Necropolis is an unconventional literary memoir by Vladislav Khodasevich, hailed by Vladimir Nabokov as “the greatest Russian poet of our time.” In each of the book’s nine chapters, Khodasevich memorializes a significant figure of Russia’s literary Silver Age, and in the process writes an insightful obituary of the era.
Written at various times throughout the 1920s and 1930s following the deaths of its subjects, Necropolis is a literary graveyard in which an entire movement, Russian Symbolism, is buried. Recalling figures including Alexander Blok, Sergey Esenin, Fyodor Sologub, and the socialist realist Maxim Gorky, Khodasevich tells the story of how their lives and artworks intertwined, including a notoriously tempestuous love triangle among Nina Petrovskaya, Valery Bryusov, and Andrei Bely. He testifies to the seductive and often devastating power of the Symbolist attempt to turn one’s life into a work of art and, ultimately, how one man was left with the task of memorializing his fellow artists after their deaths. Khodasevich’s portraits deal with revolution, disillusionment, emigration, suicide, the vocation of the poet, and the place of the artist in society. One of the greatest memoirs in Russian literature, Necropolis is a compelling work from an overlooked writer whose gifts for observation and irony show the early twentieth-century Russian literary scene in a new and more intimate light.
In the earliest published diaries of Ned Rorem, the acclaimed American composer recalls a bygone era and its luminaries, celebrates the creative process, and examines the gay culture of Europe and the US during the 1950sOne of America’s most significant contemporary composers, Ned Rorem is also widely acclaimed as a diarist of unique insight and refreshing candor. Together, his Paris Diary, first published in 1966, and The New York Diary,which followed a year later, paint a colorful landscape of Rorem’s world and its famous inhabitants, as well as a fascinating self-portrait of a footloose young artist unabashedly drinking deeply of life. In this amalgam of forthright personal reflections and cogent social commentary, unprecedented for its time, Rorem’s anecdotal recollections of the decade from 1951 to 1961 represent Gay Liberation in its infancy as the author freely expresses his open sexuality not as a revelation but as a simple fact of life. At once blisteringly honest and exquisitely entertaining, Rorem’s diaries expound brilliantly on the creative process, following their peripatetic author from Paris to Morocco to Italy and back home to America as he crosses paths with Picasso, Cocteau, Gide, Boulez, and other luminaries of the era. With consummate skill and unexpurgated insight, a younger, wilder Rorem reflects on a bygone time and culture and, in doing so, holds a revealing mirror to himself.
Deck Shoes is a book of influences and enthusiasms about poetry and the writing life, in which everyday objects and experiences —pencils, a notebook, going for a swim— sit alongside meditations on illness and ageing mortality. In these short, lyrical essays Anthony Wilson honours the debt of gratitude he feels to poets, writers and artistswho have made their mark on his imagination. Through them a wry and complex portrait unfolds of the different roles a poet plays, from performer to friend, father to academic.
Ellen Gilchrist, famed Southern storyteller, author of more than a dozen books and winner of the National Book Award, has long been a subject of fascination among readers.Now, with this collection of essays, readers can explore the legend throughout her career. From the Mississippi plantation of her childhood to pieces featured in Vogue, Outside, New Woman, and The Washington Post Sunday Magazine, Gilchrist comes alive. With over 40 pictures, essays about Gilchrist’s thoughts on writing, and a peek into the books, teachers, and artists that influenced her work, this is required reading for any fan. “This volume should provide welcome fare for Gilchrist fans.”—Kirkus Reviews
After the death of her mother and the end of a post-divorce relationship leave her heartbroken, novelist Amanda Brookfield finds her once secure world imploding. As despair closes in, she talks of getting a puppy to revive her optimistic spirit.
Amanda is advised that her lifestyle will not suit becoming a dog-owner but she can't resist Mabel, a beautiful golden doodle puppy. Arming herself with an arsenal of equipment, Amanda learns that there are no short-cuts to training and caring for a dog. Through battling daily challenges and constantly regrouping, Amanda realises she is starting to come to terms with her bereavement and the prospect of facing the rest of her life alone.
For the Love of a Dog tells the bigger, more poignant story about the labour of emotional recovery after the trauma of loss. Mabel shines like a light throughout, the unwitting architect of rebuilding self-belief. Mabel's own journey is equally captivating: as she blossoms into a mischievous, endearing head-turner of a companion – as affectionate as she is glorious.
In 1995, Sophia McColgan's father was sentenced to prison for the serial rape and abuse of his children over many years. He had first raped Sophia when she was only six. It had taken immense courage on the part of Sophia and her family to bring the murky, hidden world of family child abuse to the public gaze.
Then, in 1998, Susan McKay published Sophia's Story, one of the most acclaimed Irish books of modern times.
Now re-issued with a new introduction by Susan McKay, it records a triumph of the human spirit in the face of the most degrading and destructive betrayal of trust. Sophia McColgan, who now lives abroad, was Irish Person of the Year in 1998.
"The Iliad of the Iraq war" (Tim Weiner)--a gut-wrenching, beautiful memoir of the consequences of war on the psyche of a young man.
Eat the Apple is a daring, twisted, and darkly hilarious story of American youth and masculinity in an age of continuous war. Matt Young joined the Marine Corps at age eighteen after a drunken night culminating in wrapping his car around a fire hydrant. The teenage wasteland he fled followed him to the training bases charged with making him a Marine. Matt survived the training and then not one, not two, but three deployments to Iraq, where the testosterone, danger, and stakes for him and his fellow grunts were dialed up a dozen decibels.
With its kaleidoscopic array of literary forms, from interior dialogues to infographics to prose passages that read like poetry, Young's narrative powerfully mirrors the multifaceted nature of his experience. Visceral, ironic, self-lacerating, and ultimately redemptive, Young's story drops us unarmed into Marine Corps culture and lays bare the absurdism of 21st-century war, the manned-up vulnerability of those on the front lines, and the true, if often misguided, motivations that drove a young man to a life at war.
Searing in its honesty, tender in its vulnerability, and brilliantly written, Eat the Apple is a modern war classic in the making and a powerful coming-of-age story that maps the insane geography of our times.
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