1. 
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.

  2. 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.

  3. Renata Adler–themed Club in Williamsburg?

    Baby’s all right, Uncle Jacques and Aunt Zabeth used to say in times of worry or of crisis. Baby’s all right. A friend of theirs, an only child, had always said it, like a little incantation, when he was alone in the dark and frightened, from his babyhood, through his childhood, all his life. His friends took it up. Think of the RAF, my mother would say, for the same reason, at such times. Think of the RAF. Baby’s all right.

    —Renata Adler, Pitch Dark

    Sure, the website for Baby’s All Right cites Aldous Huxley, but is it too much to hope that this was the real inspiration?

  4. “‘I can’t believe it,’ people said, almost with a passion. It was that year’s version of hello. ‘I can’t believe it,’ people said, on the beach, on the slopes, in hotel lobbies, in cells, at parties. Apparently incredulous, astounded, people met. Sometimes the rejoinder was, ‘For God’s sake,’ as in ‘Harry! Maude! I can’t believe it.’ ‘Marilyn! Well, for God’s sake.’ Sometimes people changed it slightly. When we had just come back to the office, a middle-aged couple, he with the heartiness of another era, she with a certain trembly superstition, met in the elevator only yesterday. ‘Well, as I live and breathe,’ he shouted. ‘Touch wood,’ she replied.”

    — Renata Adler, Speedboat
    (via hazel cills)

  5. “What happens, though, when it is all unsaid, is that you wake up one morning, no, it’s more like late one afternoon, and it’s not just unsaid, it’s gone. That’s all. Just gone. I remember this word, that look, that small inflection, after all this time. I used to hold them, trust them, read them like a rune. Like a sign that there was a house, a billet, a civilization where we were. I look back and I think I was just there all alone. Collecting wisps and signs. Like a spinster who did know a young man once and who imagines ever since that she lost a fiancé in the war.”

    — 

    —Renata Adler, Pitch Dark

    via BLOOM CITY

  6. “This Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, consider reading Renata Adler’s ‘Letter from Selma,’ from April 10, 1965, about the march from Selma to Montgomery. It’s a fascinating, revealing, and inspiring piece of reporting. ” →

  7. “Hey wait.
    Well love after all is a habit like any other.
    A habit, maybe. Like any other, no.”

    — Renata Adler, Pitch Dark (via susanazialcita)

  8. greenapplebooks:

    We’re really into NYRBs.

    Is there an award for best bookstore staff recommendation? Because Green Apple Books would take it year after year.

    Here’s a close-up of their Moravagine recommendation and it is a sight to behold.

  9. librairiedrawnandquarterly:

    It begins…Librairie D+Q staff’s favourite books of 2013!

    Here are Helen's 

    More to come!

  10. Jonathan Lethem’s NYRB Classics Addiction

    So what are you reading right now?

    I just finished Renata Adler’s Speedboat. I’m completely addicted to the New York Review of Books Classics’ reissues.

    They’re very handsome.

    They’re beautiful and I’m a sucker for that.

    And one after the next they seem to be exciting for me to read. One thing I like about them is that they’re surprising. When you read new books, so often you’ve heard too much. You’ve been reading reviews because you can’t really stop yourself and someone else is reading it and you’re talking about it. Or you hear something like this [interview] when you go on Amazon. And you absorb a lot of information: it’s like seeing the trailer to the movie or something.

    As a reader, I’m really addicted to being surprised. It’s a great method for me to read these reissued books that I don’t learn a lot about.


    —Jonathan Lethem in conversation with Kevin Nguyen on Omnivoracious. Read the transcript of the entire interview here.

  11. “Can it be done on friendship? I don’t think so. On intelligence? No. On hope, on love, on fame, on trust, on family, memory, convictions. I don’t know. But if, one day, old, and propped against the pillows, or rocking in chairs together, holding hands perhaps, by the fireside; if, looking back on our lives, older now, looking back on our lives we could say, It was all right, looking back, even the things that looked like mistakes, even the apparent misfortunes at the time, they were not mistakes, they were only part of our lives till now. We have been lucky together. We are drinking, by the fireside, and thinking, why did we worry, what was that remorse. We are here still, and what happened, what we did was right. Then we will have done it. Look here. But we can live this way.”

    — Renata Adler, Pitch Dark. (via burialintheeast)

  12. Renata Adler on Studio 360!

    Over the weekend, Renata Adler was interviewed by Kurt Andersen on Studio 360. She discussed (and read from!) Speedboat and Pitch Dark. It is fantastic. Listen to the interview audio below or read the article here.

    Oh, and while you’re at it, check out the Los Angeles Review of Books’ recent write-up on Speedboat here. Renata love all around! 

  13. “Day after day, when I still worked at the Forty-second Street branch of the public library, I saw the same young man, bearded, intense, cleaning his fingernails on the corners of the pages of a book. “What are you studying for?” I asked him once. The numbers were flashing over the counter as the books came up. “Research,” he said. “I’m writing my autobiography.” There are certainly odd people in that reading room—one who doodles the same bird endlessly on the back of a half of a single bank check, one who hums all the time, and one who keeps asking the other two to stop. A little pantomime concerto. I quit that job soon. The trouble is, I sometimes understand that research project. Or I did understand it. Then.”

    — 

    Thanks to Molly McArdle, who in her latest Classic Returns column at Library Journal pulls out this passage from Renata Adler’s Speedboat.

    And might we suggest the passage to anyone looking to participate in the Urban Librarians Unite–sponsored 24 Hour Read-In at the Brooklyn Public Library (or any other library read-ins).

  14. Sara Quin on SPEEDBOAT

    Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara read SPEEDBOAT and thought it was cool. So basically, case closed.

    In honor of this occasion and Renata Adler, the original city girl, T+S’s own “City Girl.”

  15. mcnallyjackson:

slaughterhouse90210:

“Whatever. Being neurotic seemed to be a kind of wild card, an all-purpose explanation.” —Renata Adler, Speedboat

1. lol
2. Renata Adler will be speaking at your friendly (Park Slope) neighborhood bookshop, Community, tonight at 7pm. I’ll see you there, k?
3. Do you subscribe to our newsletter? Yes? You’re awesome. No? You should! Because if you did, you would have received, in your inbox this morning, “Our Choral Ode to Renata Adler”: 

That bemused countenance, that horsewhip braid, that penchant for looking awry. Yep, we’re aswoon for Renata. Re-na-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Re. Na. Ta. We sketch her likeness in our spiral notebooks, adopt her patterns of speech, attempt her confident stance, wear belt-less jeans. We’d launch a 1,000 speedboats in her honor, if we had them. We don’t. 

How good would that have made your morning? Sign up for our mailing list here here here here.

    mcnallyjackson:

    slaughterhouse90210:

    “Whatever. Being neurotic seemed to be a kind of wild card, an all-purpose explanation.”
    —Renata Adler, Speedboat

    1. lol

    2. Renata Adler will be speaking at your friendly (Park Slope) neighborhood bookshop, Communitytonight at 7pm. I’ll see you there, k?

    3. Do you subscribe to our newsletter? Yes? You’re awesome. No? You should! Because if you did, you would have received, in your inbox this morning, “Our Choral Ode to Renata Adler”: 

    That bemused countenance, that horsewhip braid, that penchant for looking awry. Yep, we’re aswoon for Renata. Re-na-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Re. Na. Ta. We sketch her likeness in our spiral notebooks, adopt her patterns of speech, attempt her confident stance, wear belt-less jeans. We’d launch a 1,000 speedboats in her honor, if we had them. We don’t. 

    How good would that have made your morning? Sign up for our mailing list here here here here.