Hanya Yanagihara's riveting, devastating, A Little Life introduces four college roommates entering adulthood together in New York City, navigating identity politics, class, careers, and one another, arcing onwards through the ensuing decades of middle age. JB is a doted-on Haitian immigrant with art world ambitions. Wilhelm is handsome and phlegmatic, the orphaned son of Scandinavian ranchers, and eventually, an A-list actor. Black-ish and privileged, Malcolm is putting in time at a major architectural firm and fretting over his parents’ expectations. Last there's Jude, a polymath with a crippled gait and a penchant for baking gougeres, as well as alarming, venomous skill as a litigator. Illumined by their own fictive creations in paint, film, edifice, and legal argument, Yanagihara’s way with these characters is complex, memorable, and delightfully bright. But the vast holes of Jude's personal history take on dark presence for all four, and for the reader. "Unflinching" is a word that gets thrown around a lot in book reviews, but it may never be more fitting than here. Actually, A Little Life should come with a trauma trigger warning. It’s almost unbearable. I read it months ago and still weep each time these characters come to mind. Rarely is that power of literature to drill wells of empathy within a reader more at play than in this unrelenting contemporary tragedy.

A Little Life: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385539258
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - March 10th, 2015

A Little Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9780804172707
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Anchor - January 26th, 2016

Annie Dillard’s second novel is set in mid-century Cape Cod. Working with empathy and insight, Dillard creates characters configured by bold ideas and studded with telling detail. Throughout, her writing—as if by osmosis—insinuates itself into the reader’s consciousness. Choppy but profoundly suggestive, the novel’s prose is in deliberate imitation of the sea. Likewise, the plot—an intimate history of the marriage of the eponymous Maytrees—unfolds itself in small waves. The Maytrees is a truly vivid, if subdued, instantiation of grace.

The Maytrees: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061239540
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - June 10th, 2008

“One of the ongoing English peculiarities, it seems, is that success is not remembered as much as disaster.” And so it is that most of us have been captivated by Ernest Shackleton’s efforts to cross the Antarctic continent (tenacious, heroic, yet terribly unsuccessful), and yet likely know next to nothing about this quest’s cheerful completion in 1958. The Crossing of Antarctica: Original Photographs from the Epic Journey That Fulfilled Shackleton’s Dream (Thames & Hudson, $40) should reverse this state of affairs and reignite curiosity in mid-century exploration and its “forgotten hero,” New Zealander George Lowe. Lowe’s camera work and mountain skill on the Everest expedition earned him a spot on the Trans-Antarctic Expedition four years later. Lowe was in the process of committing his life to paper with Huw Lewis-Jones when he passed away in 2013, leaving an incredible trove of reflections and unpublished photographs, gathered here for the first time. Crisp, stunningly still images of ice are included alongside artful portraits and action shots that capture the human aspects of the expedition, in its equally infinite tedium and camaraderie. Accompanying essays form a prose montage of Antarctic exploration, fleshing out the passion, prosaicness, and peculiarities of the polar itch amongst those who have followed in George Lowe’s footsteps.
The Crossing of Antarctica: Original Photographs from the Epic Journey That Fulfilled Shackleton's Dream Cover Image
ISBN: 9780500252024
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Thames & Hudson - September 16th, 2014