A reader’s fictional tour of the art and lives of some of the great 20th-century Surrealists An author (a version of Vila-Matas himself) presents a short “history” of a secret society, the Shandies, who are obsessed with the concept of “portable literature.” The society is entirely imagined, but in this rollicking, intellectually playful book, its members include writers and artists like Marcel Duchamp, Aleister Crowley, Witold Gombrowicz, Federico García Lorca, Man Ray, and Georgia O’Keefe. The Shandies meet secretly in apartments, hotels, and cafes all over Europe to discuss what great literature really is: brief, not too serious, penetrating the depths of the mysterious. We witness the Shandies having adventures in stationary submarines, underground caverns, African backwaters, and the cultural capitals of Europe.
A novella—half joke and half nightmare— by "Spain's most significant contemporary literary figure" (The New Yorker) Because She Never Asked is a story reminiscent of that reached by the travelers in Patricia Highsmith's Stranger on a Train. The author first writes a piece for the artist Sophie Calle to live out: a young, aspiring, French artist travels to Lisbon and the Azores in pursuit of an older artist whose work she’s in love with. The second part of the story tells what happens between the author and Calle. She eludes, him; he becomes blocked, and suffers physical collapse. “Something strange happened along the way,” Vila-Matas wrote. “Normally, writers try to pass a work of fiction off as being real. But in Because She Never Asked, the opposite occurred: in order to give meaning to the story of my life, I found that I needed to present it as fiction.”
What was the greatest goal of all time? Why do the Hungarians have a more philosophical sense of defeat than the Mexicans? Do the dead play soccer? On a planet where FIFA has more members than the United Nations, Juan Villoro's examination of soccer and its 3.5 billion-person fandom has stakes beyond those of such playful questions. Soccer is more than just a game; it is a catalyst for panglobal unity and even, Villoro suggests, the "recovery of childhood."
"A lot of people will be interested in the famous bookshops of the world: Jorge Carrión has gone and visited them all. We can't travel right now, but we can travel in books." MARGARET ATWOOD Why do bookshops matter? How do they filter our ideas and literature? In this inventive and highly entertaining extended essay, Jorge Carrion takes his reader on a journey around the world, via its bookshops. His travels take him to Shakespeare & Co in Paris, Wells in Winchester, Green Apple Books in San Francisco, Librairie des Colonnes in Tangier, the Strand Book Store in New York and provoke encounters with thinkers, poets, dreamers, revolutionaries and readers. Bookshops is the travelogue of a lucid and curious observer, filled with anecdotes and stories from the universe of writing, publishing and selling books. A bookshop in Carrion's eyes never just a place for material transaction; it is a meeting place for people and their ideas, a setting for world changing encounters, a space that can transform lives. Written in the midst of a worldwide recession, Bookshops examines the role of these spaces in today's evershifting climate of globalisation, vanishing high streets, e-readers and Amazon. But far from taking a pessimistic view of the future of the physical bookshop, Carrion makes a compelling case for hope, underlining the importance of these places and the magic that can happen there. A vital manifesto for the future of the traditional bookshop, and a delight for all who love them. Translated from the Spanish by Peter Bush
WINNER OF THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN FICTION WINNER OF THE FOLIO PRIZE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST FINALIST FOR THE KIRKUS PRIZE FOR FICTION LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE LONGLISTED FOR THE ASPEN WORDS LITERARY PRIZE One of The New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year A Best Book of 2019: Entertainment Weekly; TIME; NPR; O, The Oprah Magazine; The Washington Post; GQ; The Guardian; Chicago Tribune; Dallas Morning News; and the New York Public Library “The novel truly becomes novel again in Luiselli’s hands—electric, elastic, alluring, new.” --Parul Sehgal, The New York Times A fiercely imaginative new novel about a family whose road trip across America collides with an immigration crisis at the southwestern border--an indelible journey told with breathtaking imagery, spare lyricism, and profound humanity. A mother and father set out with their two children, a boy and a girl, driving from New York to Arizona in the heat of summer. Their destination: Apacheria, the place the Apaches once called home. Why Apaches? asks the ten-year-old son. Because they were the last of something, answers his father. In their car, they play games and sing along to music. But on the radio, there is news about an "immigration crisis": thousands of kids trying to cross the southwestern border into the United States, but getting detained--or lost in the desert along the way. As the family drives--through Virginia to Tennessee, across Oklahoma and Texas--we sense they are on the brink of a crisis of their own. A fissure is growing between the parents, one the children can almost feel beneath their feet. They are led, inexorably, to a grand, harrowing adventure--both in the desert landscape and within the chambers of their own imaginations. Told through several compelling voices, blending texts, sounds, and images, Lost Children Archive is an astonishing feat of literary virtuosity. It is a richly engaging story of how we document our experiences, and how we remember the things that matter to us the most. With urgency and empathy, it takes us deep into the lives of one remarkable family as it probes the nature of justice and equality today.
Designed for literature classes that only need the essentials, The PORTABLE LITERATURE: READING, REACTING, WRITING, Sixth Edition is the affordable, portable alternative to full length-or even compact-introduction to literature texts.
Publishers Weekly “Top 10 Book of the Year” selection “Begins as entertaining slapstick, subtly metamorphoses into fable. . . . As [the narrator’s] vivid imaginary world fuses with reality this deceptively ethereal novel advances toward a dark and startling finale.” —Wall Street Journal Laid off from his job, Damián Lobo obsessively imagines himself as a celebrity being interviewed on TV. After committing an act of petty theft at an antiques market, he finds himself trapped inside a wardrobe and delivered to the seemingly idyllic home of a husband, wife, and their internet-addicted teenage daughter. There, he sneaks from the shadows to serve as an invisible butler, becoming deeply and disastrously involved with his unknowing host family. Every thread of the plot is ingeniously tied together, creating a potent admixture of parable, love story, and thriller. Millás masterfully reveals the everyday as innately surreal as he renders the unbelievable tangible and the trivial fantastical, and full of dark humor. Juan José Millás is the recipient of Spain’s most prestigious literary prizes: the Premio Nadal, Premio Planeta, and Premio Nacional de Narrativa. A regular contributor to El País, Millás has also won many awards for his journalism. He is the author of several short story collections and works of nonfiction as well as over a dozen novels, including From the Shadows, the first of his novels to be published in North America. He lives in Madrid.