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163 Featured Titles

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Exam Copy
Step Across This Line
Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002
Written by Salman Rushdie


Format: Trade Paperback, 416 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: September 30, 2003
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-0-679-78349-7 (0-679-78349-0)

The essays, speeches, and opinion pieces assembled in Step Across This Line, written over the last ten years, cover an astonishing range of subjects. The collection chronicles Rushdie’s intellectual odyssey and is also an especially personal look into the writer’s psyche.

With the same fierce intelligence, uncanny social commentary, and very strong... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Staying Put
Making a Home in a Restless World
Written by Scott Russell Sanders


Format: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press
On Sale: April 1, 1994
Price: $18.00
ISBN: 978-0-8070-6341-5 (0-8070-6341-X)

In the tradition of Wendell Berry, Sanders champions fidelity to place, informed by ecological awareness, arguing that intimacy with one’s home region is the grounding for global knowledge.

“Reflective, rhapsodic, luminous essays. . . . A wise and beautifully written book.” -Publishers Weekly, starred review Read more >

Exam Copy
We Have Only This Life to Live
The Selected Essays of Jean-Paul Sartre, 1939-1975
Written by Jean-Paul Sartre
Edited by Adrian van den Hoven and Ronald Aronson
Introduction by Ronald Aronson


Format: Trade Paperback, 592 pages
Publisher: NYRB Classics
On Sale: June 4, 2013
Price: $24.95
ISBN: 978-1-59017-493-7 (1-59017-493-3)

Philosopher, novelist, playwright, biographer, journalist, and activist, Jean-Paul Sartre was also–and perhaps above all–a great essayist. The essay was uniquely suited to Sartre because of its intrinsically provisional and open-ended character. It is the perfect form in which to dramatize the existential character of our deepest intellectual, artistic, and political commitments... Read more >

Exam Copy
Final Edition

Written by Wallace Shawn
Contribution by Jonathan Schell, Mark Strand and Deborah Eisenberg


Format: Trade Paperback, 80 pages
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
On Sale: December 7, 2004
Price: $10.00
ISBN: 978-1-58322-684-1 (1-58322-684-2)

Final Edition is a one-issue-only political magazine written by people who are aesthetes and literary writers and edited by Wallace Shawn, who seriously believes that part of our national problem is that the people who run the country have a crude and minimal imaginative life and are too little acquainted with... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
How Literature Saved My Life

Written by David Shields


Format: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: November 5, 2013
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-0-345-80272-9 (0-345-80272-1)

Blending confessional criticism and cultural autobiography, David Shields explores the power of literature to make life survivable, maybe even endurable. Evoking his deeply divided personality, his character flaws, his woes, his serious despair, he wants "literature to assuage human loneliness, but nothing can assuage human loneliness. Literature doesn't lie about this—which... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Reality Hunger
A Manifesto
Written by David Shields


Format: Trade Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: February 8, 2011
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-307-38797-4 (0-307-38797-6)

With this landmark book, David Shields fast-forwards the discussion of the central artistic issues of our time. Who owns ideas? How clear is the distinction between fiction and nonfiction? Has the velocity of digital culture rendered traditional modes obsolete? Exploring these and related questions, Shields orchestrates a chorus of voices, past... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a hardcover.

Exam Copy
Reality Hunger
A Manifesto
Written by David Shields


Format: Hardcover, 240 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: February 23, 2010
Price: $24.95
ISBN: 978-0-307-27353-6 (0-307-27353-9)

An open call for new literary and other art forms to match the complexities of the twenty-first century.

Reality TV dominates broadband. YouTube and Facebook dominate the web. In Reality Hunger: A Manifesto, his landmark new book, David Shields (author of the New York Times best seller The Thing About Life Is... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
The New York Review Abroad
Fifty Years of International Reportage
Edited by Robert B. Silvers
Introduction by Ian Buruma


Format: Hardcover, 544 pages
Publisher: New York Review Books
On Sale: June 4, 2013
Price: $30.00
ISBN: 978-1-59017-631-3 (1-59017-631-6)

For the past fifty years, The New York Review of Books has covered virtually every international revolution and movement of consequence by dispatching the world’s most brilliant writers to write eyewitness accounts. The New York Review Abroad not only brings together twenty-eight of the most riveting of these pieces but includes... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Dime-Store Alchemy
The Art of Joseph Cornell
Written by Charles Simic


Format: Trade Paperback, 88 pages
Publisher: NYRB Classics
On Sale: September 20, 2011
Price: $14.95
ISBN: 978-1-59017-486-9 (1-59017-486-0)

In Dime-Store Alchemy, poet Charles Simic reflects on the life and work of Joseph Cornell, the maverick surrealist who is one of America’s great artists. Simic’s spare prose is as enchanting and luminous as the mysterious boxes of found objects for which Cornell is justly renowned.

Dime-Store Alchemy...is the most sustained literary... Read more >

Exam Copy
Yearning for the Land
A Search for Homeland in Scotland and America
Written by John W. Simpson


Format: Trade Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: October 14, 2003
Price: $14.00
ISBN: 978-0-375-72547-0 (0-375-72547-4)

A beautiful, meditative memoir mixed with travel and history, this unique book is the story of one American’s search for a deeper connection to the land. Drawn by a sense that he is missing a critical link to his home in suburban Ohio, John W. Simpson heads for rural Scotland, where... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Letters to a Young Artist
Straight-up Advice on Making a Life in the Arts-For Actors, Performers, Writers, and Artists of Every Kind
Written by Anna Deavere Smith


Format: Trade Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: January 24, 2006
Price: $14.95
ISBN: 978-1-4000-3238-9 (1-4000-3238-5)

From Anna Deavere Smith here is brass-tacks advice to aspiring artists of all stripes, in the tradition of Rilke's classic Letters to a Young Poet.

Hailed as a pioneering force in American theater for her signature documentary style of performance, Anna Deavere Smith here looks back on lessons from thirty years of... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
It Must've Been Something I Ate
The Return of the Man Who Ate Everything
Written by Jeffrey Steingarten


Format: Trade Paperback, 528 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: October 14, 2003
Price: $17.00
ISBN: 978-0-375-72712-2 (0-375-72712-4)

In this outrageous and delectable new volume, the Man Who Ate Everything proves that he will do anything to eat everything. That includes going fishing for his own supply of bluefin tuna belly; nearly incinerating his oven in pursuit of the perfect pizza crust, and spending four days boning and stuffing... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Selected Letters of William Styron

Written by William Styron
Edited by Rose Styron and R. Blakeslee Gilpin


Format: Hardcover, 704 pages
Publisher: Random House
On Sale: December 4, 2012
Price: $40.00
ISBN: 978-1-4000-6806-7 (1-4000-6806-1)

In 1950, at the age of twenty-four, William Clark Styron, Jr., wrote to his mentor, Professor William Blackburn of Duke University. The young writer was struggling with his first novel, Lie Down in Darkness, and he was nervous about whether his “strain and toil” would amount to anything. “When I mature... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Making an Elephant
Writing from Within
Written by Graham Swift


Format: Trade Paperback, 416 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: May 4, 2010
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-0-307-45575-8 (0-307-45575-0)

In his first-ever work of nonfiction, Graham Swift—Booker Prize-winning author of Waterland and Last Orders—gives us a highly personal book: a singular and open-spirited account of a writer’s life.

Here Kazuo Ishiguro advises on how to choose a guitar; Salman Rushdie arrives for Christmas under guard; Caryl Phillips shares a beer with... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Everything But the Burden
What White People Are Taking from Black Culture
Written by Greg Tate


Format: Trade Paperback, 272 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books
On Sale: September 9, 2003
Price: $19.00
ISBN: 978-0-7679-1497-0 (0-7679-1497-X)

Following the trail blazed by Norman Mailer’s controversial essay “The White Negro,” Everything but the Burden brings together voices from music, popular culture, the literary world, and the media speaking about how from Brooklyn to the Badlands white people are co-opting black styles of music, dance, dress, and slang. In this... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
A Writer's Life
The Margaret Laurence Lectures
Written by The Writers' Trust of Canada


Format: Trade Paperback, 416 pages
Publisher: Emblem Editions
On Sale: May 24, 2011
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 978-0-7710-8928-2 (0-7710-8928-7)

For the past twenty-five years, the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s annual lecture series, the Margaret Laurence Memorial Lecture, has invited some of Canada’s most prominent authors to discuss the theme of “A Writer’s Life” in front of their peers. Hugh MacLennan, Mavis Gallant, Timothy Findley, W.O. Mitchell, Pierre Berton, P.K. Page... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Proud Highway
Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967
Written by Hunter S. Thompson
Edited by Douglas Brinkley
Foreword by William J. Kennedy


Format: Trade Paperback, 720 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books
On Sale: April 7, 1998
Price: $20.00
ISBN: 978-0-345-37796-8 (0-345-37796-6)

Here, for the first time, is the private and most intimate correspondence of one of America's most influential and incisive journalists--Hunter S. Thompson.

In letters to a Who's Who of luminaries from Norman Mailer to Charles Kuralt, Tom Wolfe to Lyndon Johnson, William Styron to Joan Baez--not to mention his mother, the... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Walden and Other Writings

Written by Henry David Thoreau
Edited by Brooks Atkinson
Introduction by Ralph Waldo Emerson


Format: Trade Paperback, 848 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: November 14, 2000
Price: $12.00
ISBN: 978-0-679-78334-3 (0-679-78334-2)

Naturalist, philosopher, champion of self-reliance and moral independence, Henry David Thoreau remains not only one of our most influential writers but also one of our most contemporary. This unique and comprehensive edition gathers all of Thoreau's most significant works (including his masterpiece Walden, reproduced in its entirety). Taken together, they reveal... Read more >
Also available as an eBook, eBook, hardcover and a paperback.

Exam Copy
Always Looking
Essays on Art
Written by John Updike
Edited by Christopher Carduff


Format: Hardcover, 224 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: November 27, 2012
Price: $45.00
ISBN: 978-0-307-95730-6 (0-307-95730-6)

In this posthumous collection of John Updike’s art writings, a companion volume to the acclaimed Just Looking (1989) and Still Looking (2005), readers are again treated to “remarkably elegant essays” (Newsday) in which “the psychological concerns of the novelist drive the eye from work to work until a deep understanding of... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Due Considerations
Essays and Criticism
Written by John Updike


Format: Trade Paperback, 736 pages
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
On Sale: September 30, 2008
Price: $20.00
ISBN: 978-0-345-49900-4 (0-345-49900-X)

“A drop of truth, of lived experience, glistens in each.” This is how John Updike, one of the world’s most acclaimed novelists, modestly describes his nonfiction work, the brilliant and graceful essays and criticism he has written for more than five decades. Due Considerations is his sixth collection, and perhaps the... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a hardcover.

Exam Copy
Due Considerations
Essays and Criticism
Written by John Updike


Format: Hardcover, 736 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: October 23, 2007
Price: $40.00
ISBN: 978-0-307-26640-8 (0-307-26640-0)

John Updike’s sixth collection of essays and literary criticism opens with a skeptical overview of literary biographies, proceeds to five essays on topics ranging from China and small change to faith and late works, and takes up, under the heading “General Considerations,” books, poker, cars, and the American libido. The last... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Higher Gossip
Essays and Criticism
Written by John Updike
Edited by Christopher Carduff


Format: Hardcover, 528 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: November 1, 2011
Price: $40.00
ISBN: 978-0-307-95715-3 (0-307-95715-2)

A collection both intimate and generous of the eloquent, insightful, beautifully written prose works that John Updike was compiling when he died in January 2009.

This collection of miscellaneous prose opens with a self-portrait of the writer in winter, a Prospero who, though he fears his most dazzling performances are behind him... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
The Last Empire
Essays 1992-2000
Written by Gore Vidal


Format: Trade Paperback, 480 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: June 11, 2002
Price: $17.95
ISBN: 978-0-375-72639-2 (0-375-72639-X)

Like his National Book Award—winning United States, Gore Vidal’s scintillating ninth collection, The Last Empire, affirms his reputation as our most provocative critic and observer of the modern American scene. In the essays collected here, Vidal brings his keen intellect, experience, and razor-edged wit to bear on an astonishing range of... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Selected Essays of Gore Vidal

Written by Gore Vidal


Format: Trade Paperback, 480 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: June 16, 2009
Price: $17.00
ISBN: 978-0-307-38868-1 (0-307-38868-9)

Gore Vidal—novelist, playwright, critic, screenwriter, memoirist, indefatigable political commentator, and controversialist—is America's premier man of letters. No other living writer brings more sparkling wit, vast learning, indelible personality, and provocative mirth to the job of writing an essay.

This long-needed volume comprises some twenty-four of his best-loved pieces of criticism, political commentary... Read more >

Exam Copy
God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian

Written by Kurt Vonnegut
Foreword by Neil Gaiman


Format: Trade Paperback, 96 pages
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
On Sale: December 14, 2010
Price: $11.95
ISBN: 978-1-60980-073-4 (1-60980-073-7)

From Slapstick’s “Turkey Farm” to Slaughterhouse-Five’s eternity in a Tralfamadorean zoo cage with Montana Wildhack, the question of the afterlife never left Kurt Vonnegut’s mind. In God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian, Vonnegut skips back and forth between life and the Afterlife as if the difference between them were rather slight. In... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.
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