1. 
He liked his cake sweeter. And he usually drank his coffee with whipped cream and a dash of vanilla. The waiter would have none of it.
—Georges Simenon, The Man Who Watched Trains Go By

Barista privilege, c. 1938
Got a shot of a cup of coffee and an NYRB Classic? 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.

    He liked his cake sweeter. And he usually drank his coffee with whipped cream and a dash of vanilla. The waiter would have none of it.

    —Georges Simenon, The Man Who Watched Trains Go By

    Barista privilege, c. 1938

    Got a shot of a cup of coffee and an NYRB Classic? 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. “In that court I could hear…the schools [that] were started so as to teach us how to say ‘Yes’ in their language.”

    — 

    Tayeb Salih, Season of Migration to the North

    Sudanese writer Tayeb Salih would have turned 85 on July 12th. The Arabic LIterature blog has two posts in celebration:

    On Tayeb Salih’s 85th Birthday
    Translator Denys Johnson-Davies on How Tayeb Salih Got His Start

  3. 
Bartók was what he played, Bartók and Telemann. But what moved him was Wasting Away Again in Margaritaville. What lifted his spirits one season was I’ve Got a Pair of Brand New Roller Skates, You’ve Got a Brand New Key.
—Renata Adler, Pitch Dark

Purchased at Strand Bookstore in New York City.
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.

    Bartók was what he played, Bartók and Telemann. But what moved him was Wasting Away Again in Margaritaville. What lifted his spirits one season was I’ve Got a Pair of Brand New Roller Skates, You’ve Got a Brand New Key.

    —Renata Adler, Pitch Dark

    Purchased at Strand Bookstore in New York City.

    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.

  4. 
Maine, Caribou and Moosehead, awesome, rare creatures. In midsummer, ruthless, weedy wildflowers, berries hanging from the boughs of mountains ash, starlings in the alders, the spidery brambles of old blackberry bushes. A rush of heat enters the town like the roar of motorcycles on Sunday. Sunset nevertheless will bring a cool wind that rattles the windows. The islands are filled with well-to-do frosty American specimens, summering. Someone water-skis on the bay and the sight is almost indecorous. If the heat continues then the wilderness will be threatened with drought and fire. It is not possible to have a true summer without excess up here in the north; the excess that is summer threatens the natural damp, windy woods which, even if you have never seen them, are always present in your mind.
—Elizabeth Hardwick, Sleepless Nights

And 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.

    Maine, Caribou and Moosehead, awesome, rare creatures. In midsummer, ruthless, weedy wildflowers, berries hanging from the boughs of mountains ash, starlings in the alders, the spidery brambles of old blackberry bushes. A rush of heat enters the town like the roar of motorcycles on Sunday. Sunset nevertheless will bring a cool wind that rattles the windows. The islands are filled with well-to-do frosty American specimens, summering. Someone water-skis on the bay and the sight is almost indecorous. If the heat continues then the wilderness will be threatened with drought and fire. It is not possible to have a true summer without excess up here in the north; the excess that is summer threatens the natural damp, windy woods which, even if you have never seen them, are always present in your mind.

    —Elizabeth Hardwick, Sleepless Nights

    And 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.

  5. Bon anniversaire, Monsieur Proust!

    image

    …the only place where you can regain lost paradises, Céleste, is in yourself.

    —Marcel Proust, to Céleste Albaret, his housekeeper and the author of Monsieur Proust.

    (Image: Marcel Proust (right) and his brother Robert / Collection of Céleste Albaret)

  6. Giveaway: The Bridge of Beyond, by Simone Schwarz-Bart

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    Against sorrow and the vanity of things, there is and will always be human fantasy.

    —Simone Schwarz-Bart, The Bridge of Beyond

    NYRB is giving away three copies of Simone Schwarz-Bart’s novel The Bridge of Beyond via Goodreads Giveways.* Entries will be accepted until Wednesday, July 23rd. So if you’ve been meaning to read Schwarz-Bart’s book, “part fable, part tragedy, always beautifully written” (Roxane Gay), now is the time.

    Submit your entry at Goodreads right here.

    *Entries for US residents only

  7. "Books as they should be, displayed in a store." As displayed at librairiedrawnandquarterly.

    "Books as they should be, displayed in a store." As displayed at librairiedrawnandquarterly.

  8. 
Of course, we always drank coffee, no matter what the weather.
—Nescio, “Insula Dei,” in Amsterdam Stories, translated by Damion Searls

Bonus points for tortoiseshell half-Siamese cat’s paws and a coffee cup from Haymarket Café in Northampton, MA.
Do you have a picture of an NYRB Classic with a cup of coffee or tea? Send it to this address and we’ll post it here (making you an honorary member of the Classics and Coffee Club). And let us know where you bought or borrowed your book from. We would love to shout out bookstores and libraries.

    Of course, we always drank coffee, no matter what the weather.

    —Nescio, “Insula Dei,” in Amsterdam Stories, translated by Damion Searls

    Bonus points for tortoiseshell half-Siamese cat’s paws and a coffee cup from Haymarket Café in Northampton, MA.

    Do you have a picture of an NYRB Classic with a cup of coffee or tea? Send it to this address and we’ll post it here (making you an honorary member of the Classics and Coffee Club). And let us know where you bought or borrowed your book from. We would love to shout out bookstores and libraries.

  9. Agostino by Alberto Moravia

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    He slowly approached her, filled with repulsion and awkwardness. The mother pulled him close, wrapping an arm around his body. In her eyes Agostino could see an extraordinary brightness, a sparkling youthful fire. Her mouth seemed to be restraining a nervous laughter that coated her teeth with saliva. And in the act of wrapping her arm around him and pulling him to her side, he felt an impetuous violence and a trembling joyousness that almost frightened him. They were effusions, he could not help but think, that had nothing to do with him. Strangely they made him think of his own excitement a little earlier when he was running through the streets of the city, thrilled at the idea of taking his savings, going to the house with Tortima, and possessing a woman.

    —Alberto Moravia, Agostino

    Agostino goes on sale today.

  10. Augustus + Bob, Son of Battle on The Millions’ 2014 Most Anticipated List

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    The Millions released part two of their Most Anticipated 2014 Book Preview list and a couple of forthcoming NYRB books made the cut: Stoner author John William’s final novel, Augustus (NYRB Classics), and Lydia Davis’s adaptation of Alfred Ollivant’s Bob, Son of Battle (NYR Children’s Collection). Highlight: this list includes the only juxtaposition of John Williams and the Kardashians known to man. Or so we think.

    Both Augustus and Bob, Son of Battle hit shelves in August.

    To view the second part of list in full, visit The Millions here.

  11. Renata Adler’s Speedboat, as reviewed by Kevin Thomas
Eighty-five of Thomas’s comic reviews of non-comic books have been collected in Horn! (published by O/R Books).You can find this one, along with many others, at The Rumpus.

    Renata Adler’s Speedboat, as reviewed by Kevin Thomas

    Eighty-five of Thomas’s comic reviews of non-comic books have been collected in Horn! (published by O/R Books).You can find this one, along with many others, at The Rumpus.

  12. Three NYRB Classics Shortlisted for the PEN Translation Prize

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    This episode did not put an end to my pursuit of city solitudes, though I did promise myself and them one thing: never entrust these stolen essences to a pencil.

    —Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, “Seams” from Autobiography of a Corpse, translated from the Russian by Joanne Turnbull and Nikolai Formozov

                                                                 *

    There was only one human soul, the soul that did not lose faith as it suffered anguish and torment among the scree and vineyards of Palestine, the soul that remains equally human and good in a little village near Penza, under the sky of India, and in a northern yurt—because there is good in people everywhere, simply because they are human beings.

    —Vasily Grossman, An Armenian Sketchbook, translated from the Russian by Robert and Elizabeth Chandler

                                                                 *

    I was already reckoning in consulate time, a kind of planetary time in which you equate earthly days with millions of years because worlds can burn in the time it takes a transit visa to expire.

    —Anna Seghers, Transit, translated from the German by Margot Bettauer Dembo

                                                                 *

    Please join us in congratulating the translators of Autobiography of a Corpse, An Armenian Sketchbook, and Transit on advancing to the short list of the 2014 PEN Translation Prize. Winners will be announced later in the summer. To read more about the 2014 PEN Literary Awards click here.

  13. "A Prato, dove tutto viene a finire: la gloria, l’onore, la pietà, la superbia, la vanità del mondo."

    "At Prato, where everything comes finally to rest: glory, honor, pity, pride, the vanity of the world."
    —Curzio Malaparte, Maledetti Toscani (Those Cursed Tuscans)

    Found via Ladoratrice (top) and the Curzio Malaparte Facebook page (bottom)

  14. FALL PREVIEW—PART II
    Here’s the second half of NYRB’s fall list, with books from our Classics, Children’s Collection, Poets, and non-Classics imprints, and our newest series, Calligrams, with writings on and about China.

    Midnight in the Century by Victor Serge, translated from the French and with an introduction by Richard Greeman

    A searching novel about a group of revolutionaries—true believers in a cause that no longer exists—living in unlikely exile among Russian Orthodox Old Believers, also suffering for their faith. “Like Koestler in ‘Darkness at Noon,’ Serge seems to be saying that man, the particular, is more important than mankind, the abstraction.”—John Leonard, The New York Times

    The Door by Magda Szabó, a new translation from the Hungarian by Len Rix

    In a prizewinning translation by Len Rix, Magda Szabó’s unsettling and beautiful novel about friendship and tragedy marks Szabó as a major modern European author and formidable writer of female characters. “Clever, moving, frightening, [The Door] deserves to be a bestseller.” —The Telegraph

    Thus Were Their Faces: Selected Stories by Silvina Ocampo, introduction by Helen Oyeyemi, a new translation from the Spanish by Daniel Balderston, preface by Jorge Luis Borges

    Dark, gothic, fantastic, and grotesque, Ocampo’s stories stand alongside those of her collaborators and countrymen Borges, Cortázar, and Bioy Casares. “Few writers have an eye for the small horrors of everyday life; fewer still see the everyday marvelous. Other than Ocampo, I cannot think of a single writer who … has chronicled both with such wise and elegant humor.” —Alberto Manguel

    Zama by Antonio di Benedetto, translated from the Spanish and with an introduction by Esther Allen

    First published in 1956, this novel set in colonial Paraguay is now universally recognized as one of the masterpieces of modern Argentinean and Spanish-language literature. “Scattered in various corners of Latin America and Spain, [Zama] had a few, fervent readers, almost all of them friends or unwarranted enemies…. [It is written with] the steady pulse of a neurosurgeon.”—Roberto Bolaño, from his story “Sensini”

    Primitive Man As Philosopher by Paul Radin, introduction by Neni Panourgiá

    Considered “a minor masterpiece of the Americanist tradition,” Paul Radin’s landmark anthropological study examines thought and religion in an array of aboriginal cultures through first hand accounts and a veritable anthology of poems and songs from the varied traditions. Readers both in and outside of the field will appreciate the rich and varied insights of this classic of anthropology.

    Ending Up by Kingsley Amis

    “I finished Kingsley Amis’s Ending Up with…a conviction, confirmed in work after work, that he is one of the few living novelists totally incapable of boring me. Ending Up is a sardonic little masterpiece which, with incredible economy and stylistic restraint, shows what old age is really like, and also—far, far better than any other writer I know—what contemporary England is like.” —Anthony Burgess

    Take a Girl Like You by Kingsley Amis

    Kingsley Amis’s most ambitious reckoning with his central theme—the degradation of modern life—Take a Girl Like You introduces one of the rare unqualified good guys in Amis’s rogue-ridden world: Jenny Bunn, a girl from the North English country has come south to teach school in a small smug town where she hopes to find love and fortune.

    Cat Town: Selected Poems by Sakutarō Hagiwara, translated from the Japanese by Hiroaki Sato

    “Sakutarō Hagiwara is the ultimate modern Japanese poet. He first perfected the use of the colloquial language as a medium for modern poetic expression. Using that language, he reveals a sensibility that can be tough, neurotic, ironic, touching, and profound, sometimes all in the same poem. Always rhythmic and occasionally obscure, poem after poem can represent a scintillating verbal and spiritual adventure, particularly in the lucid and elegant translations created by Hiroaki Sato.”—J. Thomas Rimer

    Silvina Ocampo, selected poems in a new translation from the Spanish by Jason Weiss

    Ocampo studied with de Chirico and collaborated with Borges and Bioy Casares. Her poems were celebrated in Argentina but, until now, have been nearly unavailable in English. This selection spans her full career—from early nature sonnets to a late metaphysical turn—and shows her to be adept at “captur[ing] the magic inside everyday rituals” (Italo Calvino).

    Lives of the New York Intellectuals: A Group Portrait by Edward Mendelson

    One of contemporary America’s leading critics and scholars offers a provocative reassessment of the lives and work of eight influential twentieth-century American writers: Lionel Trilling, Dwight Macdonald, W.H. Auden, William Maxwell, Saul Bellow, Alfred Kazin, Norman Mailer, and Frank O’Hara.

    The Three Leaps of Wang Lun: A Chinese Novel by Alfred Döblin, translated from the German by C.D. Godwin

    Alfred Döblin’s debut work of fiction, the first in western literature to depict Chinese history in great detail and considered by many the first modern German novel, is a dazzling expressionist epic about imperial court life, outcasts, martial arts, religion, and revolution. “I consider Döblin’s 1915 novel, The Three Leaps of Wang Lun, the best contemporary novel by far. It exhibits an entirely superior, most rare, talent. It is true art.” —Max Horkheimer

    Chinese Rhyme-Prose translated from the Chinese by Burton Watson

    Burton Watson’s monumental compilation of fu—or, rhyme-prose poetry—is considered one of the most important anthologies of Chinese literature available in English and, until now, has been out of print for decades. The poems, full of abandoned cities, mountainscapes, owls and goddesses, are rendered here in Watson’s masterful English translation for a new generation of readers to enjoy.

    The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons by Liu Hsieh, translated from the Chinese and annotated by Vincent Yu-chung Shih

    The first comprehensive work of literary criticism in Chinese, The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons was written some 1,500 years ago by critic Liu Hsieh whose encyclopedic knowledge of Chinese literature is organized here according to the I Ching. A dazzling, elegant compendium of literary concepts both alien and familiar, Hsieh’s book is indispensable for anyone interested in Chinese literature or in the art of writing itself.

    The Complete Bostock and Harris by Leon Garfield

    The Complete Bostock and Harris combines two delightful, suspenseful, and madly funny tales of Harris and the not-so-bright Bostock, a rollicking best-friend duo who’ve been through thick and thin together in eighteenth-century Brighton. “A delicious literary concoction bubbling along with the author’s perfect sense of dramatic timing and with his mixture of earthy humor and effervescent wit.”—The Horn Book Magazine

  15. Check out these photos of the resort town of Viareggio, sent to us by translator Michael F. Moore. Viareggio is in the Versilia region of Tuscany, and it’s the inspiration for the setting of Moravia’s own “beach read,” Agostino. If you’re up on your Italian, you can see more of Moravia’s 1917 Memories of Viareggio here.

    Agostino comes out July 8th.