1. 
When you peer at far-off China, nine puffs of smoke:And the single pool of the ocean has drained into a cup.
—Li Ho, from “A Dream of Heaven,” translated by A.C. Graham and collected in Poems of the Late T’ang

Many thanks to the photographer for supplying the apposite caption.
As always: If you have a photo of an NYRB Classic posed with a cup of coffee or tea, send it to this address and we’ll add it to the Classics and Coffee Club series. And let us know where you bought or borrowed the book from—we’d be glad to shout out places that stock NYRB Classics.

    When you peer at far-off China, nine puffs of smoke:
    And the single pool of the ocean has drained into a cup.

    —Li Ho, from “A Dream of Heaven,” translated by A.C. Graham and collected in Poems of the Late T’ang

    Many thanks to the photographer for supplying the apposite caption.

    As always: If you have a photo of an NYRB Classic posed with a cup of coffee or tea, send it to this address and we’ll add it to the Classics and Coffee Club series. And let us know where you bought or borrowed the book from—we’d be glad to shout out places that stock NYRB Classics.

  2. Celebrate Tove Jansson tonight at Scandinavia House, NY

    Photo by Finland New York

    Scandinavia House, 58 Park Avenue, New York, NY
    6:30 p.m.

    Join NYRB Classics and Scandinavia House in celebrating the publication of The Woman Who Borrowed Memories: Selected Stories of Tove Jansson. Novelists Philip Teir and Kathryn Davis will discuss the life and work of writer and artist Tove Jansson, creator of the beloved Moomin cartoons, and her influence on their own fiction. Actor Tuomas Hiltunen will read passages from the new story collection and journalist Anu Partanen will moderate the evening. This is a free event with a reception to follow.

  3. Wishing Greenlight Bookstore a very happy FIFTH birthday.
Greenlight’s bookgroup will be discussing the scabrous After Claude (by Iris Owens) tomorrow, October 21st, in the lovely Annex café/wine bar.

    Wishing Greenlight Bookstore a very happy FIFTH birthday.

    Greenlight’s bookgroup will be discussing the scabrous After Claude (by Iris Owens) tomorrow, October 21st, in the lovely Annex café/wine bar.

  4. Listen to Paul Theroux read Elizabeth Taylor’s story “The Letter Writers,” originally published in The New Yorker and included in You’ll Enjoy it When You Get There: The Stories of Elizabeth Taylor, edited by Margaret Drabble. 

    The New Yorker sums the story up:

    [It] is about Emily, a forty-year-old single woman who lives in an English village, and Edmund, a famous writer who lives in Rome. The two have maintained a frequent and intimate correspondence for ten years but have never met in person. When Edmund decides to visit Emily, she worries that face-to-face interaction will spoil their friendship.

    After the reading, Theroux and The New Yorker's Deborah Triesman discuss its inspiration.

  5. 
Ostensibly, The Outward Room is a novel of recovery. It charts the (now) familiar movement from sickness to health, from darkness to light. Harriet recovers because she unneurotically takes what she is given and asks for what she wants…Yet there is nothing formulaic or expected about this book: Brand’s world is too quiveringly alive, and his writing too idiosyncratically gorgeous, to ever be predictable…His descriptions of Depression-era New York City (the rooming houses, the elevated and subway trains, the all-night cafeterias, the sweatshops) have a stark Hopper-esque intensity and resonance. The first chapter of Part Two, which consists of a single four-page paragraph in which the homeless heroine spends the night riding the subway, is an incandescent dream of brilliant writing.
—Peter Cameron, afterword to The Outward Room by Millen Brand

As always: If you have a photo of an NYRB Classic posed with a cup of coffee or tea, send it to this address and we’ll add it to the Classics and Coffee Club series. And let us know where you bought or borrowed the book from—we’d be glad to shout out places that stock NYRB Classics.

    Ostensibly, The Outward Room is a novel of recovery. It charts the (now) familiar movement from sickness to health, from darkness to light. Harriet recovers because she unneurotically takes what she is given and asks for what she wants…Yet there is nothing formulaic or expected about this book: Brand’s world is too quiveringly alive, and his writing too idiosyncratically gorgeous, to ever be predictable…His descriptions of Depression-era New York City (the rooming houses, the elevated and subway trains, the all-night cafeterias, the sweatshops) have a stark Hopper-esque intensity and resonance. The first chapter of Part Two, which consists of a single four-page paragraph in which the homeless heroine spends the night riding the subway, is an incandescent dream of brilliant writing.

    —Peter Cameron, afterword to The Outward Room by Millen Brand

    As always: If you have a photo of an NYRB Classic posed with a cup of coffee or tea, send it to this address and we’ll add it to the Classics and Coffee Club series. And let us know where you bought or borrowed the book from—we’d be glad to shout out places that stock NYRB Classics.

  6. bostonreview:

"[Patrick Leigh Fermor’s life] may inspire other gifted adventurers for whom there is no satisfaction in the ordinary life. Like the heroes of the ancient Greeks, Leigh Fermor sought to measure himself against greater odds."
-Roger Boylan on Patrick Leigh Fermor, The Last of the Great English Explorers.
http://bostonreview.net/books-ideas/roger-boylan-patrick-leigh-fermor-broken-road

    bostonreview:

    "[Patrick Leigh Fermor’s life] may inspire other gifted adventurers for whom there is no satisfaction in the ordinary life. Like the heroes of the ancient Greeks, Leigh Fermor sought to measure himself against greater odds."

    -Roger Boylan on Patrick Leigh Fermor, The Last of the Great English Explorers.

    http://bostonreview.net/books-ideas/roger-boylan-patrick-leigh-fermor-broken-road

  7. "Intelligent novels on the subject of composers … rarely come along"

    Alex Ross, in the most recent issue of The New Yorker, praises Sanford Friedman’s Conversations with Beethoven, for restoring “Beethoven’s primal weirdness”—and for lots of other things too. Read the rest of the article here.

  8. 
One almost always gets what one wishes—one just doesn’t know when or how—and that’s what makes wishing so frightening. One must wish for what one is able to accept, somehow or other.
Maria Gripe, The Glassblower’s Children, translated by Sheila La Farge

Thanks to Anita Silvey’s wonderful write-up of this book for providing us with the quote for our very first ever contribution to the Classics and Coffee Club from the Children’s Collection. And thanks to Chris Kubica, who wrote about how Krabat and the Sorcerer’s Mill turned him into a reader, for sending in the photo.
A reminder: If you have a photo of an NYRB Classic (for kids or adults) shot alongside a cup of coffee or tea, send it to this address and we’ll add it to the Classics and Coffee Club series. And let us know where you bought or borrowed the book from—we’d be glad to shout out places that stock NYRB Classics.

    One almost always gets what one wishes—one just doesn’t know when or how—and that’s what makes wishing so frightening. One must wish for what one is able to accept, somehow or other.

    Maria Gripe, The Glassblower’s Children, translated by Sheila La Farge

    Thanks to Anita Silvey’s wonderful write-up of this book for providing us with the quote for our very first ever contribution to the Classics and Coffee Club from the Children’s Collection. And thanks to Chris Kubica, who wrote about how Krabat and the Sorcerer’s Mill turned him into a reader, for sending in the photo.

    A reminder: If you have a photo of an NYRB Classic (for kids or adults) shot alongside a cup of coffee or tea, send it to this address and we’ll add it to the Classics and Coffee Club series. And let us know where you bought or borrowed the book from—we’d be glad to shout out places that stock NYRB Classics.

  9. If you’re in the Newtonville Centre area, won’t you stop by Newtonville Books and compliment them on this most handsome shelf?

    If you’re in the Newtonville Centre area, won’t you stop by Newtonville Books and compliment them on this most handsome shelf?

  10. How do we survive? We don’t. We thrive. →

    The Co-owner of San Francisco’s Green Apple Books explains how e-books and Amazon and indie bookstores can coexist in America. (via Publishers Weekly)

    We can vouch for the “real human interaction” at the Green Apple bookstores. Here’s to its thriving for many years into the future.

  11. Digging this photograph of Silvina Ocampo hiding in the bushes in Paris, 1973. Photo by Pepe Fernández

  12. image

    Vvedensky is a marvel: a poet too little known in Russia, and not known at all in the English-speaking world, is revealed as a major 20th-century world poet—wonderful, wonderfully strange, and haunting.  The alchemical translation, with its shifty rhymes and non-rhymes, intense images and absent logic, knits and unknits reality before the reader’s eyes, walking not a line so much as a live wire.

    —The judges of the National Translation Award, announcing the 2014 shortlist

    An Invitation for Me to Think, edited and translated from the Russian by Eugene Ostashevsky, additional translation by Matvei Yankelevich, is one of five books shortlisted for this years’ National Translation Award, given by the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA).

  13. “It isn’t happiness I am concerned with but experience.”

    — Raymond Queneau, Witch Grass (via mythologyofblue)

  14. thomasbolt:

Raymond Queneau, early exercises in style

    thomasbolt:

    Raymond Queneau, early exercises in style

    (Source: joancasaramona)

  15. 
The coffee looked very harsh, very direct, and of a mean color, but I drank some, because the tonic was gone, now, and I had to do something. I don’t smoke.
—Dorothy Baker, Cassandra at the Wedding

Got a photo of an NYRB Classic posed with a cup of coffee or tea? Send it to this address and we’ll add it to the Classics and Coffee Club series. And let us know where you bought or borrowed the book from—we’d be glad to shout out places that stock NYRB Classics.

    The coffee looked very harsh, very direct, and of a mean color, but I drank some, because the tonic was gone, now, and I had to do something. I don’t smoke.

    —Dorothy Baker, Cassandra at the Wedding

    Got a photo of an NYRB Classic posed with a cup of coffee or tea? Send it to this address and we’ll add it to the Classics and Coffee Club series. And let us know where you bought or borrowed the book from—we’d be glad to shout out places that stock NYRB Classics.