounter with a Bible salesman in "Good Country People"--these startling events give readers the uneasy sense of mysteries about to be revealed. Her second novel, The Violent Bear It Away (1960), casts the shadow of the Old Testament across a landscape of backwoods shacks, modern towns, and empty highways. Caught between the prophetic fury of his great-uncle and the unrelenting rationalism of his uncle, fourteen-year-old Francis Tarwater undergoes a terrifying trial of faith when he is commanded to baptize his idiot cousin. The nine stories in Everything That Rises Must Converge (1965) show O'Connor's powers at their height. The title story is a terrifying, heart-rending drama of familial and racial misunderstanding. "Revelation" and "The Enduring Chill" probe further into conflicts between parental figures and recalcitrant offspring, where as much tension is generated from quiet conversation as from the physical violence of gangsters and fanatics.
One Writer's Beginnings by Eudora WeltyEudora Welty was born in 1909 in Jackson, Mississippi. In a continuous thread of revelation she sketches her autobiography and tells us how her family and her surroundings contributed to the shaping not only of her personality but of her writing.
Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems by Billy Collins"High, most encouraging tidings"--that is how Billy Collins, the widely read and widely acclaimed poet, describes the music in his poem about the gospel singing group The Sensational Nightingales. The same phrase applies, just as joyfully, to the arrival of Sailing Alone Around the Room, a landmark collection of new and selected poems by this Guggenheim Fellow, NPR contributor, New York Public Library "Literary Lion," and incomparably popular performer of his own good works. From four earlier collections, which have secured for him a national reputation, Collins offers the lyric equivalent of an album of Greatest Hits. In "Forgetful-ness," memories of the contents of a novel "retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain, to a little fishing village where there are no phones." In "Osso Buco," a poem about gustatory pleasure, the "lion of content-ment" places a warm heavy paw on the poet's chest. In "Marginalia," he catalogs the scrawled comments of books' previous readers: " 'Absolutely,' they shout to Duns Scotus and James Baldwin. 'Yes.' 'Bull's-eye.' 'My man!' " And he also serves us a generous portion of new poems, including "Man Listening to Disc," a jazz trip with headphones, and "The Iron Bridge," a wildly speculative, moving elegy. Whether old or new, these poems will catch their readers by exhilarating surprise. They may begin with irony and end in lyric transcendence. They may open with humor and close with grief. They may, and often do, begin with the everyday and end with infinity. Wise, funny, sad, stealthy, and always perfectly clear, these poems will not be departing for that little fishing village with no phones for a long, long time. Billy Collins, possessed of a unique lyric voice, is one of American poetry's most sensational nightingales.
The Source of Self-Regard : Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations by Toni MorrisonArguably the most celebrated and revered writer of our time now gives us a new nonfiction collection--a rich gathering of her essays, speeches, and meditations on society, culture, and art, spanning four decades. The Source of Self-Regard is brimming with all the elegance of mind and style, the literary prowess and moral compass that are Toni Morrison's inimitable hallmark. It is divided into three parts: the first is introduced by a powerful prayer for the dead of 9/11; the second by a searching meditation on Martin Luther King Jr., and the last by a heart-wrenching eulogy for James Baldwin. In the writings and speeches included here, Morrison takes on contested social issues: the foreigner, female empowerment, the press, money, "black matter(s)," and human rights. She looks at enduring matters of culture: the role of the artist in society, the literary imagination, the Afro-American presence in American literature, and in her Nobel lecture, the power of language itself. And here too is piercing commentary on her own work (including The Bluest Eye, Sula, Tar Baby, Jazz, Beloved, and Paradise) and that of others, among them, painter and collagist Romare Bearden, author Toni Cade Bambara, and theater director Peter Sellars. In all, The Source of Self-Regard is a luminous and essential addition to Toni Morrison's oeuvre.
Storyteller by Leslie Marmon SilkoNow back in print--a classic work of Native American literature by the bestselling author of Ceremony Leslie Marmon Silko's groundbreaking book Storyteller, first published in 1981, blends original short stories and poetry influenced by the traditional oral tales that she heard growing up on the Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico with autobiographical passages, folktales, family memories, and photographs. As she mixes traditional and Western literary genres, Silko examines themes of memory, alienation, power, and identity; communicates Native American notions regarding time, nature, and spirituality; and explores how stories and storytelling shape people and communities. Storyteller illustrates how one can frame collective cultural identity in contemporary literary forms, as well as illuminates the importance of myth, oral tradition, and ritual in Silko's own work. This edition includes a new introduction by Silko and previously unpublished photographs.
A Village Life by Louise GlückA Village Life, Louise Gluck's eleventh collection of poems, begins in the topography of a village, a Mediterranean world of no definite moment or place: All the roads in the village unite at the fountain. Avenue of Liberty, Avenue of the Acacia Trees-- The fountain rises at the center of the plaza; on sunny days, rainbows in the piss of the cherub.
The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'ConnorFirst published in 1960, The Violent Bear It Away is now a landmark in American literature. It is a dark and absorbing example of the Gothic sensibility and bracing satirical voice that are united in Flannery O'Conner's work. In it, the orphaned Francis Marion Tarwater and his cousins, the schoolteacher Rayber, defy the prophecy of their dead uncle--that Tarwater will become a prophet and will baptize Rayber's young son, Bishop. A series of struggles ensues: Tarwater fights an internal battle against his innate faith and the voices calling him to be a prophet while Rayber tries to draw Tarwater into a more "reasonable" modern world. Both wrestle with the legacy of their dead relatives and lay claim to Bishop's soul. O'Connor observes all this with an astonishing combination of irony and compassion, humor and pathos. The result is a novel whose range and depth reveal a brilliant and innovative writers acutely alert to where the sacred lives and to where it does not.
Welty by Eudora Welty; Richard Ford (Editor); Michael Kreyling (Editor)One of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, Eudora Welty's novels and stories blend the storytelling tradition of the South with a modernist sensibility attuned to the mysteries and ambiguities of experience. In this Library of America volume and its companion, Welty explores the complex abundance of southern, and particularly Southern women's, lives with an artistry that Salman Rushdie has called "impossible to overpraise." In a career spanning five decades, she chronicled her own Mississippi with a depth and intensity matched only by William Faulkner. Complete Novels gathers all of Welty's longer fiction in one volume for the first time. In The Robber Bridegroom (1942), based on a Grimm fairy tale, legendary figures from Mississippi's past, such as the keel-boat captain Mike Fink and the savage outlaws the Harp Brothers, mingle with Welty's own imaginings in a free-ranging and boisterous fantasy set along the Natchez Trace. The richly textured Delta Wedding (1946), set against a backdrop of rural Mississippi in the 1920s, vividly portrays the intricacies of family relationships in its account of the sprawling Fairchild clan--with their "family trait of quick, upturning smiles, instant comprehension of the smallest eddy of life in the current of the day, which would surely be entered in a kind of reckless pleasure"--and their Delta plantation Shellmound. Edna Earle Ponder's unrestrained and delightfully absurd monologue, superb in its capturing of the rhythms of country speech, shows Welty's humor at its idiomatic best in The Ponder Heart (1954), a flight of invention culminating in a murder trial that becomes an occasion for exuberant comedy. The monumental Losing Battles (1970), composed over fifteen years, brings Welty's imaginative gifts to the largest canvass of her career, rendering a Depression-era family reunion with mythic scope and ebullient comic vigor. The volume concludes with The Optimist's Daughter (1972), a taut and moving story of a woman rediscovering the world of her childhood as she comes to terms with her father's death. Often considered her masterpiece, it won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1972. 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.
The Woman Warrior, China Men by Maxine Hong KingstonHere for the first time in one volume; are two classic, brilliantly original works on the experience of Chinese immigrants in America. In both books Maxine Hong Kingston mines her family's past and her culture's stories, weaving myth and memory to fashion works of enormous revelatory power.
Words in Air : The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert LowellRobert Lowell once remarked in a letter to Elizabeth Bishop that "you ha[ve] always been my favorite poet and favorite friend." The feeling was mutual. Bishop said that conversation with Lowell left her feeling "picked up again to the proper table-land of poetry," and she once begged him, "Please never stop writing me letters--they always manage to make me feel like my higher self (I've been re-reading Emerson) for several days." Neither ever stopped writing letters, from their first meetingin 1947 when both were young, newly launched poets until Lowell's death in 1977. The substantial, revealing--and often very funny--interchange that they produced stands as a remarkable collective achievement, notable for its sustained conversational brilliance of style, its wealth of literary history, its incisive snapshots and portraits of people and places, and its delicious literary gossip, as well as for the window it opens into the unfolding human and artistic drama of two of America's most beloved and influential poets.
Your Native Land, Your Life by Adrienne RichThe book includes two extraordinary longer works: the self-exploratory "Sources" and "Contradictions—Tracking Poems," an ongoing index of an American woman's life. The poet writes, "In these poems I have been trying to speak from, and of, and to, my country. To speak of a different claim from those staked by the patriots of the sword; to speak of the land itself, the cities, and of the imaginations that have dwelt here, at risk, unfree, assaulted, erased. I believe more than ever that the search for justice and compassion is the great wellspring for poetry in our time, throughout the world, though the theme of despair has been canonized in this country. I draw strength from the traditions of all those who, with every reason to despair, have refused to do so."