Tag Archives: Winter 2012

Alibis: Essays on Elsewhere by André Aciman

Alibis: Essays on Elsewhere
André Aciman
On Sale: November 27, 2012 (December)
Picador
Essays / Travel / Culture

For a review copy (US and Canada only) or to schedule an interview with André Aciman, please email gabrielle.gantz [at] picadorusa.com

PRAISE FOR ALIBIS
“A beautiful new book of essays…Aciman’s deep fidelity to the world of the senses, and to the translation of those sensations into prose, makes Alibis a delight.”—Teju Cole, The New York Times Book Review

“The journey is always beguiling and its conclusion often poignant….Aciman is a brilliant chronicler of ‘the disconnect, the hiatus, the tiny synapse’ between who we are and who—or where—we wish we might have been.”The Wall Street Journal

“André Aciman is, quite simply, one of the finest essayists of the last hundred years—you’d have to go back much farther…to find the combination of elegance, restraint, and longing that Aciman so generously bestows upon his readers.”Los Angeles Review of Books

ABOUT ALIBIS
André Aciman first rose to prominence with Out of Egypt—a finely wrought memoir of his childhood in Alexandria—and in the fifteen years since, his reputation has only grown. He has been lauded as an editor, essayist, and critic, and as a scholar of French literature and the director of the Writers Institute at the City University of New York. More recently, Aciman has also earned widespread praise as a novelist. When his debut novel, Call Me by Your Name was published in 2007, New York magazine declared him “the most exciting new fiction writer of the 21st century,” raving that “few novels since Proust’s In Search of Lost Time are this adept at capturing the nuances of human emotion.” And writing last year in The New York Review of Books, Michael Dirda called Aciman’s second novel, Eight White Nights, “a bravura re-creation of all the feints and counterfeints, yearnings and frustrations, of modern courtship.”

In ALIBIS (Picador Paperback / On sale: November 27, 2012), André Aciman has written a luminous series of linked essays about time, place, identity, and art that show him at his very finest. From beautiful and moving pieces about the memories evoked by the scent of lavender; to meditations on cities such as Barcelona, Rome, Paris, and New York; to life secrets unearthed from an ordinary street corner, ALIBIS reminds us that Aciman is a master of the personal essay.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
André Aciman is the author of Eight White Nights, Call Me by Your Name, Out of Egypt, and False Papers, and is the editor of The Proust Project. He teaches comparative literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

MORE INFORMATION
Cover image for download
André Aciman on writing (New York Times Opinionator)

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The Lover’s Dictionary: A Novel by David Levithan

The Lover’s Dictionary: A Novel
David Levithan
On sale: February 2012
Fiction 

“Levithan brings ingenuity and a wry edge to his first adult novel. . . Among the novel’s pleasures are micro-stories that speak volumes, reminiscent of Lydia Davis’ work. . . There’s plenty of reflection, not just on the relationship but on the attempt to distill and describe such complex feeling, including this: ‘Trying to write about love is ultimately like trying to have a dictionary represent life.  No matter how many words there are, there will never be enough.’ That, by the way, is Levithan’s definition of ineffable.” —NPR.org

“‘The Lover’s Dictionary’ is clever and poetic and, sigh, sad. . . The brief entries are like poetry; poetry with a gravitational pull back to the central narrative, which is two people falling in love. The fact that the pieces hold together so well is testament, not only to Levithan’s light hand and gracious writing but also to the power of this universal story.”
—Susan Salter Reynolds

ABOUT THE LOVER’S DICTIONARY
How does one talk about love? Is it even possible to describe something at once utterly mundane and wholly transcendent, that has the power to consume our lives completely, while making us feel part of something infinitely larger than ourselves? Taking a unique approach to this age-old problem, the nameless narrator of David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary constructs the story of a relationship as a dictionary. Through these sharp entries, he provides an intimate window into the great events and quotidian trifles of coupledom, giving us an indelible and deeply moving portrait of love in our time.

David Levithan is the author of many acclaimed young-adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn), which was adapted into a popular movie. He is also an editorial director at Scholastic. Follow him on Twitter @loversdiction. You can also find him online at http://www.davidlevithan.com/.

More information available at Picador.

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My Korean Deli: Risking It All for a Convenience Store by Ben Ryder Howe

My Korean Deli: Risking It All for a Convenience Store
Ben Ryder Howe
On Sale: March 2012
Memoir

This warm and funny tale of an earnest preppy editor finding himself trapped behind the counter of a Brooklyn convenience store is about family, culture, and identity in an age of discombobulation.

It starts with a gift, when Ben Ryder Howe’s wife, the daughter of Korean immigrants, decides to repay her parents’ self-sacrifice by buying them a store. Howe, an editor at the rarefied Paris Review, agrees to go along. Things soon become a lot more complicated. After the business struggles, Howe finds himself living in the basement of his in-laws’ Staten Island home, commuting to the Paris Review offices in George Plimpton’s Upper East Side townhouse by day, and heading to Brooklyn at night to slice cold cuts and peddle lottery tickets. My Korean Deli follows the store’s tumultuous life span, and along the way paints the portrait of an extremely unlikely partnership between characters with shoots across society, from the Brooklyn streets to Seoul to Puritan New England. Owning the deli becomes a transformative experience for everyone involved as they struggle to salvage the original gift—and the family—while sorting out issues of values, work, and identity.

Ben Ryder Howe has written for The New YorkerThe Atlantic Monthly, andOutside, and his work has been selected for Best American Travel Writing. He is a former senior editor of The Paris Review. He, his wife, and their two children live on Staten Island. This is his first book.

Read more: Includes excerpt

Review copies are limited, please email Gabrielle.Gantz [at] Picadorusa.com for availability.

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Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses by Claire Dederer

Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses
Claire Dederer
On Sale: January 2012
Memoir

Ten years ago, Claire Dederer put her back out while breastfeeding her baby daughter. Told to try yoga by everyone from the woman behind the counter at the co-op to the homeless guy on the corner, she signed up for her first class. She fell madly in love.

Over the next decade, she would tackle triangle, wheel, and the dreaded crow, becoming fast friends with some poses and developing long-standing feuds with others. At the same time, she found herself confronting the forces that shaped her generation. Daughters of women who ran away to find themselves and made a few messes along the way, Dederer and her peers grew up determined to be good, good, good—even if this meant feeling hemmed in by the smugness of their organic-buying, attachment-parenting, anxiously conscientious little world. Yoga seemed to fit right into this virtuous program, but to her surprise, Dederer found that the deeper she went into the poses, the more they tested her most basic ideas of what makes a good mother, daughter, friend, wife—and the more they made her want something a little less tidy, a little more improvisational. Less goodness, more joy.

Read more: Includes excerpt and video
Claire’s website

Review copies are limited, please email Gabrielle.Gantz [at] Picadorusa.com for availability.

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The Maid and the Queen: The Secret History of Joan of Arc by Nancy Goldstone

Maid and the Queen:
The Secret History of  Joan of Arc

Viking
On Sale: April 2, 2012
Biography / History 

Praise for The Maid and the Queen

“With compelling storytelling, Goldstone colorfully weaves together the tales of these two women [Yolande of Aragon and Joan of Arc] —one rich, one poor; one educated, one illiterate; one worldly, one simple—whose powerful personalities and deep allegiance to France helped shape the country’s future.”—Publishers Weekly

“Goldstone’s vivid retelling of Joan’s astounding victories and her capture and martyrdom by the English is as gripping as ever . . . [A] knowledgeable and accessible account of a turning point in French history.”—Kirkus

“[Nancy’s] entertaining narrative will intrigue general readers interested in the Middle Ages, Joan of Arc (whose 600th birthday is this year), or biographies of royal figures or women in history.”—Library Journal

“Goldstone adds an enlightening new chapter to a legendary saga and rescues another unjustly neglected woman from the dust pile of conventional history.” —Booklist

 About The Maid and the Queen 

Starting with her marvelous Four Queens, Goldstone has taken the stories of long-forgotten but remarkable women and created spellbinding, informative histories. Now, in this mesmerizing account, THE MAID AND THE QUEEN, she takes one of the Middle Age’s most fascinating woman, Joan of Arc, and shows that behind every great woman there is—what else?—another great woman. In riveting detail, Goldstone shares the untold story of the extraordinary queen who championed Joan of Arc.

Politically astute, ambitious and beautiful, Yolande of Aragon, Queen of Sicily, was the most powerful woman of the Middle Ages; without her there may well not have been a Joan of Arc. Trained by her parents and her formidable mother-in-law, Marie of Blois, Yolande took matters into her own hands to help save France. THE MAID AND THE QUEEN shows how she tirelessly plotted to hold together the oft-divided party attempting to defeat the English and Burgundians.

About Nancy Goldstone

Nancy Goldstone is the author of Four Queens: The Provençal Sisters Who Ruled Europe and The Lady Queen: The Notorious Reign of Joanna I, Queen of Naples, Jerusalem, and Sicily. She has also co-authored five books with her husband Lawrence Goldstone. She can be found at http://nancygoldstone.com/.

More Information
Press release for download
Interview alert for download
A Q&A with Nancy Goldstone for download
Cover image for download

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Reading For My Life: Writings, 1958-2008 by John Leonard

Reading For My Life: Writings, 1958-200
John Leonard; Edited by Sue Leonard with an Introduction by E.L. Doctorow
Viking
On Sale: March 19, 2012
Essays / Literary Criticism 

Praise for John Leonard
“For any partisan of intellectual journalism, Leonard is a small treasure.”—The Village Voice

“One of the two or three best literary critics in America. To virtually any book, Leonard can apply intellect and language without sacrificing either.”—Time

“Leonard has the requisite erudition and enthusiasm to sustain…astonishing riffs, putting the rest of the bookworm band not just in the shade but in total eclipse.”—The Boston Globe

ABOUT THE BOOK
A monumental collection of Leonard’s most significant writings, READING FOR MY LIFE spans five decades, from Leonard’s earliest reviews and columns for the Harvard Crimson to some of his final essays for The New York Review of Books.  Leonard reviewed the most celebrated writers of modern fiction with unflagging inspiration and striking originality, in addition to heralding novelists from outside the mainstream. He was the first major critic to praise the work of Gabriel García Márquez, and championed the work of Toni Morrison so passionately that she invited him to travel with her to Stockholm to accept her Nobel Prize. Kurt Vonnegut likened the experience of reading him to watching him “light the night sky of my ignorance and intellectual lassitude with sizzles and bangs, and gorgeous blooms of fire.” He was a voracious critical omnivore, whose works also address television, film, politics, and the media.

ABOUT JOHN LEONARD
John Leonard (1939-2008) was a reviewer or contributing editor for practically every national print outlet, including The Nation, The New York Review of Books, Harper’s, Vanity Fair, Salon, New York, and the daily book reviewer for The New York Times. He also appeared regularly on NPR’s Fresh Air and CBS’s Sunday Morning. Leonard wrote four novels and served for four years as the executive editor of The New York Times Book Review. In 2006 he was awarded the National Book Critics Circle’s prestigious Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award.

More Information
Press release for download
Cover image for download
Author photo for download 

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Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan by Ahmed Rashid

Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan
Ahmed Rashid
Viking
On Sale: March 19, 2012

“… lucid, expert account of a disaster in the making.” —Kirkus, starred review

In PAKISTAN ON THE BRINK: The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, Ahmed Rashid, the leading journalist in Pakistan and an insider with superb sources, draws on his keen knowledge of the region to deftly explain what the future may hold.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ahmed Rashid’s unique knowledge of this vast and complex region gives him a panoramic vision and nuance that no Western writer can emulate. Rashid is the bestselling author of Taliban and appears frequently on NPR’s Fresh Air. He is a regular columnist for the Financial Times, The Washington Post, BBC online, and elsewhere. Descent into Chaos is now one of the standard reference books on the region’s recent history, and he is still the world’s leading authority on the Taliban.

More Information
Press release for download
Interview alert for download
Cover image for download
Author photo for download

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The Second Shift: Working Families and the Revolution at Home by Arlie Hochschild

The Second Shift: Working Families and the Revolution at Home
Arlie Hochschild
Penguin Paperback
On Sale: January 31, 2012

Revised with a New Afterword

“The best discussion I have read on what must be the quintessential domestic bind of our time.”
—The New York Times Book Review

“No book analyzes the human impact of the work-family track for both sexes more perceptively or thoroughly than this important, provocative study of the dynamics of two-career couples.”
—Newsday

“A fascinating read that makes us think twice about how much the Women’s Movement still has to accomplish.”
—Parenting

THE SECOND SHIFT: Working Families and the Revolution at Home by Arlie Hochschild with Anne Machung remains as important and relevant today as it did when it was first published in 1989.

As the majority of women entered the workforce, sociologist and Berkeley professor Arlie Hochschild was one of the first to talk about what really happens in dual-career households. Many people were amazed to find that women still did the majority of childcare and housework even though they also worked outside the home.

Now, in this updated edition of THE SECOND SHIFT with a new afterword from the author, we discover how much things have, or have not, changed for women today.

For More Information
Press Release for download
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Filed under Current Events / Politics, Sociology, Women's Studies

Island of Wings by Karin Altenberg

Island of Wings
Karin Altenberg
Penguin Paperback Original
On Sale:  December 27, 2011
eGalley available through NetGalley 

Praise for ISLAND OF WINGS
“Drawing on historically accurate roots, including real-life figures Neil and Lizzie MacKenzie, Altenberg creates a mesmerizing tapestry that will surely linger in the reader’s mind.”
Booklist 

“Altenberg’s book is deeply entrenched in historical detail, vivid in its descriptions of geography”
—Publishers Weekly 

 “With scrupulous attention to place, history, and the natural world, ISLAND OF WINGS tells a story washed by a clean and lovely kind of sorrow.”
—Anne Enright, Man Booker Prize–winning author of The Gathering 

“Karin Altenberg… combines scrupulous research with psychological acuity in exploring the marital and pastoral struggles of Reverend Neil Mackenzie, minister of St Kilda from 1829 to 1844. His flock is essentially pagan: they worship their ancestors, not Christ. Yet they accept their sufferings with an implacable serenity that highlights Mackenzie’s demons and doubts, driving him to the brink of madness.”
The Economist “Pick of Summer Fiction”

“It isn’t easy for a contemporary writer to get inside a Calvinist mind, or to depict how people could live with any dignity in such a primitive place … By respecting the details of religious history and the natural world, Altenberg does both beautifully.”
Guardian (UK)

About ISLAND OF WINGS
Sailing west from theHebridesto the islands of St. Kilda in July of 1830, everything lies ahead for Lizzie and Neil McKenzie. Neil is to become the minister to the small community of islanders and Lizzie, his new wife, is pregnant with their first child.

ISLAND OF WINGS is a voyage mixed with adventure and redemption. Neil’s journey is evangelical: a testing and strengthening of his own faith against the old pagan ways of the St. Kildans as well as a passage to atonement. For Lizzie—bright, beautiful and devoted—this is an excursion into the unknown. Her only certainty is her loyalty and love for her husband, both of which will be sorely tested in the years to come.

About Karin Altenberg
Born and brought up in southern Sweden, Karin Altenberg moved toBritainto study in 1996. She holds a PhD in Archaeology from the University of Reading. Her thesis was published in 2001 and won the Nordenstedska Foundation Award. She is currently senior advisor to the Swedish National Heritage Board and is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London. ISLAND OF WINGS is her first novel. She is currently working on her second.

For More Information
Press Release for Download
Cover Image for Download
Author Photo for Download

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A Safeway in Arizona by Tom Zoellner

A SAFEWAY IN ARIZONA: What the Gabrielle Giffords Shooting Tells Us About the Grand Canyon State and Life in America
Tom Zoellner
Viking
On Sale: January 2, 2012

In A SAFEWAY IN ARIZONA: What the Gabrielle Giffords Shooting Tells Us About the Grand Canyon State and Life in America (Viking / On Sale: January 2, 2012 / ISBN: 9780670023202 / $26.95 / 256pp.), Tom Zoellner takes an in-depth look at the underlying fault lines in the state’s culture and government that enabled the Jared Lee Loughner shooting to take place.

The terrible events that took place on January 8, 2011 have exposed many of the problems in Arizona: the under-the-surface hysteria, the boom and bust of the housing market, the lack of established communities, the inept local government, unsustainable neighborhoods of strangers, and a shameful ignorance of the lives of Mexican people. The fault lines of America are on vivid display in this state, which has assumed a place in the union much like the Kansas Territory in the 1850s, an edgy frontier archipelago where the most fraught issues of the day are not really discussed but rather repressed, and then eventually screamed about.

About the author:
Tom Zoellner, whose family has lived in Arizona for five generations, grew up in Phoenix and Tucson. He is an Associate Professor of English at Chapman University and has worked as a reporter at The Arizona Republic. The author of two previous books, his Uranium won the the 2010 American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

For More Information:
Press release for download
A conversation with Tom Zoellner
Interview Alert (includes talking points)
Cover image for download
Author photo for download
Author’s website

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