Staff Pick

Any new book by Vila-Matas is a unique kind of joy: you know you’ll be getting a form-bending investigation into writer’s-life conundrums, one that is funny, maddening, and exquisitely crafted; obviously of a piece with his past work and yet indisputably different each time out. This is quintessential Vila-Matas and maybe, somehow, his best book yet. An old man who newly has time on his hands decides to indulge his long-festering urge to write, and what better way than to bastardize an old, little-liked book by a local literary star, chapter by chapter? Chaos spectacularly ensues, and the resulting novel is a pleasurably head-scratching riddle like nothing else. 

Mac's Problem Cover Image
By Enrique Vila-Matas, Margaret Jull Costa (Translator), Sophie Hughes (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9780811227322
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - April 30th, 2019

Staff Pick

 It’s always exciting to me to see an author clearly, conspicuously going for something special, and that’s very much the case with this book. It’s an archaic world unto itself — of Renaissance astronomers, philosophers, regals, and mystics — with the tasty, winding, satirical sentences to match. But it’s also a stealthily devastating book about the relationships we want to be better than they are, the ambitions we don’t know how to actualize (and whether it’s worth it to do so in the first place), and the way those two themes intertwine. Reading this feels like reading a new cult classic, so get in while the getting’s good.

 

The Organs of Sense: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780374227371
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - May 21st, 2019

Staff Pick

No book I’ve read this year has felt as alive and inventive as Zsofia Ban’s Night School, nor has any book provided me with its volume of pure pleasure. So it’s a story collection – a town loses an iconic motherly presence, Flaubert roams Egypt with a friend (or maybe more than a friend), lovers clandestinely find each other in a zoo, a diver prepares for the perfect dive – but it’s also a parody of a textbook, complete with explanatory(?) image accompaniment and tongue-in-cheek essay prompts. But not wholly tongue-in-cheek, because if Ban is a trickster, she knows whom the tricks ought to be on in order to keep the reader thinking as well as laughing.

 

 

Night School: A Reader for Grownups Cover Image
By Zsofia Ban, Jim Tucker (Translator), Peter Nadas (Afterword by)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781940953885
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Open Letter - January 15th, 2019

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