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Sherlock Holmes and the Ghosts of Bly: And Other New Adventures of the Great Detective (Pegasus Crime)by Donald Thomas
"Donald Thomas is the all-time best at Sherlockian pastiche."--Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Have you ever seen a ghost, Mr. Holmes?" asks Victoria Temple, and Sherlock Holmes, at the height of his powers in 1898, must face a new challenge, one that plunges the great detective into the realm of the supernatural. Miss Temple has been found guilty--but also insane--at her trial for murdering a child under her care. She is locked away in the Broadmoor lunatic asylum and, worse still, she believes fully in her own guilt. But were the hauntings at the Elizabethan manor house of Bly a vision of the walking dead, perhaps, rather than delusions of her tormented mind? Or could it be that a criminal conspiracy is to blame for the psychic phenomena? In the company of Dr. Watson, the indefatigable Holmes will track down the perpetrators through the occult underworld of Victorian London.
A vegan-turned-hunter reignites the connection between humans and our food sources and continues the dialog begun by Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver. While still in high school, Tovar Cerulli experimented with vegetarianism and by the age of twenty, he was a vegan. Ten years later, in the face of declining health, he would find himself picking up a rifle and heading into the woods. Through his personal quest, Tovar Cerulli bridges disparate worldviews and questions moral certainties, challenging both the behavior of many hunters and the illusion of blamelessness maintained by many vegetarians. In this time of intensifying concern over ecological degradation, how do we make peace with the fact that, even in growing organic vegetables, life is sustained by death? Drawing on personal anecdotes, philosophy, history and religion, Cerulli shows how America's overly sanitized habits of consumption and disconnection with our food have resulted in so many of the health and environmental crises we now face.
The poignant story of a Japanese-American woman's journey through one of the most shameful chapters in American history. Kimi's Obaachan, her grandmother, had always been a silent presence throughout her youth. Sipping tea by the fire, preparing sushi for the family, or indulgently listening to Ojichan's (grandfather's) stories for the thousandth time, Obaachan was a missing link to Kimi's Japanese heritage, something she had had a mixed relationship with all her life. Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, all Kimi ever wanted to do was fit in, spurning traditional Japanese culture and her grandfather's attempts to teach her the language. But there was one part of Obaachan's life that fascinated and haunted Kimi--her gentle yet proud Obaachan was once a prisoner, along with 112,000 Japanese Americans, for more than five years of her life. Obaachan never spoke of those years, and Kimi's own mother only spoke of it in whispers. It was a source of haji, or shame. But what really happened to Obaachan, then a young woman, and the thousands of other men, women, and children like her? From the turmoil, racism, and paranoia that sprang up after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, to the terrifying train ride to Heart Mountain, Silver Like Dust captures a vital chapter the Japanese-American experience through the journey of one remarkable woman and the enduring bonds of family.
A shocking exposé of the reckless proliferation of bio-weapon research and the threat this poses to everyday Americans. Battling a new generation of corporate giants and uncovering threats right in our own backyard, Kenneth King's Germs Gone Wild reveals the massive expansion of America's bio-defense research labs and the culture of deception surrounding hundreds of facilities that have opened since 9/11. King experienced the menace of bio-defense research firsthand when local government and business leaders tried to lure a new facility to his hometown in Kentucky. Researching the safety claims, he not only found many of them to be completely false, but was also horrified by the lack of oversight and the recklessness with which these labs genetically modified pathogens like smallpox, Ebola, and influenza without a care for what happened to the public if there was ever a "leak." And yet the greed that drove the development of these labs has effectively counteracted any cautionary checks by the government and universities. All have been seduced by the economic gains and corporate stipends that come with compliance and turning a blind eye. But now, the reality of these labs and the germs they manipulate will finally be brought to light, as King examines the controversies surrounding plants from Maryland to Boston and Utah, to the Department of Homeland Security's dubious National Bio-and-Agro-Facility (NBAF) project, and the precautions--or lack thereof--being taken to protect us all from a deadly pandemic.
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice Bradford Morrow's stories have garnered him awards such as the O. Henry and Pushcart Prizes and have given him a devoted following. Now gathered here for the first time is a collection of his most darkly comic, masterfully written tales. A young man whose childhood hobby of collecting sea shells and birds' nests takes a sinister turn when he becomes obsessed with acquiring his brother's girlfriend, in "The Hoarder" (selected as one of the Best American Noir Stories of the Century). An archeologist summoned to attend his beloved sister's funeral is astonished to discover it is not she who has died, but someone much closer to him, in "Gardener of Heart." A blind motivational speaker has a crisis of faith when he suddenly regains his sight, only to discover life was better lived in the dark, in "Amazing Grace." In all of these stories, readers will find themselves enthralled and captivated by one of the major voices in contemporary American fiction.
A grieving mother finds solace from her son's death in a relationship that quickly blurs the line between friendship and intimacy. By Accident portrays a year in the life of a woman after the accidental death of her teenage son. Laura Lucas is numbed by the loss, a loss that is paralleled in the spate of upscale construction--and attendant destruction--in her starter-home neighborhood. It's about Laura's relationship with a young tree surgeon who slowly becomes a replacement for her son--but also an object of desire. The story reveals the delicate nexus where solace becomes sex; the role of men and women as unmarried friends; and examines grief in a marriage. It portrays the pain of change and the poignancy of acceptance through Laura's eyes, and occasionally, through the quirky outlook of her ten-year-old daughter. And before the story ends, another brutal, random accident will redefine Laura's life once again.
The heart-warming story of the incredible friendship between National Geographic star Casey Anderson and an 800-pound grizzly bear named Brutus. Casey Anderson, the host of National Geographic's Expedition Grizzly, met a month-old bear cub in a wildlife preserve in 2002, whom he affectionately named Brutus. Little Brutus was destined to remain in captivity or, more likely, even euthanized due to overpopulation at the preserve. Anderson, already an expert in animal rescue and rehabilitation, just could not let that happen to Brutus, who looked like a "fuzzy Twinkie." From the beginning it was clear something special existed between the two. And so, Anderson built the Montana grizzly encounter in Bozeman, Montana, especially for Brutus, so that he, and others like him, could grow up "being a bear." And so the love story began. When together, Anderson and Brutus will wrestle, swim, play, and continue to act as advocates for grizzly protection and education, be it through documentaries like Expedition Grizzly, appearances on Oprah or Good Morning America, or in this inspiring book, which promises to be an intimate look into Anderson's relationship with Brutus and a call to action to protect these glorious animals and the natural world they live in. The Story of Brutus proves that love and friendship knows no bounds and that every care must be taken to protect one of nature's noblest creatures.
American to the Backbone: The Life of James W. C. Pennington, the Fugitive Slave Who Became One of the First Black Abolitionistsby Christopher L. Webber
The incredible story of a forgotten hero of nineteenth century New York City--a former slave, Yale scholar, minister, and international leader of the Antebellum abolitionist movement. At the age of 19, scared and illiterate, James Pennington escaped from slavery in 1827 and soon became one of the leading voices against slavery prior to the Civil War. Just ten years after his escape, Pennington was ordained as a priest after studying at Yale and was soon traveling all over the world as an anti-slavery advocate. He was so well respected by European audiences that the University of Heidelberg awarded him an honorary doctorate, making him the first person of African descent to receive such a degree. This treatment was far cry from his home across the Atlantic, where people like him, although no longer slaves, were still second-class citizens. As he fought for equal rights in America, Pennington's voice was not limited to the preacher's pulpit. He wrote the first-ever "History of the Colored People" as well as a careful study of the moral basis for civil disobedience, which would be echoed decades later by Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. More than a century before Rosa Parks took her monumental bus ride, Pennington challenged segregated seating in New York City street cars. He was beaten and arrested, but eventually vindicated when the New York State Supreme Court ordered the cars to be integrated. Although the struggle for equality was far from over, Pennington retained a delightful sense of humor, intellectual vivacity, and inspiring faith through it all. American to the Backbone brings to life this fascinating, forgotten pioneer, who helped lay the foundation for the contemporary civil rights revolution and inspire generations of future leaders.
A rich and soul-searching novel about an Iranian-American girl whose enigmatic father has decided to arrange her marriage. Jasmine Fahroodhi has always been fascinated by her enigmatic Iranian father. With his strange habits and shrouded past, she can't fathom how he ended up marrying her prim American mother. But lately love in general feels just as incomprehensible. After a disastrous romance sends her into a tailspin, causing her to fail out of college just shy of graduation, a conflicted Jasmine returns home without any idea where her life is headed. Her father has at least one idea--he has big plans for a hastegar, an arranged marriage. Confused, furious, but intrigued, Jasmine searches for her match, meeting suitor after suitor with increasingly disastrous (and humorous) results. As she begins to open herself up to the mysteries of familial and romantic love, Jasmine discovers the truth about her father, and an even more evasive figure--herself--in this highly original and striking debut novel.
A startling history of modern Afghanistan: the story of a country caught in a vortex of terror. Veteran defense analyst and Afghanistan expert David Isby provides an insightful and meticulously researched look at the current situation in Afghanistan, her history, and what he believes must be done so that the US and NATO coalition can succeed in what has historically been known as "the graveyard of empires." Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world with one of the lowest literacy rates. It is rife with divisions between ethnic groups that dwarf current schisms in Iraq, and all the groups are lead by warlords who fight over control of the drug trade as much as they do over religion. The region is still racked with these confrontations along with conflicts between rouge factions from Pakistan, with whom relations are increasingly strained. After seven years and billions of dollars in aid, efforts at nation-building in Afghanistan has produced only a puppet regime that is dependent on foreign aid for survival and has no control over a corrupt police force nor the increasingly militant criminal organizations and the deepening social and economic crisis. The task of implementing an effective US policy and cementing Afghani rule is hampered by what Isby sees as separate but overlapping conflicts between terrorism, narcotics, and regional rivalries, each requiring different strategies to resolve. Pulling these various threads together will be the challenge for the Obama administration, yet it is a challenge that can be met by continuing to foster local involvement and Afghani investment in the region. This paperback edition includes a new 2011 afterword by the author.
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson traverse the British Isles and the Italian peninsula in a rousing new series of adventures. After a thrilling jaunt in the far east, Holmes and Watson return to England to address an inheritance left by one of Watson's relatives in Cornwall, half of which he gave to his dear friend, Sherlock Holmes. Financially secure, the two are now free to spend as much time on Baker Street and the Continent as they please, and the duo find themselves as comfortable in Rome on the banks of the Tiber as the Thames. As Holmes rationalizes and ratiocinates his way through case after case, from "The Case of Two Bohemes" to "A Singular Event in Tranquebar," it's all in a day's work, until clues surface that his great nemesis, Professor James Moriarty, might still be alive . . .
From the fertile crescent to the far east, the great adventures of Holmes and Watson during the three-year gap between Holmes's "death" and his dramatic return. What exactly happened during Sherlock Holmes's "great hiatus" after his supposed death and triumphant return three years later? Riccardi images his travels in Europe and Asia during those years in nine original short stories set in places as far flung as Sumatra and Tibet. Given the uncertain grip of the British empire over its colonies, the murders and other mayhem Holmes confronts often have potentially grave political repercussions. Filled with local color and Holmes' signature wit and logic, Sherlockians the world over will relish this missing chapter in the life of the world's greatest detective.
In 1610, The Tragedy of Macbeth was first performed. 400 years later: the sequel, written as a five-act play in blank verse. Ten years king, Malcolm sits on an uneasy throne. If Malcolm's mind is haunted by the ghosts of his royal father ("gracious Duncan") as well as the thane and lady who so bloodily betrayed him, Malcolm's soul is sickened, as was Macbeth's, by the witches' prophecy that from Banquo's seed would spring a line of Scottish kings: a prophecy that remained unfulfilled at the end of Shakespeare's play. The witches also taunt Malcolm with riddles all his own: that sorrows will visit him from Ireland (where his younger brother fled upon their father's death); that his love for Macbeth will breed fresh treachery. True to the Shakespearean model, its devious plot unfolding in five acts and its speech set to the measure of blank verse, Macbeth, Part II, draws bold the tragedy of a powerful man undone by the terrors he imagines and the truths he fails to see.
The mantras, witticisms, and philosophies of Ted Kennedy, collected by the editor of the New York Times bestselling The Kennedy Wit. "The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die." --Democratic National Convention, 1980 "Like my brothers before me, I pick up the fallen standard. Sustained by the memory of our priceless years together, I shall try to carry forward that special commitment to justice, to excellence, and to courage that distinguished their lives." --Speech given before the start of the 1968 Democratic Convention A collection of quotations and philosophies from Ted Kennedy, grouped thematically in categories ("Words of Inspiration," "On the Kennedy Family and its Legacy," "Personal Reflections," "On Religion and Public life," "Lighter Moments," etc.). Each section will include a brief introduction by the editor to set off the group of quotes, which range from charming little one-liners to Kennedy's letter to Pope Benedict that President Obama hand-delivered to the Vatican in July 2009.
"Guttentag brings the story lines together in a conclusion that leaves you morally conflicted, yet surprisingly satisfied."--San Francisco Chronicle When a high-profile lawyer is murdered at the Chateau Marmont, lackluster detective Jimmy McCann takes to the streets and finds himself enmeshed in this complex web of prostitution and drugs, learning that the killer, a young girl named Casey, is a victim in her own right. Delving into Casey's troubled community of homeless runaways, characterized by abuse, rape, death and disease, but also by friendship, loyalty and love, Bill Guttentag has crafted a stunning literary crime novel.
"Of all the work by young men who have sprung up since 1920 one book survives--The Enormous Room by E. E. Cummings."--F. Scott Fitzgerald The most notable work of fiction from our most beloved modernist poet, The Enormous Room was one of the greatest--yet still not fully recognized-- American literary works to emerge out of World War I. Drawing on E. E. Cummings's experiences in France as a volunteer ambulance driver, this novel takes us through a series of mishaps that led to the poet's being arrested for treason and imprisoned. Out of this trauma Cummings produced a work like no other--a story of oppression and injustice told with his characteristic linguistic energy and unflappable exuberance, which celebrates the spirit of the individual and offers a brave and brilliant opposition in the face of the inhumanity of war. Illustrated with drawings Cummings made while imprisoned in France and featuring an illuminating new introduction by Susan Cheever, this reissued edition offers a unique and multifaceted lens onto the inner life of the poet in his youth and demands recognition by a twenty-first-century readership.
The untold story of an eccentric, scientific visionary whose death-defying research has saved millions of lives. Sixty years ago, cars and airplanes were still deathtraps waiting to happen. Today, both are safer than ever, thanks in part to one pioneering air force doctor's research on seatbelts and ejection seats. The exploits of John Paul Stapp (1910-1999) come to thrilling life in this biography of a Renaissance man who was once blasted--faster than a .45 caliber bullet--across the desert in his Sonic Wind rocket sled, only to be slammed to a stop in barely a second. The experiment put him on the cover of Time magazine and allowed his swashbuckling team to gather the data needed to revolutionize automobile and aircraft design. But Stapp didn't stop there. From the legendary high-altitude balloon tests that ensued to the ferocious battles for car safety legislation, Craig Ryan's book is as much a history of America's transition into the Jet Age as it is a biography of the man who got us there safely.
A dramatic work of historical detection illuminating one of the most significant--and long forgotten--Supreme Court cases in American history. In 1820, a suspicious vessel was spotted lingering off the coast of northern Florida, the Spanish slave ship Antelope. Since the United States had outlawed its own participation in the international slave trade more than a decade before, the ship's almost 300 African captives were considered illegal cargo under American laws. But with slavery still a critical part of the American economy, it would eventually fall to the Supreme Court to determine whether or not they were slaves at all, and if so, what should be done with them. Bryant describes the captives' harrowing voyage through waters rife with pirates and governed by an array of international treaties. By the time the Antelope arrived in Savannah, Georgia, the puzzle of how to determine the captives' fates was inextricably knotted. Set against the backdrop of a city in the grip of both the financial panic of 1819 and the lingering effects of an outbreak of yellow fever, Dark Places of the Earth vividly recounts the eight-year legal conflict that followed, during which time the Antelope's human cargo were mercilessly put to work on the plantations of Georgia, even as their freedom remained in limbo. When at long last the Supreme Court heard the case, Francis Scott Key, the legendary Georgetown lawyer and author of "The Star Spangled Banner," represented the Antelope captives in an epic courtroom battle that identified the moral and legal implications of slavery for a generation. Four of the six justices who heard the case, including Chief Justice John Marshall, owned slaves. Despite this, Key insisted that "by the law of nature all men are free," and that the captives should by natural law be given their freedom. This argument was rejected. The court failed Key, the captives, and decades of American history, siding with the rights of property over liberty and setting the course of American jurisprudence on these issues for the next thirty-five years. The institution of slavery was given new legal cover, and another brick was laid on the road to the Civil War. The stakes of the Antelope case hinged on nothing less than the central American conflict of the nineteenth century. Both disquieting and enlightening, Dark Places of the Earth restores the Antelope to its rightful place as one of the most tragic, influential, and unjustly forgotten episodes in American legal history.
From the best-selling translator of Némirovsky's Suite Française comes this bold new translation that reinterprets Guy de Maupassant's best works for a new generation. A Parisian civil servant turned protégé of Flaubert, Guy de Maupassant is considered not only one of the greatest short story writers in all of French literature but also a pioneer of psychological realism and modernism who helped define the form. Credited with influencing the likes of Chekhov, Maugham, Babel, and O. Henry, Maupassant had, at the time of his death at the age of forty-two, written six novels and some three hundred short stories. Yet in English, Maupassant has, curiously, remained unappreciated by modern readers due to outdated translations that render his prose in an archaic, literal style. In this bold new translation, Sandra Smith--the celebrated translator of Irene Nemirovsky's Suite Francaise--brings us twenty-eight of Maupassant's essential stories and two novellas in lyrical yet accessible language that brings Maupassant into vibrant English. In addition to her sparkling translation, Smith also imposes a structure that captures the full range of Maupassant's work. Dividing the collection into three sections that reflect his predominant themes--nineteenth-century French society, the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, and the supernatural--Smith creates "an arrangement suggesting a culture of relation, of structure, of completion" (Richard Howard). In "Tales of French Life," we see Maupassant explore the broad swath of French society, not just examining the lives of the affluent as was customary for writers in his day. In the title story of the collection, "The Necklace," Maupassant crafts a devastating portrait of misplaced ambition and ruin in the emerging middle class. The stories in "Tales of War" emerge from Maupassant's own experiences in the devastating Franco-Prussian War and create a portrait of that disastrous conflict that few modern readers have ever encountered. This section features Maupassant's most famous novella, "Boule de Suif." The last section, "Tales of the Supernatural," delves into the occult and the bizarre. While certain critics may attribute some of these stories and morbid fascination as the product of the author's fevered mind and possible hallucinations induced by late-stage syphilis, they echo the gothic horror of Poe as well as anticipate the eerie fiction of H. P. Lovecraft. The result takes readers from marriage, family, and the quotidian details of life to the disasters of war and nationalism, then to the gothic and beyond, allowing us to appreciate Maupassant in an idiom that matches our own times. The Necklace and Other Stories enables us to appreciate Maupassant as the progenitor of the modern short story and as a writer vastly ahead of his time.
A Slate, and San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2014 From across strange aeons comes the long-awaited annotated edition of "the twentieth century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale" (Stephen King). "With an increasing distance from the twentieth century...the New England poet, author, essayist, and stunningly profuse epistolary Howard Phillips Lovecraft is beginning to emerge as one of that tumultuous period's most critically fascinating and yet enigmatic figures," writes Alan Moore in his introduction to The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft. Despite this nearly unprecedented posthumous trajectory, at the time of his death at the age of forty-six, Lovecraft's work had appeared only in dime-store magazines, ignored by the public and maligned by critics. Now well over a century after his birth, Lovecraft is increasingly being recognized as the foundation for American horror and science fiction, the source of "incalculable influence on succeeding generations of writers of horror fiction" (Joyce Carol Oates). In this volume, Leslie S. Klinger reanimates Lovecraft with clarity and historical insight, charting the rise of the erstwhile pulp writer, whose rediscovery and reclamation into the literary canon can be compared only to that of Poe or Melville. Weaving together a broad base of existing scholarship with his own original insights, Klinger appends Lovecraft's uncanny oeuvre and Kafkaesque life story in a way that provides context and unlocks many of the secrets of his often cryptic body of work. Over the course of his career, Lovecraft--"the Copernicus of the horror story" (Fritz Leiber)--made a marked departure from the gothic style of his predecessors that focused mostly on ghosts, ghouls, and witches, instead crafting a vast mythos in which humanity is but a blissfully unaware speck in a cosmos shared by vast and ancient alien beings. One of the progenitors of "weird fiction," Lovecraft wrote stories suggesting that we share not just our reality but our planet, and even a common ancestry, with unspeakable, godlike creatures just one accidental revelation away from emerging from their epoch of hibernation and extinguishing both our individual sanity and entire civilization. Following his best-selling The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, Leslie S. Klinger collects here twenty-two of Lovecraft's best, most chilling "Arkham" tales, including "The Call of Cthulhu," At the Mountains of Madness, "The Whisperer in Darkness," "The Shadow Over Innsmouth," "The Colour Out of Space," and others. With nearly 300 illustrations, including full-color reproductions of the original artwork and covers from Weird Tales and Astounding Stories, and more than 1,000 annotations, this volume illuminates every dimension of H. P. Lovecraft and stirs the Great Old Ones in their millennia of sleep.
In this virtuosic debut, a world-class soprano seeks to reclaim her voice from the curse that winds through her family tree. Lulu can't sing. Since the traumatic birth of her daughter, the internationally renowned soprano hasn't dared utter a note. She's afraid that her body is too fragile and that she may have lost her talent to a long-dreaded curse afflicting all of the mothers in her family. When Lulu was a child, her strong-willed grandmother Ada filled her head with fables of the family's enchanted history in the Polish countryside. A fantastical lore took hold--an incantatory mix of young love, desperate hope, and one sinister bargain that altered the family's history forever. Since that fateful pact, Ada tells Lulu, each mother in their family has been given a daughter, but each daughter has exacted an essential cost from her mother. Ada was the first to recognize young Lulu's transcendent talent, spotting it early on in their cramped Chicago apartment, then watching her granddaughter ascend to dizzying heights in packed international concert halls. But as the curse predicted, Lulu's mother, a sultry and elusive jazz singer, disappeared into her bitterness in the face of Lulu's superior talent--before disappearing from her family's life altogether. Now, in the early days of her own daughter's life, Lulu now finds herself weighing her overwhelming love for her child against the burden of her family's past. In incandescent prose, debut novelist Adrienne Celt skillfully intertwines the sensuous but precise physicality of both motherhood and music. She infuses The Daughters with the spirit of the rusalka, a bewitching figure of Polish mythology that inspired Dvořák's classic opera. The result is a tapestry of secrets, affairs, and unimaginable sacrifices, revealing a family legacy laced with brilliance, tragedy, and most mysterious and seductive of all--the resonant ancestral lore that binds each mother to the one that came before.
One of the greatest characters of medieval literature, the trickster Reynard the Fox, comes to life in this rollicking new translation. What do a weak lion king, a grief-stricken rooster, a dim-witted bear, and one really angry wolf have in common? The answer is they've all been had by one sly fox named Reynard. Originally bursting forth from Europe in the twelfth century, Reynard the Fox--a classic trickster narrative centered on a wily and gleefully amoral fox and his numerous victims in the animal kingdom--anticipated both Tex Avery and The Prince by showing that it's better to be clever than virtuous. However, where The Prince taught kings how to manipulate their subjects, Reynard the Fox demonstrated how, in a world of ruthless competition, clever subjects could outwit both their rulers and enemies alike. In these riotous pages, Reynard lies, cheats, or eats anyone and anything that he crosses paths with, conning the likes of Tybert the Cat, Bruin the Bear, and Bellin the Ram, among others. Reynard's rapacious nature and constant "stealing and roving" eventually bring him into conflict with the court of the less-than-perceptive Noble the Lion and the brutal Isengrim the Wolf, pitting cunning trickery against brute force. Unlike the animal fables of Aesop, which use small narratives to teach schoolboy morality, Reynard the Fox employs a dark and outrageous sense of humor to puncture the hypocritical authority figures of the "civilized" order, as the rhetorically brilliant fox outwits all comers by manipulating their bottomless greed. As James Simpson, one of the world's leading scholars of medieval literature, notes in his introduction, with translations in every major European language and twenty-three separate editions between 1481 and 1700 in England alone, the Reynard tales were ubiquitous. However, despite its immense popularity at the time, this brains-over-brawn parable largely disappeared. Now, for the first time in over a century, the fifteenth-century version of Reynard the Fox reemerges in this rollicking translation. Readers both young and old will be delighted by Reynard's exploits, as he excels at stitching up the vain, pompous, and crooked and escapes punishment no matter how tight the noose. Highlighted by new illustrations by Edith E. Newman, Simpson's translation of the late Middle English Caxton edition restores this classic as a part of a vital tradition that extends all the way to Br'er Rabbit, Bugs Bunny, and even Itchy & Scratchy. As Stephen Greenblatt writes in his foreword, Reynard is the "animal fable's version of Homer's Odysseus, the man of many wiles," proving that in a dog-eat-dog world the fox reigns supreme.
Biography on a grand cultural level, here is the long-awaited story of Sam Wagstaff and his indelible influence on the world of late-twentieth-century art. Sam Wagstaff, the legendary curator, collector, and patron of the arts, emerges as a cultural visionary in this groundbreaking biography. Even today remembered primarily as the mentor and lover of Robert Mapplethorpe, the once infamous photographer, Wagstaff, in fact, had an incalculable--and largely overlooked--influence on the world of contemporary art and photography, and on the evolution of gay identity in the latter part of the twentieth century. Born in New York City in 1921 into a notable family, Wagstaff followed an arc that was typical of a young man of his class. He attended both Hotchkiss and Yale, served in the navy, and would follow in step with his Ivy League classmates to the "gentleman's profession," as an ad executive on Madison Avenue. With his unmistakably good looks, he projected an aura of glamour and was cited by newspapers as one of the most eligible bachelors of the late 1940s. Such accounts proved deceiving, for Wagstaff was forced to live in the closet, his homosexuality only revealed to a small circle of friends. Increasingly uncomfortable with his career and this double life, he abandoned advertising, turned to the formal study of art history, and embarked on a radical personal transformation that was in perfect harmony with the tumultuous social, cultural, and sexual upheavals of the 1960s. Accordingly, Wagstaff became a curator, in 1961, at Hartford's Wadsworth Atheneum, where he mounted both "Black, White, and Gray"--the first museum show of minimal art--and the sculptor Tony Smith's first museum show, while lending his early support to artists Andy Warhol, Ray Johnson, and Richard Tuttle, among many others. Later, as a curator at the Detroit Institute of Arts, he brought the avant-garde to a regional museum, offending its more staid trustees in the process. After returning to New York City in 1972, the fifty-year-old Wagstaff met the twenty-five-year-old Queens-born Robert Mapplethorpe, then living with Patti Smith. What at first appeared to be a sexual dalliance became their now historic lifelong romance, in which Mapplethorpe would foster Wagstaff's own burgeoning interest in contemporary photography and Wagstaff would help secure Mapplethorpe's reputation in the art world. In spite of their profound class differences, the artistic union between the philanthropically inclined Wagstaff and the prodigiously talented Mapplethorpe would rival that of Stieglitz and O'Keefe, or Rivera and Kahlo, in their ability to help reshape contemporary art history. Positioning Wagstaff's personal life against the rise of photography as a major art form and the simultaneous formation of the gay rights movement, Philip Gefter's absorbing biography provides a searing portrait of New York just before and during the age of AIDS. The result is a definitive and memorable portrait of a man and an era.
A magical place, a lost history: Trochenbrod, the setting for Everything is Illuminated, is now rediscovered for a new generation. In the 19th century, nearly five million Jews lived in the Pale of Settlement. Most lived in shtetls--Jewish communities connected to larger towns--images of which are ingrained in popular imagination as the shtetl Anatevka from Fiddler on the Roof. Brimming with life and tradition, family and faith, these shtetls existed in the shadow of their town's oppressive anti-Jewish laws. Not Trochenbrod. Trochenbrod was the only freestanding, fully realized Jewish town in history. It began with a few Jewish settlers searching for freedom from the Russian Czars' oppressive policies, which included the forced conscriptions of one son from each Jewish family household throughout Russia. At first, Trochenbrod was just a tiny row of houses built on empty marshland in the middle of the Radziwill Forest, yet for the next 130 years it thrived, becoming a bustling marketplace where people from all over the Ukraine and Poland came to do business. But this scene of ethnic harmony was soon shattered, as Trochenbrod vanished in 1941--her residents slaughtered, her homes, buildings, and factories razed to the ground. Yet even the Nazis could not destroy the spirit of Trochenbrod, which has lived on in stories and legends about a little piece of heaven, hidden deep in the forest. Bendavid-Val, himself a descendant of Trochenbrod, masterfully preserves and fosters the memory of this city, celebrating the vibrant lives of her people and her culture, proving true the words of one of Trochenbrod's greatest poets, Yisrael Beider: I beg you hold fast to these words of mine. After this darkness a light will shine
From the critically acclaimed author of The Anarchist and The Invisible World--an astonishing historical novel set during the American Revolution. With the outbreak of the American Revolution, Abigail Lovell's family is torn apart--while her schoolmaster father is an outspoken loyalist, she and her two brothers engage in acts of espionage to undermine the British in Boston. Her sickly older brother, James, operates the patriots' spy ring. Abigail acts as a courier, eluding increasingly aggressive British patrols and her younger brother, Benjamin, slips out of Boston to fight alongside Abigail's love, Ezra, in the battles at Lexington and Concord. With the help of her friend, Rachel Revere, Abigail smuggles money and supplies out to her brother, Ezra and Rachel's brother, Paul. But when a British sergeant is found murdered, Abigail stands accused and, in possession of valuable intercepted information, she now must fight to save herself and those she loves. In the tradition of Rose and Girl with the Pearl Earring, The Schoolmaster's Daughter is the story of a family torn asunder and a determined young woman who makes courageous sacrifices for her country.
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