A preview of the table of contents from our forthcoming collection of poems (translated by Jason Weiss) by the Argentinian fabulist Silvina Ocampo, coming this January.
FALL PREVIEW—PART I
Here’s a quick rundown of what NYRB (including the Classics, Children’s Collection, and non-Classics imprints) has coming out in upcoming months. We’ll post the second half of the season’s list on Friday, so stay tuned!:
The Burning of the World: A Memoir of 1914, by Béla Zombory-Moldován, a new translation from the Hungarian by Peter Zombory-Moldovan
Recently discovered among private papers and published here for the first time in any language, this extraordinary reminiscence by a young artist, drafted into the bloody combat of the First World War, is a deeply moving addition to the literature of the terrible conflict that defined the shape of the twentieth century.
Augustus by John Williams, introduction by Daniel Mendelsohn
Williams’s biographical treatment of the founder of the Roman Empire won him the National Book Award and reveals him to be as transformative a writer of historical novels as he is of westerns (in Butcher’s Crossing) and the campus drama (in Stoner).
Totempole by Sanford Friedman, introduction by Peter Cameron
Friedman’s psychologically acute and empathetic masterpiece traces the coming-of-age—from two to twenty-two—of a boy growing up on the Lower East Side of New York. “Vivid and utterly convincing…The truth of Mr. Friedman’s book is not the truth of autobiography, but the truth-making that the best fiction is.”—James Dickey
Conversations with Beethoven by Sanford Friedman, introduction by Richard Howard
Deaf but still able to converse, Beethoven “heard” those around him by means of conversation books in which friends and family jotted down communications. This daring novel, featuring a Dickensian cast, is a fictional reconstruction of these books. In it we see the ageing composer struggling with his art, fighting illness, and perpetually worried about the fate of his wayward ward and nephew, Karl.
The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill, illustrated by Ronni Solbert
The 50th Anniversary Edition of a perennial classic that recounts the battle between supporters of New York City’s scrappy pushcarts and the monstrous, smoke-belching trucks that threaten to overtake its streets. “Merrill’s story, full of unexpected reversals and understated witticisms, feels exceptionally modern.”—Adam Mansbach, NPR
Journey by Moonlight by Antal Szerb, introduction by Julie Orringer, a new translation from the Hungarian by Len Rix
“A devastatingly intelligent novel of love, society and metaphysics in a mid-1930s Europe…As a study of erotic caprice, Journey by Moonlight is brilliant, but it is so much more than just a romp…This is a delightfully clever and enchanting novel, always entertaining and full of memorable aphorisms.”—Toby Lichtig, The Times Literary Supplement
Theater of Cruelty: Art, Film, and the Shadows of War by Ian Buruma
Many of the filmmakers and artists Ian Buruma covers in his new collection, which focuses on the themes of war, film, and the visual arts, come from Germany and Japan and deal with World War II. What unifies the book is less the question of war itself than the way people deal with violence and cruelty, in the arts and in life.
Krabat and the Sorcerer’s Mill by Otfried Preussler, translated from the German by Anthea Bell
Krabat, a 12-year-old beggar boy, is summoned in a dream to a mysterious mill, where he finds himself in the company of eleven other boys, all apprenticed to a sinister Master who will teach them the finer points of black magic—whether they want to learn them or not. Preussler’s incantatory story of the power of friendship to challenge evil has been casting a spell on readers of all ages since first published in 1971.
On the Abolition of All Political Parties by Simone Weil, a new translation from the French and with an introduction by Simon Leys, with an essay by Czeslaw Milosz
In this famous essay, now widely available for the first time in English translation, Weil challenges the foundation of the modern liberal political order and proposes that politics can only begin where the party spirit comes to an end. The volume also includes a portrait of Weil by the Nobel laureate Czeslaw Milosz and an essay about Weil’s friendship with Albert Camus by Simon Leys.
Blackballed: The Black Vote and US Democracy by Darryl Pinckney
Darryl Pinckney’s first book in over ten years covers the participation of blacks in US electoral politics, from Reconstruction to the Supreme Court’s recent decision striking down part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and what it may mean for the political influence of black voters in future elections.
In the Heart of the Heart of the Country by William H. Gass, introduction by Joanna Scott
“This collection defines Gass not as a special but as a major voice … Gass engenders brand-new abrupt vulnerabilities. We read about the becalmed Midwest, about farmers mired in their dailiness, and realize too late that we’ve been exposed to a deadly poetry. It says that America is lost … No writer I’ve ever read, not even Joyce, can celebrate his world with a more piercing sadness.”—Frederic Morton, The New York Times
Tristana by Benito Pérez Galdós, introduction by Jeremy Treglown, a new translation from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa
Until now Pérez Galdós’s tale of a beautiful and brilliant young woman’s attempt to free herself from an imprisoning relationship to a womanizing older man has been recognized more as the inspiration for a Buñuel film of the same name than as a masterpiece in its own right. Margaret Jull Costa’s new and fluid translation brings the Spanish realist’s story to glorious life.
Alphabetabum: An Album of Rare Photographs and Medium Verses by Vladimir Radunsky and Chris Raschka
A picture album. An alphabet book. An Alphabetabum! Here artist and designer Radunsky (illustrator of Advice to Little Girls by Mark Twain) allows us a special viewing of his own personal collection of portraits of girls and boys from the last century. And Caldecott Medal winner Chris Raschka (A Ball for Daisy) contributes a delightful poem imagining the life and personality of each child.
The Woman Who Borrowed Memories: Selected Stories by Tove Jansson, introduction by Lauren Groff, new translations from the Swedish by Thomas Teal and Silvester Mazzarella
Tove Jansson’s natural mode was the brief tale—whether in her comic strips and Moomin stories, or in her moving compilation of moments from family life on a remote island, The Summer Book. This first, career-spanning collection of her short stories returns to the settings of Jansson’s familiar work and also delves deeper into themes of travel, artistic creation, and the conundrum of living among humans as flawed as oneself.
The Land Breakers by John Ehle, introduction by Linda Spalding
A historical saga that chronicles Appalachian settlement during the Revolutionary War years. “Reads like living history … I could recommend this book simply for Ehle’s vivid portrayal of the purely practical struggle of pioneering life … but it’s also a riveting story, with scenes that will remain alive for me for a long time.”—Lori Benton
—I recall that I began writing the book with a hopeless flutter of words, with all sorts of mindless sketchings and scribblings. —I never dreamed I might be capable of completing something serious, beautiful, and good. —Better ideas and, along with them, the courage to create arrived only gradually, but also all the more mysteriously, rising out of chasms of self-contempt and flippant disbelief. —It was like the morning sun rising up in the sky. Evening and morning, past and future and the so delightful present seemed to lie at my feet; before me the countryside quickened with life, and I felt as though I could grasp human activity, all of human life in my hands, that’s how vividly I saw it.
Robert Walser, “The Tanners" (translated by Susan Bernofsky), from the forthcoming Berlin Stories, on sale January 24, 2012. In “The Tanners,” Walser describes writing The Tanners, his first published novel.