Remainders of the Day

A Bookshop Diary

New from the author of Confessions of a Bookseller and Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops, another hilariously grumpy year behind the counter at The Bookshop. Through diaries of daily life, Shaun Bythell has created an endearing and cozy world for booklovers, a warm and welcome memoir of a life in books.

The Bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland is a book lover’s paradise, with thousands of books across nearly a mile of shelves, a real log fire, and Captain, the portly bookshop cat. You’d think that after twenty years, owner Shaun Bythell would be used to his quirky customers by now. Don’t get him wrong, there are some good ones among the antiquarian porn-hunters, die-hard train book lovers, people who confuse bookshops for libraries, and the toddlers just looking for a nice cozy corner in which to wee. He’s sure there are some good ones. There must be . . .

Filled with the pernickety warmth and humor that has touched readers around the world, stuffed with literary treasures, hidden gems, and incunabula, Remainders of the Day is a warm and welcome memoir of a life in books.

If you’re new to Shaun Bythell’s bestselling series, this is a great place to start. If you’re one of Bythell’s legion of fans, welcome back to The Bookshop.

Presence of Absence

“A moving, brilliant book.”—Ann Beattie
“Impossible to resist.”
—Ilya Kaminsky

As a young writer lies dying, he has one last story to tell. A tale of devotion and a meditation on what might lie beyond death, this is Simon Van Booy at his visionary best.

Max Little is bedridden in a New York hospital. “Language is a map,” he reflects, “leading to a place not on the map.” As the hours slip away, Max recalls both the moving and ordinary moments of his life with his beloved wife Hadley, unsure of what lies ahead.

Simon Van Booy is not only a master storyteller but a writer of fiction rich with philosophical insights into things both mapped and undiscovered. In this innovative novel infused with poetic clarity and graced with humor, he asks the reader to find beauty—even gratitude—in the cycle of birth and death.

The Presence of Absence is a deeply affecting story that parts the darkness to reveal what has been just out of sight all along.

ADVANCE PRAISE 

The Presence of Absence amazed me. It’s so deftly, delicately written, it seems as if real breeze is blowing—this, in the context of serious, sad subject matter. It’s a perfect integration of form and content, though who would have imagined it this way except Simon Van Booy? Reading it made me think about the many things hidden in and from our lives that appear only when they do. It’s a moving, brilliant book.”
Ann Beattie, author of A Wonderful Stroke of Luck

The Presence of Absence is impossible to resist. Consistently insightful, symphonic in the music of its thought. A captivating fable that echoes in the mind long after the book is finished.”
Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic 

The Presence of Absence is unfaltering in its tenet that if we’re here for nothing else, it’s to keep others going. That who we are is determined by our part in the ongoing story of others, and that we should celebrate that. Or rather, we must.”
Cynan Jones, author Stilliside

Seeing Like an Artist

What Artists Perceive in the Art of Others

“Irresistibly readable, companionable, and quotable.”—Joyce Carol Oates

Artists visit museums both for pleasure and to learn. Tag along with Lincoln Perry and discover how a painting’s composition and content or a sculpture’s spatial structure influence the experience of what you’re seeing. With an artist as your guide, you can begin to see art as an artist does.

A visit to view art can be overwhelming, exhausting, and unrewarding. Lincoln Perry wants to change that. In fifteen essays—each framed around a specific theme—he provides new ways of seeing and appreciating art.

Perry is a disarmingly charming tour guide who makes art approachable and accessible. Along the way, he weaves in personal stories, from his own artistic journey as a painter and sculptor to the days when he could still spend nights in his beaten-up VW Bus in the Louvre’s parking lot.

Drawing heavily on examples from the European traditions of art, Perry aims to overturn assumptions and asks readers to re-think artistic prejudices while rebuilding new preferences. Included are essays on how artists “read” paintings, how scale and format influence viewers, how to engage with sculptures and murals, as well as glimpses into some of the great museums and churches of Europe.

Seeing Like an Artist is for any artist, art-lover, or museumgoer who wants to grow their appreciation for the art of others.

CRITICAL PRAISE

“Perry covers “how certain paintings and sculpture were made” in his conversational debut, a convincing “plea to look closely.” Across 16 essays, Perry combines memoir and art criticism . . . ‘Reading Paintings’ is a masterclass in technical components including color, shape, and what Perry calls velocity, or the speed with which the viewer is ‘asked to read through the fictional space of the picture’ . . . his guidance is well delivered: ‘I’ll try to evoke what I’ve come to love not because I believe it’s what you should love, but, rather, because I hope my enthusiasm might inspire you to find what you love.’ Budding art aficionados, take note.”
Publishers Weekly

ADVANCE PRAISE

“Lincoln Perry has written an irresistibly readable, companionable, and quotable artist’s memoir in this Grand Tour of commentary on museums (primarily European) and artists as varied as Rodin, Picasso, Corot, Bruegal, Veronese (the “group figure narrative”), Bernini, Courbet, R.B. Kitaj, Masaccio and Masolino, Rubens, Pollock, and Rothko. There is no substitute for seeing art ‘in situ,’ as Perry tells us, but accompanying this ideal observer, a practicing artist with the sharp, sympathetic eye of a fellow craftsman, is an exhilarating experience.”
Joyce Carol Oates, author of Babysitter

“So much writing about art seems like useless noise—abstract, pretentious, gassy. This is not that. Lincoln Perry takes us on a journey, showing us what he sees and how he sees, and it’s wonderful. There is revelation on every page.”
James Gleick, author of Time Travel: A History

 “Lincoln Perry writes so clearly and sees everything in a state of wonder. His visual experience embraces ancient Greece, the Renaissance, African and Asian art, Modernism. He finds the abstractionist in Michelangelo and the storyteller in Picasso. No one knows how to cite quotations better than he. He has looked into museums all over the world and literally lived in a camper next to the Louvre. He is a wonderful companion on the page and an unintimidating expert: this book will open your eyes.”
Edmund White, author of A Previous Life

Late Wonders

New & Selected Poems

“Wesley McNair is a kind of Chekhov of American poetry.”—Ted Kooser, Pulitzer Prize winner and U. S. Poet Laureate

With a plain-spoken tenderness, Wesley McNair’s story-like poems celebrate the dreamers and the misfits, the small but hard-earned triumphs of everyday life. This career-spanning collection brings together his very best poems from the past four decades alongside his newest poems.

Since the publication of his first book nearly forty years ago, McNair has earned a reputation as an intimate observer and a poet of place—in these lucid, far-ranging poems, he proves his empathy and sense of place are endless. “Whole lives,” wrote Donald Hall of McNair’s work, “fill small lines.” He is truly, as Philip Levine wrote, “One of the great storytellers of contemporary poetry.”

Late Wonders: New & Selected Poems includes “The Long Dream of Home” the complete trilogy of McNair’s masterful, long narrative poems written over the last thirty years: “My Brother Running,” “Fire,” and “Dwellers in the House of the Lord.”

This is a collection for anyone who believes mixing a little sorrow and little comedy makes for poetry that moves the heart.

ADVANCE PRAISE 

“We live in an age of rant, or of merely clever poems written by men and women who want to be loved for being amusing. Wesley McNair, though, quietly dares to tell ‘the stories that aren’t so funny.’ His poems are populated with people who still know one another and their circumstances. He doesn’t stand outside this neighborhood of making, but is an intimate part of it. I have relied on his craft and his vision all my adult life, and still can’t get enough. Late Wonders is as close to mastery as one is likely to get in this life.”
Samuel Green, author of Disturbing the Light

“For forty years, Wesley McNair has made gorgeous, sorrowing, wise, conversational, earthborn poems, creating his own narrative idiom. To the family—poor, rural, struggling in tough economic and social circumstances—he brings compassion and humor, forging dynamic throughlines across books and poems. The poet’s evocations yield unforgettable portraits of grit and failure, courage and resilience. Lovers of McNair’s poems and those new to them will cherish this profound collection.”
Robin Becker, author of The Black Bear Inside Me

“Wesley McNair’s home-spun stories seem to turn quietly into poems as they go along. They faithfully chronicle everyday rural life while touching on all the basic human themes. Late Wonders is a generous gathering, capstone of McNair’s career in poetry, and proof that he has always been in for the long haul.”
Billy Collins, author of Whale Day: And Other Poems

“There is a heft in Wesley McNair’s work, one built of well-observed lives of ordinary people—though in these poems, no one’s life is merely ordinary. Late Wonders presents stories that contain the stuff of great literature: epic choices, dangerous compromises, as well as the tendernesses of the everyday. With a fascination for all humansfrom small town philosophers to Walmart shoppers on their scooters to Charlton Heston as Christ—McNair sets the stakes high. He asks us to consider what life doesn’t deserve attention and justice, doesn’t worry the fine line between love and despair.”
Connie Voisine, author of The Bower

“Wesley McNair asks disarmingly in this abundant retrospective, ‘Would it matter if I told you people live here?’ Because it matters—and we matter—to McNair, he has become our great poet of American tenderness and loneliness. Amidst our general silence on the wounding of class, McNair has made that wounding—his own and others’—his theme, and so given us back an America we have all but thrown away. He has done this from a ‘stubborn allegiance to the heart,’ with deep love and respect for our common story as it is and not as it’s falsified in advertising, politics, and popular culture. Early and late, Wesley McNair’s democratic and generous body of work is a wonder.”
Thomas R. Smith, author of Storm Island

“Wesley McNair writes that early in his life as a poet he ‘already sensed the importance America would have in my future work.’ Indeed, the America he so thoroughly imagines and generously shares in these striking and compassionate poems is both surprisingly familiar and unlike any to be found anywhere else in American poetry. It’s a rural America that’s often hidden from view, but in McNair’s story we find the America we all live in, one fashioned out of endless striving, sorrow, and love for what’s best and most lasting in our intimate and collective selves. Yes, finally, it’s a love story, as new and ancient as our capacity to wonder, and praise.”
Philip Schultz, author of The Wherewithal

Fleurs du Mal

Bilingual Edition

Charles Baudelaire’s 1857 masterwork, translated into English by acclaimed poet Richard Howard.

Scandalous in its day for its portrayals of sex, love, death, the corrupting and oppressive power of the modern city and lost innocence, Les Fleurs Du Mal / The Flowers of Evil remains powerful and relevant for our time. American Book Award Winner. , along with the original French text.

In “Spleen et idéal,” Baudelaire dramatizes the erotic cycle of ecstacy and anguish—of sexual and romantic love. “Tableaux Parisiens” condemns the crushing effects of urban planning on a city’s soul and praises the city’s anti-heroes including the deranged and derelict. “Le Vin” centers on the search for oblivion in drink and drugs. The many kinds of love that lie outside traditional morality is the focus of “Fleurs du Mal” while rebellion is at the heart of “Révolte.”

The voice of Baudelaire lives in this masterful translation.

(NOTE: An English-only edition, The Flowers of Evil, is available at the link to the left.)

Richard Howard, generally esteemed as the finest American translator from the French of the postwar era, offers a new version of this masterpiece. It is the English edition to acquire.
The Washington Post

Baudelaire revoiced…Howard’s achievement is such that we can be confident that his Flowers of Evil will long stand as definitive, a superb guide to France’s greatest poet.
The Nation

Readers of English do not have to take Baudelaire on faith any longer. For the first time he is present among us, vivid and surprisingly intact, in these fine translations.
New York Times Book Review

A deft and patient new translation of Les Fleurs Du Mal…Howard, it seems to me, has done what he has set out to, has given us, in English and in verse, a Baudelaire both immediately recognizable and impressively varied…It is a considerable achievement.
New York Review of Books

A magnificent achievement…should be the English version for a long time to come.
Booklist

Not until now has there been an edition of the entire work which successfully captures the distinctive voice of Baudelaire…The level of success among 151 lyrics is so high as to guarantee that Richard Howard’s will be the definitive translation in the foreseeable future.
Boston Globe

[An] intelligent responsiveness to the poem’s meaning informs almost every translation in this volume.
New Republic

Flowers of Evil

The Award-Winning Translation

Charles Baudelaire’s 1857 masterwork, translated into English by acclaimed poet Richard Howard.

Scandalous in its day for its portrayals of sex, love, death, the corrupting and oppressive power of the modern city and lost innocence, Les Fleurs Du Mal / The Flowers of Evil remains powerful and relevant for our time. American Book Award Winner. , along with the original French text.

In “Spleen et idéal,” Baudelaire dramatizes the erotic cycle of ecstacy and anguish—of sexual and romantic love. “Tableaux Parisiens” condemns the crushing effects of urban planning on a city’s soul and praises the city’s anti-heroes including the deranged and derelict. “Le Vin” centers on the search for oblivion in drink and drugs. The many kinds of love that lie outside traditional morality is the focus of “Fleurs du Mal” while rebellion is at the heart of “Révolte.”

The voice of Baudelaire lives in this masterful translation.

(NOTE: The original bilingual edition, Les Fleurs du Mal, is available at the link to the left.)

Richard Howard, generally esteemed as the finest American translator from the French of the postwar era, offers a new version of this masterpiece. It is the English edition to acquire.
The Washington Post

Baudelaire revoiced…Howard’s achievement is such that we can be confident that his Flowers of Evil will long stand as definitive, a superb guide to France’s greatest poet.
The Nation

Readers of English do not have to take Baudelaire on faith any longer. For the first time he is present among us, vivid and surprisingly intact, in these fine translations.
New York Times Book Review

A deft and patient new translation of Les Fleurs Du Mal…Howard, it seems to me, has done what he has set out to, has given us, in English and in verse, a Baudelaire both immediately recognizable and impressively varied…It is a considerable achievement.
New York Review of Books

A magnificent achievement…should be the English version for a long time to come.
Booklist

Not until now has there been an edition of the entire work which successfully captures the distinctive voice of Baudelaire…The level of success among 151 lyrics is so high as to guarantee that Richard Howard’s will be the definitive translation in the foreseeable future.
Boston Globe

[An] intelligent responsiveness to the poem’s meaning informs almost every translation in this volume.
New Republic

With Love and Prayers

A Headmaster Speaks to the Next Generation

A book of deep and practical wisdom, and uncommon common sense, by one of the nation’s most eminent educators.

F. Washington Jarvis was headmaster of Boston’s Roxbury Latin School, the oldest school in continuous operation in North America. This book, winner of the 2001 Christopher Award, collects Jarvis’s addresses, reprinted from his school’s publications.

His approach is anecdotal. “If it is true that a picture is worth a thousand words, it is ten times as true when you are speaking to young teenagers. They are gripped by the story of how real people cope with real situations. They are interested when you share with them the concrete realities of your own life and experience, and they are almost always willing to listen to adults who actually believe in something, who actually stand for something.”

The author never talks down to his audience. He knows that students are asking the deepest questions, questions about whether life has meaning and purpose. He also knows that teenagers often find themselves caught by surprise in situations where they have to make tough decisions. And he believes that they are willing, even eager, to know how others have coped in similar situations.

Foodtopia

Communities in Pursuit of Peace, Love & Homegrown Food

“An informative, fresh history of food in America.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Farmers and foodies will savor every delectable insight.” —Publishers Weekly

Ever wonder if there’s a better way to live, work, and eat? You’re not alone. Here is the story of five back-to-the-land movements, from 1840 to present day, when large numbers of utopian-minded people in the United States took action to establish small-scale farming as an alternative to mainstream agriculture. Then and now, it’s the story of people striving to live freely and fight injustice, to make the food on their table a little healthier, and to leave the planet less scarred than they found it.

Throughout America’s history as an industrial nation, sizable countercultural movements have chosen to forgo modern comforts in pursuit of a simpler life. In this illuminating alternative American history, Margot Anne Kelley details the evolution of food-centric utopian movements that were fueled by deep yearnings for unpolluted water and air, racial and gender equality, for peace, for a less consumerist lifestyle, for a sense of authenticity, for simplicity, for a healthy diet, and for a sustaining connection to the natural world.

Millennials who jettisoned cities for rural life form the core of America’s current back-to-the-land movement. These young farmers helped meet surges in supplies for food when COVID-19 ravaged lives and economies, and laid bare limitations in America’s industrial food supply chain. Their forebears were the utopians of the 1840s, including Thoreau and his fellow Transcendental friends who created Brook Farm and Fruitlands; the single taxers and “little landers” who created self-sufficient communities at the turn of the last century; Scott and Helen Nearing and others who decamped to the countryside during the Great Depression; and, of course, the hippie back-to-the-landers of the 1970s.

Today, food has become an important element of the social justice movement. Food is no longer just about what we eat, but about how our food is raised and who profits along the way. Kelley looks closely at the efforts of young farmers now growing heirloom pigs, culturally appropriate foods, and newly bred vegetables, along with others working in coalitions, advocacy groups, and educational programs to extend the reach of this era’s Good Food Movement.

Foodtopia is for anyone interested in how we all might lead much better—and well-fed—lives.

CRITICAL PRAISE

“Essential reading on the state of local and organic growing and eating, and a useful addition to the history of American utopianism.”
Library Journal

“Kelley puts a human face on the back-to-the-land movement with fascinating profiles of the “renegades” behind the centuries-old phenomenon . . . she excels at drawing the big picture around human relationships to food, resulting in a satisfyingly substantive work. Farmers and foodies will savor every delectable insight.”
Publishers Weekly

“Insightful . . . empathetic . . . a thoughtful consideration of a topic that will have a substantial impact on our future.”
—Booklist

“Kelley’s well-populated narrative includes Scott and Helen Nearing, whose Living the Good Life became a transformative text for many idealistic farmers; Mollie Katzen, author of The Moosewood Cookbook; and Alice Waters, who sparked a food revolution from her Berkeley restaurant. Recounting her visits to farms, conferences, and farmers markets, Kelley offers lively profiles of men and women ‘intimately and integrally connected to utopians who came before…’ An informative, fresh history of food in America.”
Kirkus Reviews

“A blend of history book and crystal ball . . . Foodtopia’s tapestry of food history refreshingly amplifies people and communities outside of the mainstream.”
Civil Eats’ Food and Farming Book Picks for Summer 2022

ADVANCE PRAISE

Foodtopia glides gracefully through the increasingly complex world of food, pandemic and all. An important contemporary book.”
—Mark Kurlansky, author of Salt: A World History

“Foodtopia gives us a generous overview of Americans’ historic and contemporary involvement in utopian communities through the lens of their dietary beliefs and practices. From Thoreau’s Walden to Penniman’s Soul Fire Farm, the search for agrarian values and food justice should inspire us to support—and join—these movements.”
—Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health

“A fascinating account, moving easily across eras, never starry-eyed but always open to the idea that we can do better than we’re doing!”
—Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future

“In tracing the lineage of today’s small-scale sustainable farms back to the American visionaries and utopian communities of the past, Margot Anne Kelley has revealed a story essential for our times, one that illustrates the way the committed make their stand for the endurance of ideals. For Kelley, this is as much a personal story as it is a deeply researched one, and she proves herself equally at home with ideas and practice. With Foodtopia she has given us a spirited and beautifully written account of what dreams the soil can hold.”
—Jane Brox, author of Clearing Land: Legacies of the American Farm

“From graham crackers to heirloom carrots, Kelley offers an engaging and thorough dive into the long, strange history of American dreaming and eating. Essential reading for anyone wondering not just where their food comes from, but why.”
—Kate Daloz, author of We Are As Gods: Back to the Land in the 1970s on the Quest for a New America

“This book tastes so good—I ate the whole thing raw.”
—Mark Sundeen, author of The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today’s America

Foodtopia is an engaging, informative, and inspiring journey, exploring the deep political and ecological values that motivate alternative agriculture. Margot Anne Kelley reveals the historical continuity that weaves together healthy food, community agriculture, and racial justice. In so doing, she offers an exciting and hopeful vision of a great American tradition.”
—Mitchell Thomashow, author of To Know the World: A New Vision for Environmental Learning

“Margot Anne Kelley’s Foodtopia is a marvelous book tracking the history of five waves of utopian back-to-the-landers in America. From Brook Farm to the Diggers, from Henry David Thoreau to Farm Aid to Alice Waters, and on to the millennial farmers bringing queer and BIPOC perspectives to food production, this book is a gorgeous cornucopia. And it makes clear that these movements are not an escape from the struggles of race, class, and privilege. Rather they are ground on which to think anew about cultivating both healthy food and a just food system. A stellar and timely book!”
—Alison Hawthorne Deming, author of A Woven World: On Fashion, Fishermen, and the Sardine Dress

“The impulse to escape the city and reconnect with a more authentic world through food and farming has been a perennial part of the American experiment, but as Foodtopia shows in clear and compelling prose, it’s much more than that: By challenging the centralized dogmas of mainstream culture through a kind of agrarian performance art, these troops of back-to-the-landers have not just held a mirror up to American society, but given us a lodestar so that we might re-find our way, again and again.”
—Rowan Jacobsen, author of American Terroir: Savoring the Flavors of Our Woods, Waters, and Fields

“To tackle the dire ecological and social challenges before us, we need a profound shift of direction, away from the runaway corporate-dominated economy based on high-tech and urbanization. We need to rebuild local agrarian economies, to encourage a small farm renaissance that creates a healthier balance between rural and urban. Foodtopia expertly documents the past movements that already clearly saw the need for this shift and whose experiences will help light the way for today’s new agrarians.”
Helena Norberg-Hodge, author of Local Is Our Future: Steps to an Economics of Happiness

“Having been a back-to-the lander in Maine in the 1970s, I was so pleased to read Margot Anne Kelley’s history of those days and her interesting insights into those Americans charting a sustainable rural life today. She does much of this through the lens of our changing relationship to food and farming. Kelley makes the strong case that changing our food system is central to everything from the quality and availability of the food we eat to the fundamentals of our very democracy. I agree.”
—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree

“Margot Anne Kelley elegantly unearths the deep roots of today’s back-to-the-land movement, linking Henry David Thoreau’s nineteenth-century essays to the twenty-first-century struggle for food justice. Foodtopia shows that the desire to leave the city, grow one’s own food, and live more simply is almost as American an impulse as building highways and skyscrapers.”
—Jonathan Kauffman, author of Hippie Food: How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat

“It has been said that no reality was ever created by realists, and the utopian movements that Margot Anne Kelley explores in her joyful book all took that to heart. She observes that they share two great things: a love of good food and a commitment to a new social order. And, indeed, today the food movement in its many aspects is at the forefront of driving positive social change. Her book is full of good stories, well told, and highly motivational. Highly recommended.”
—Gus Speth, author of America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy

One True Sentence

Writers & Readers on Hemingway’s Art

“A revelatory compendium.”Publishers Weekly

“A valuable take on a canonical writer.” Kirkus Reviews


A selection of the greatest sentences by the master, Ernest Hemingway. Sentences that can take a reader’s breath away and are not easily forgotten. Each sentence has been selected and examined by authors such as Elizabeth Strout, Sherman Alexie, Paula McLain, and Russell Banks, scholars such as
Paul Hendrickson, Seán Hemingway, and A. Scott Berg, and many others in this celebration and conversation between Hemingway and some of his most perceptive and interesting readers.

“All you have to do is write one true sentence,” Hemingway wrote in his memoir, A Moveable Feast. “Write the truest sentence that you know.” If that is the secret to Hemingway’s enduring power, what sentences continue to live in readers’ minds? And why do they resonant? The host and producer of the One True Podcast have gathered the best of their program (heard by thousands of listeners) and added entirely new material for this collection of conversations about Hemingway’s truest words.

From the long, whole-story-in-a-sentence line—“I have seen the one legged street walker who works the Boulevard Madeleine between the Rue Cambon and Bernheim Jeune’s limping along the pavement through the crowd on a rainy night with a beefy red-faced Episcopal clergyman holding an umbrella over her.”—to the short, pithy line that closes The Sun Also Rises—“Isn’t it pretty to think so?”—this is a collection full of delights, surprises, and insight.

“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened,” wrote Hemingway. “And after you’re finished reading one, you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards, it all belongs to you.” For readers of American literature, One True Sentence is full of remembrances—of words you read and the feelings they gave you. For writers, this is an inspiring view of an element of craft—a single sentence—that can make a good story come alive and become a great story.

FEATURING CONVERSATIONS WITH
Valerie Hemingway, Brian Turner, Alex Vernon, Mark Salter, Elizabeth Strout, Lesley M.M. Blume, Paula McLain, Kirk Curnutt, Craig Johnson, Marc K. Dudley, Carl P. Eby, Erik Nakjavani, Stacy Keach, Verna Kale, Craig McDonald, Andrew Farah, Joshua Ferris, Ross K. Tangedal, Suzanne del Gizzo, Kawai Strong Washburn, Scott Donaldson, Russell Banks, Gail Sinclair, James Plath, Andre Dubus III, Jennifer Haigh, Adrian Sparks, Paul Hendrickson, A. Scott Berg, Mark Thompson, Sherman Alexie, Boris Vejdovsky, Mark P. Ott, Michael Mewshaw, Seán Hemingway, Hideo Yanagisawa, Pam Houston, and Michael Katakis.

ADVANCE PRAISE

“A revelatory compendium . . . a rewarding tapestry . . .  readers are likely to come away with a deepened understanding of—and even awe at—Hemingway’s vast talent.”
Publishers Weekly

“An enjoyable exploration of how Hemingway’s influence on American literature continues to be significant. A valuable take on a canonical writer, highlighting how good work stands the test of time.”
Kirkus Reviews

In the Founders’ Footsteps

Landmarks of the American Revolution

WINNER of the 2022 Distinguished Book Award from The Society of Colonial Wars

“Van Doren’s watercolors give the book visual appeal, and the window it opens on the lives of these places, past and present, makes it worth keeping around.”
The New Criterion

A tour through the original thirteen colonies in search of historical sites and their stories in America’s founding. Obscure, well-known, off-the-beaten path, and on busy city streets, here are taverns, meeting houses, battlefields, forts, monuments, homes which all combine to define our country—the places where daring people forged a revolution.

There is always something new to be found in America’s past that also brings greater clarity to our present and the future we choose to make as a nation. Author-artist Adam Van Doren traveled from Maine to Georgia in that spirit. There are thirty-seven landmarks included, with fifteen additional locations noted in brief. From the Bunker Hill monument in Massachusetts to the Camden Battlefield Site in South Carolina, this is a tour of an American cultural landscape with a curious, perceptive, and insightful guide.

The reader steps inside cabins at Valley Forge where nearly two thousand soldiers perished during a cruel winter, meets the chef at Philadelphia’s City Tavern where the menu is based on 18th century fare, seeks out the Swamp Fox in Georgia, visits the homes of Alexander Hamilton, John and Abigail Adams, the Joseph Webb House on the Connecticut River where French general Rochambeau made plans with Washington, and much more. An unvarnished view, we also see Philipsburg Manor, in Sleepy Hollow, New York, where Blacks were once held as slaves to work in the Hudson River Valley.

For armchair travelers and anyone fascinated by Americana, Van Doren (The House Tells the Story: Homes of the American Presidents) has created an unforgettable journey through history. We see the Founders—both their stunning achievements and chilling moral failures—where they lived, fought, and agreed on a common purpose, to create a nation whose future—and it’s legacy—is continually evolving.

Critical Praise for In the Founder’s Footsteps

“Van Doren’s project reminds us there is always something new to be found in America’s past that also brings greater clarity to our present, and to the future we choose to make as a nation.”
Fine Art Connoisseur

More Praise for In the Founder’s Footsteps

“The historian’s task is to give unnecessary attention to a thousand and one things and still give warmth to the narrative. Van Doren fulfills this task in excess, and his inexhaustible supply of enthusiasm gives life to his stories.”
—DAVID MCCULLOUGH, author of 1776

“This is not just a pretty book—though Adam Van Doren’s many watercolors are pretty indeed—but is wise and fascinating too, reminding us of events and way-stations that we well knew—Concord to Yorktown by way of Bunker Hill and Valley Forge—and of places and happenings we have long forgotten. The seven years of the Revolutionary War are retold with a measured sympathy—no jingoism here!—and we must be grateful for the images and words of a supremely able historian and artist.”
—SIMON WINCHESTER, author of The Professor and the Madman

“In this gorgeous volume, Adam Van Doren illustrates with generosity and wise beauty those places and “gentle phantoms”—from Bunker Hill to the Georgia swamp, from Phillis Wheatley to Thomas Paine—that helped create an American republic and inhabit it still. In Van Doren’s delicious, brilliant retelling, and in these luminous pictures, history walks again, upright, complex, and humane: Not to be missed.”
—BRENDA WINEAPPLE, author of The Impeachers

“Adam Van Doren has succeeded where so many histories do not, in conveying a vivid sense of the different places that gave rise to our hard-won independence. John Adams famously argued that the Revolution had to be won in the “minds and hearts” of the American people; this lovely book appeals to both.”
—TED WIDMER, author of Lincoln on the Verge

“In the Founders’ Footsteps is a visual and narrative revelation. It invites you to join Van Doren on a journey that he quite happily and gracefully illustrates for you. For history and architectural buffs, this is a feast. For any reader interested in a rare and wide-ranging road trip, this is their book.”
—TIMOTHY L. O’BRIEN, author of TrumpNation

“Adam Van Doren’s charming watercolors and essays made me feel I was there. Through both pen and brush, Van Doren not only teaches us a good deal of American history but, more important, evokes it.”
—ANNE FADIMAN, author of Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader

Hunger of Memory: 40th Anniversary Edition

The Education of Richard Rodriguez

“Superb.”—The New York Times

The fortieth anniversary edition of an American classic: a “minority student” pays the cost of social assimilation and academic success with a painful alienation from his past, his parents, his culture. Exquisitely written, poignant and powerful, unsettling, and controversial, Hunger of Memory is both a profound study of the importance of language and an intimate portrait of a Mexican-American boy struggling to become a man.

Forty years ago, readers met the extraordinary writer Richard Rodriguez through the story of his own education. Hunger of Memory traces the journey of a young boy, the son of Mexican immigrants, who began school in California knowing just fifty words of English but concluded his university studies in the lonely grandeur of the British Museum. In between, he fought a dramatic struggle between his public and private self.

A longtime resident of San Francisco, and an ardent opponent of easy labels and limited self-conceptions, Rodriguez describes himself as a “queer Catholic Indian Spaniard at home in a temperate Chinese city in a fading blond state in a post-Protestant nation.” Resisting the easy way of following received dogmatic and conventional thought, Rodriguez has encountered kneejerk hostility for his provocative positions on issues such as affirmative action and bilingual education. But the extraordinary clarity of his iconoclastic writing—the surprising twists in his thinking, the view of public policy as it limits individual lives, and the story he tells of an American education—have made this book endure for four decades and counting.

This new edition includes an introduction by Phillip Lopate and an afterword by Richard Rodriguez. Still as provocative as the year it was first published, Hunger of Memory is both a profound meditation on the price of education the working class must pay for its great benefit and a poetic self-portrait of a “scholarship boy.” Any reader moved by the power of words, including their power to change lives, needs to discover—or re-discover—Hunger of Memory.

Praise for Richard Rodriguez and Hunger of Memory

“Richard Rodriguez has maintained a fierce, rigorous, ironic, and sincere cross-examination of both contemporary America and himself….[His] refusal to settle for easy answers or fixed assumptions is exactly what makes Rodriguez so essential.”
—Pico Iyer, New York Review of Books

“Rodriguez is an interesting, unpredictable thinker and writer; the opportunity to enter his mind should be reason enough to read one of his books.”
Washington Post

“Superb…In Hunger of Memory, Mr. Rodriguez offers himself as an example of the long labor of change: its costs, about which he is movingly frank, its loneliness, but also its triumph.”
New York Times Book Review

“Paradox has always been at the heart of Rodriguez’s brilliant personal essays, whether he was pondering, in Hunger of Memory (1982), the conflict between public and private selves; or defining, in Days of Obligation (1992), the split in his multicultural soul between his American faith in the future and his Mexican sense of the tragic past; or dissecting, in Brown (2002), the incendiary topic of race in America….They all reflect his remarkable ability to penetrate the contradictions of our lives, reveling in them as much as understanding them.”
Booklist

“The exquisite clarity of Mr. Rodriguez’s writing is the product of long care, an attention to nuance that, one senses, is not only esthetic but moral.”
The New York Times

“Richard Rodriguez may be the most empathic essayist in America….His sentences are reliable joys.”
The New Yorker

Heart First Into This Ruin

The Complete American Sonnets

“Wanda Coleman is not just wickedly wise, she is transcendent.”Washington Post

The first complete collection of Wanda Coleman’s original and inventive sonnets. Long regarded as among her finest work, these one hundred poems give voice to loving passions, social outrage, and hard-earned wisdom.

Wanda Coleman was a beat-up, broke Black woman who wrote with anger, humor, and ruthless intelligence: “to know, i must survive myself,” she wrote in “American Sonnet 7.” A poet of the people, she created the experimental “American Sonnet” form and published them between 1986 and 2001. The form inspired countless others, from Terrance Hayes to Billy Collins.

Drawn from life’s particulars, Coleman’s art is timeless and universal. In “American Sonnet 61” she writes:

reaching down into my griot bag
of womanish wisdom and wily
social commentary, i come up with bricks
with which to either reconstruct
the past or deconstruct a head….
from the infinite alphabet of afroblues
intertwinings, i cull apocalyptic visions
(the details and lovers entirely real)
and articulate my voyage beyond that
point where self disappears

These one hundred sonnets—borne from influences as diverse as Huey P. Newton and Herman Melville, Amiri Baraka and Robert Duncan—tell Coleman’s own tale, as well as the story of Black and white America. From “American Sonnet 2”:

towards the cruel attentions of violent opiates
as towards the fatal fickleness of artistic rain
towards the locusts of social impotence itself
i see myself thrown heart first into this ruin
not for any crime
but being

This is a collection for anyone who values the power of words to name what is real and what is possible in a unique, questioning, and questing mind.

CRITICAL PRAISE for Heart First Into This Ruin

“Essential . . . dizzies with imagination and Coleman’s ever-present wit . . . an indispensable look at one of the most important and surprising voices in American poetry.”
Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“Coleman’s shocking, sensuous American Sonnets . . . march to their own drum, rejecting traditional meters and rhyme-schemes, constrained instead by rules the poet has set.”
The Telegraph (U.K.)

“Coleman tries to tailor each poem’s meter . . . she does very well, covering family, erotic love, work, chronic poverty, racism, and the damned knowledge that she is better than what she receives from American society.”
The Book Beat

MORE PRAISE FOR WANDA COLEMAN

“Fantastically entertaining and deeply engaging…potent distillations of creative rage, social critique, and subversive wit.”
Washington Post

“Terrifying and fearlessly inventive.”
New York Times

“Wanda Coleman remains among the most essential writers Los Angeles has produced.”
—L.A. Times