In this important collection, eighteen renowned writers, including David Remnick, Zadie Smith, Rebecca Skloot, Rory Stewart, and Adam Gopnik evoke the spirit and history of some of the world’s most recognized and significant city squares, accompanied by illustrations from equally distinguished photographers.
Over half of the world’s citizens now live in cities, and this number is rapidly growing. At the heart of these municipalities is the square—the defining urban public space since the dawn of democracy in Ancient Greece. Each square stands for a larger theme in history: cultural, geopolitical, anthropological, or architectural, and each of the eighteen luminary writers has contributed his or her own innate talent, prodigious research, and local knowledge.
Divided into three parts: Culture, Geopolitics, History, headlined by Michael Kimmelman, David Remnick, and George Packer, this significant anthology shows the city square in new light. Jehane Noujaim, award-winning filmmaker, takes the reader through her return to Tahrir Square during the 2011 protest; Rory Stewart, diplomat and author, chronicles a square in Kabul which has come and gone several times over five centuries; Ari Shavit describes the dramatic changes of central Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square; Rick Stengel, editor, author, and journalist, recounts the power of Mandela’s choice of the Grand Parade, Cape Town, a huge market square to speak to the world right after his release from twenty-seven years in prison; while award-winning journalist Gillian Tett explores the concept of the virtual square in the age of social media.
This collection is an important lesson in history, a portrait of the world we live in today, as well as an exercise in thinking about the future. Evocative and compelling, City Squares will change the way you walk through a city.
David Adjaye on Jemma e-Fnna, Marrakech • Anne Applebaum on Red Square, Moscow and Grand Market Square, Krakow • Chrystia Freeland on Euromaiden, Kiev • Adam Gopnik on Place des Vosges, Paris • Alma Guillermoprieto on Zocalo, Mexico City • Jehane Noujaim on Tahrir Square, Cairo • Evan Osnos on Tiananmen Square, Beijing • Andrew Roberts on Residential Squares, London • Elif Shafak on Taksim Square, Istanbul • Rebecca Skloot on American Town Squares • Ari Shavit on Rabin Square, Tel Aviv • Zadie Smith on the grand piazzas of Rome and Venice • Richard Stengel on Market Square, Grand Parade, Cape Town • Rory Stewart on Murad Khane, Kabul • Plus contributions by Gillian Tett, George Packer, David Remnick, and Michael Kimmelman; illustrations and photographs from renowned photographers, including: Thomas Struth, Philip Lorca di Corcia, and Josef Koudelka
For readers of Walden, Wild, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, A Book of Silence, A Gift from the Sea and other celebrations of the inner adventure.
An utterly engaging dive into our modern ways of retreat — where we go, why we’re drawn, and how it’s urgent
From pilgrim paths to forest cabins, and from rented hermitages to arts temples and quiet havens for yoga and meditation, In Praise of Retreat explores the pleasures and powers of this ancient practice for modern people. Kirsteen MacLeod draws on the history of retreat and personal experiences to reveal the many ways readers can step back from society to reconnect with their deepest selves — and to their loftiest aspirations in life.
In the 21st century, disengaging, even briefly, is seen by many as self-indulgent, unproductive, and antisocial. Yet to retreat is as basic a human need as being social, and everyone can benefit, whether it’s for a weekend, a month, or a lifetime. Retreat is an uncertain adventure with as many peaks and valleys as any mountain expedition, except we head inward, to recharge and find fresh energy and brave new ideas to bring back into our everyday lives.
If you go into the woods, you're in for a dark surprise.
Thirty years ago, three girls followed a stranger into the woods. Only two returned. The surviving pair have never been able to remember what happened or what the fate of the third girl was. Local rumours talk of hippies and drugs and mystic rituals, but no one has learned the truth.
This story is just what Rowan Blake needs. He's in debt, his journalistic career is in tatters – as well as his damaged body – and he's retreated to the Lake District to write. Yet even Rowan isn't prepared for the evil he is about to unearth, for the secrets that have been buried in that wood for far too long...
Praise for David Mark:
'Dark, compelling crime writing of the highest order' DAILY MAIL
'Breathtaking' PETER MAY
'Truly exhilarating and inventive. Mark is a wonderfully descriptive writer' PETER JAMES
'Brilliantly written – a cracking story' RICHARD MADELEY, Richard and Judy Book Club
'To call Mark's novels police procedurals is like calling the Mona Lisa a pretty painting. Beautifully crafted, filled with flashbacks, horror, angst, and chilling detail' KIRKUS REVIEWS
'Exceptional ... Mark is writing at the top of his game' PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, Starred Review
'A master of the dark psychological thriller' KIRKUS
With a lack of sentimentality unusual for the genre, Venice Observed explores the history, art, architecture, religion, and cultural peculiarities of the City of Canals. Mordantly witty and legendarily wry, Mary McCarthy catalogs the impressions of such visitors to the city as Montaigne, Stendhal, Spencer, and Henry James, but paints her own wholly original depictions of the city. Her adoration of the immortal city enlivens her interest in everything from the Venetian preference for cats over dogs to Tintoretto's paintings in the Scuola di San Rocco. Concerning Venice's ubiquitous tourists, McCarthy notes, "The complaint against foreigners, voiced by a foreigner, chimes querulously through the ages, in unison with the medieval monk who found St Mark's Square filled with 'Turks, Libyans, Parthians, and other monsters of the sea.' Today it is the Germans we complain of, and no doubt they complain of the Americans, in the same words." Conversational yet deeply informed, Venice Observed is a classic travel narrative for the ages.
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