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289 Featured Titles

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Exam Copy
God and the American Writer

Written by Alfred Kazin


Format: Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: October 27, 1998
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-679-73341-6 (0-679-73341-8)

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
Choice Outstanding Academic Book

"God and the American Writer does more to illuminate the fundamental purposes and motivations of our greatest writers from Hawthorne to Faulkner than any study I have read in the past fifty-five years--that is... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Nigger
The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word
Written by Randall Kennedy


Format: Trade Paperback, 208 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: January 14, 2003
Price: $14.95
ISBN: 978-0-375-71371-2 (0-375-71371-9)

It’s “the nuclear bomb of racial epithets,” a word that whites have employed to wound and degrade African Americans for three centuries. Paradoxically, among many black people it has become a term of affection and even empowerment. The word, of course, is nigger, and in this candid, lucidly argued book the... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Age of Shakespeare

Written by Frank Kermode


Format: Trade Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: May 10, 2005
Price: $14.00
ISBN: 978-0-8129-7433-1 (0-8129-7433-6)

In The Age of Shakespeare, Frank Kermode uses the history and culture of the Elizabethan era to enlighten us about William Shakespeare and his poetry and plays. Opening with the big picture of the religious and dynastic events that defined England in the age of the Tudors, Kermode takes the reader... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Benjamin Disraeli

Written by Adam Kirsch


Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
Publisher: Schocken
On Sale: September 2, 2008
Price: $21.00
ISBN: 978-0-8052-4249-2 (0-8052-4249-X)

A dandy, a best-selling novelist, and a man of political and sexual intrigue, Benjamin Disraeli was one of the most captivating figures of the nineteenth century. His flirtation with proto-Zionism, his ideas about power and empire, and his fantasies about the Middle East remain prophetically relevant today. How a man who... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Sydney and Violet
Their Life with T.S. Eliot, Proust, Joyce and the Excruciatingly Irascible Wyndham Lewis
Written by Stephen Klaidman


Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
Publisher: Nan A. Talese
On Sale: September 3, 2013
Price: $27.95
ISBN: 978-0-385-53409-3 (0-385-53409-4)

A long overdue biography of the power couple that nurtured and influenced the literary world of early twentieth-century England

"I write primarily to pay homage to a beloved friend, but also in the hope that some future chronicler of the history of art and letters in our time may give to Sydney... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a trade paperback.

With Love and Squalor
13 Writers Responds to the Work of J.D. Salinger
Written by Kip Kotzen and Thomas Beller


Format: eBook, 208 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books
On Sale: February 11, 2002
Price: $11.99
ISBN: 978-0-7679-1121-4 (0-7679-1121-0)

Reading The Catcher in the Rye has become a rite of passage for young Americans, landing the book on bestseller lists (and banned book lists) each year, even though it was published a half century ago. What is it about J. D. Salinger and his body of work that has left... Read more >
Also available as a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
With Love and Squalor
13 Writers Respond to the Work of J.D. Salinger
Written by Kip Kotzen and Thomas Beller


Format: Trade Paperback, 208 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books
On Sale: October 16, 2001
Price: $13.99
ISBN: 978-0-7679-0799-6 (0-7679-0799-X)

Reading The Catcher in the Rye has become a rite of passage for young Americans, landing the book on bestseller lists (and banned book lists) each year, even though it was published a half century ago. What is it about J. D. Salinger and his body of work that has left... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Birdseye
The Adventures of a Curious Man
Written by Mark Kurlansky


Format: Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: February 12, 2013
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-0-7679-3030-7 (0-7679-3030-4)

While working as a fur trapper in Labrador, Canada, Clarence Birdseye encountered an age-old problem: bad food and an unappealing, unhealthy diet. However, he observed that fresh vegetables wetted and left outside in the Arctic winds froze in a way that maintained their integrity after thawing. As a result, he developed... Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download and an eBook.

Exam Copy
Nobody's Perfect
Writings from The New Yorker
Written by Anthony Lane


Format: Trade Paperback, 784 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: September 9, 2003
Price: $25.00
ISBN: 978-0-375-71434-4 (0-375-71434-0)

In an aside that reads like a declaration of intent, Anthony Lane writes that he “never quite thrilled to the battle pitched between mainstream and art cinema”—which is to say that he glories in highbrow and lowbrow alike, and respectfully suggests that “the ideal literary diet consists of trash and classics... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Wave in the Mind
Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination
Written by Ursula K. Le Guin


Format: Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher: Shambhala
On Sale: February 17, 2004
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 978-1-59030-006-0 (1-59030-006-8)

Join Ursula K. Le Guin as she explores a broad array of subjects, ranging from Tolstoy, Twain, and Tolkien to women’s shoes, beauty, and family life. With her customary wit, intelligence, and literary craftsmanship, she offers a diverse and highly engaging set of readings. The Wave in the Mind includes some... Read more >

Exam Copy
Edith Wharton

Written by Hermione Lee


Format: Trade Paperback, 912 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: April 8, 2008
Price: $24.00
ISBN: 978-0-375-70287-7 (0-375-70287-3)

From Hermione Lee, the internationally acclaimed, award-winning biographer of Virginia Woolf and Willa Cather, comes a superb reexamination of one of the most famous American women of letters.

Delving into heretofore untapped sources, Lee does away with the image of the snobbish bluestocking and gives us a new Edith Wharton-tough, startlingly modern... Read more >
Also available as an abridged audiobook download and an eBook.

Penelope Fitzgerald
A Life
Written by Hermione Lee


Format: eBook, 512 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: November 18, 2014
Price: $17.99
ISBN: 978-0-385-35235-2 (0-385-35235-2)

The acclaimed biographer of Edith Wharton and Virginia Woolf gives us an intimate portrait of one of the most quietly brilliant novelists of the twentieth century.

Penelope Fitzgerald was a great English writer whose career didn't begin until she was nearly sixty. She would go on to win some of the most... Read more >
Also available as a hardcover.

Exam Copy
Willa Cather
Double Lives
Written by Hermione Lee


Format: Trade Paperback, 424 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: November 5, 1991
Price: $23.00
ISBN: 978-0-679-73649-3 (0-679-73649-2)


Cather is usually read as a nostalgic celebrator of the American past. Lee explores a stranger and more complex Cather, whose life and work are rife with split identities, sexual conflicts and stoic fatalism.

“The extremely well-traveled, versatile, and prolific Willa Cather (1873-1947) was a private person and hence ‘a resistant... Read more >

Exam Copy
The Ecstasy of Influence
Nonfictions, Etc.
Written by Jonathan Lethem


Format: Trade Paperback, 464 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: October 2, 2012
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-0-307-74450-0 (0-307-74450-7)

National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
A New York Times Notable Book
A Best Book of the Year —Austin American-Statesman

Includes a new, previously uncollected piece: "My Internet"

In The Ecstasy of Influence, the incomparable Jonathan Lethem has compiled a career-spanning collection of occasional pieces—essays, memoir, liner notes, fiction, and criticism—which also doubles as a... Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download and an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Hall of Uselessness
Collected Essays
Written by Simon Leys
Foreword by Simon Leys


Format: Trade Paperback, 576 pages
Publisher: NYRB Classics
On Sale: July 30, 2013
Price: $19.95
ISBN: 978-1-59017-620-7 (1-59017-620-0)

Simon Leys is a Renaissance man for the era of globalization: a distinguished scholar of classical Chinese art and literature, he was one of the first Westerners to expose the horrors of Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Leys’s interests and expertise are not, however, confined to China: he also writes about European art... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself
A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace
Written by David Lipsky


Format: Trade Paperback, 352 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books
On Sale: April 13, 2010
Price: $16.99
ISBN: 978-0-307-59243-9 (0-307-59243-X)

"If you can think of times in your life that you’ve treated people with extraordinary decency and love, and pure uninterested concern, just because they were valuable as human beings. The ability to do that with ourselves. To treat ourselves the way we would treat a really good, precious friend. Or... Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download and an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Rise of Abraham Cahan

Written by Seth Lipsky


Format: Hardcover, 240 pages
Publisher: Schocken
On Sale: October 15, 2013
Price: $26.00
ISBN: 978-0-8052-4210-2 (0-8052-4210-4)

Part of the Jewish Encounters series

The first general-interest biography of the legendary editor of the Jewish Daily Forward, the newspaper of Yiddish-speaking immigrants that inspired, educated, and entertained millions of readers; helped redefine journalism during its golden age; and transformed American culture.

Already a noted journalist writing for... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Stations of the Heart
Parting with a Son
Written by Richard Lischer


Format: Hardcover, 272 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: April 2, 2013
Price: $25.00
ISBN: 978-0-307-96053-5 (0-307-96053-6)

A poignant, emotionally riveting, profoundly heart-felt but unsentimental love story of a father for his son--at once funny, heartbreaking, and hopeful—as the young man teaches his family "a new way to die," with wit, candor, and, always, remarkable grace.

At the book's opening, Richard Lischer's son, Adam, calls to tell his father... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Cuba: My Revolution

Written by Inverna Lockpez
Illustrated by Dean Haspiel


Format: Hardcover, 144 pages
Publisher: Vertigo
On Sale: September 14, 2010
Price: $24.99
ISBN: 978-1-4012-2217-8 (1-4012-2217-X)

Seventeen-year-old Sonia, a medical student with dreams of becoming a modernist painter, is caught up in Fidel Castro’s revolution from the moment it captures Havana on New Year’s Eve 1958. While her eccentric mother hatches an increasingly desperate series of plans to flee Cuba, Sonia joins the militia and volunteers as... Read more >

Exam Copy
How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare

Written by Ken Ludwig


Format: Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books
On Sale: July 1, 2014
Price: $14.00
ISBN: 978-0-307-95150-2 (0-307-95150-2)

William Shakespeare’s plays are among the great bedrocks of Western civilization and contain the finest writing of the past 450 years. Many of the best novels, plays, poetry, and films in the English language produced since Shakespeare’s death in 1616—from Jane Austen to The Godfather—are heavily influenced by Shakespeare’s stories, characters... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a hardcover.

Exam Copy
Masscult and Midcult
Essays Against the American Grain
Written by Dwight Macdonald
Edited by John Summers
Introduction by Louis Menand


Format: Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: NYRB Classics
On Sale: October 11, 2011
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-59017-447-0 (1-59017-447-X)

Political radical, trenchant essayist, and impresario of the New York intellectuals, Dwight Macdonald was one of the towering figures of twentieth-century American letters. In his most famous and controversial essay, “Masscult and Midcult”, MacDonald turns his formidable critical attention to what he sees as a new, and potentially catastrophic, development in... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Echoes of an Autobiography

Written by Naguib Mahfouz


Format: Trade Paperback, 144 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: December 29, 1997
Price: $13.00
ISBN: 978-0-385-48556-2 (0-385-48556-5)

Mahfouz’s first nonfiction book published in the United States is a collection of autobiographical reflections reminiscent of such works as Pascal’s Pensées. The short and pithy passages Mahfouz presents are not simply a narration of incidents in his life, but a personal reflection on situations and events that have lodged in... Read more >

Exam Copy
The Purloined Clinic
Selected Writings
Written by Janet Malcolm


Format: Trade Paperback, 400 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: November 2, 1993
Price: $19.00
ISBN: 978-0-679-74810-6 (0-679-74810-5)

The Purloined Clinic is a retrospective of essays, reviews, and reports that reflect the range and depth of Janet Malcolm's engagement with psychology, criticism, art, and literature.

She examines aspects of “that absurdist collaboration,” the psychoanalytic dialogue, from which come “small, stray sell recognitions that no other human relationship yields, brought forward... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Reading Chekhov
A Critical Journey
Written by Janet Malcolm


Format: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
On Sale: November 12, 2002
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-375-76106-5 (0-375-76106-3)

To illuminate the mysterious greatness of Anton Chekhov’s writings, Janet Malcolm takes on three roles: literary critic, biographer, and journalist. Her close readings of the stories and plays are interwoven with episodes from Chekhov’s life and framed by an account of Malcolm’s journey to St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Yalta. She writes... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Silent Woman
Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes
Written by Janet Malcolm


Format: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: March 28, 1995
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-0-679-75140-3 (0-679-75140-8)

In an astonishing feat of literary detection, Malcolm examines the biographies of Sylvia Plath to create a book not about Plath's life but about her afterlife: how her estranged husband, the poet Ted Hughes, as executor of her estate, tried to serve two masters--Plath's art and his own need for privacy... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.
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