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"Intense and bravely uncompromising. An adult study of pain, thwarted affection, and guarded privacies in a world at the edge of violent public breakdown. An impressive achievement." -DAVID MALOUF, author of Ransom: A Novel and The Happy Life: The Search for Contentment in the Modern WorldSimone and Claude live in a house with a lush garden, surrounded by a hedge that barely protects them from the growing violence and unrest in their low-income neighborhood. Simone mourns the loss of youth and possibility as Claude, a gym teacher who has been diagnosed with cancer, edges toward death. This is an unflinching portrait of a couple ravaged by illness and locked into mutual isolation-that is, until the arrival of a young boy brings hope and upsets their delicate danse macabre to devastating effect.Pascale Kramer dissects romantic love's psychic carnage while unsentimentally revealing the unique beauty born of an adult's love for a child. As does Marguerite Duras, she wields spare language like a club and plumbs emotional depths rarely reached outside of poetry. A brilliant collision of hope and despair, The Child is a tour de force.Pascale Kramer is the author of The Living and the recipient of numerous awards, including the Prix Shiller (Switzerland) and the Prix du Roman de la Société des gens de lettres (France). The Child is her second novel to be translated into English. Born in Geneva, she lives in Paris, France.
"An excellent account . . . scrupulously fair."-Economist"This powerful book is a haunting reminder of the price countries in the developing world pay for the flawed choices of their founders." -Wall Street Journal"The Cage is a tightly-written and clear-eyed narrative about one of the most disturbing human dramas of recent years. . . . a riveting, cautionary tale about the consequences of unchecked political power in a country at war. A must-read." -JON LEE ANDERSON, New Yorker staff writer and author of The Fall of Baghdad"This shattering, heartbreaking tale of savagery and suffering not only lifts the veil that conceals one of the most awful tragedies of the current era, but also helps us understand what should be done, not just in this sad and beautiful land, but long before other such horrors spiral out of control." -NOAM CHOMSKY, Institute Professor & Professor of Linguistics, MIT, and author of Hopes and ProspectsIn the closing days of the thirty-year Sri Lankan civil war, tens of thousands of civilians were killed, according to UN estimates, as government forces hemmed in the last remaining Tamil Tiger rebels on a tiny sand spit, dubbed "The Cage." Gordon Weiss, a journalist and UN spokesperson in Sri Lanka during the final years of the war, pulls back the curtain of government misinformation to tell the full story for the first time. Tracing the role of foreign influence as it converged with a history of radical Buddhism and ethnic conflict, The Cage is a harrowing portrait of an island paradise torn apart by war and the root causes and catastrophic consequences of a revolutionary uprising caught in the crossfire of international power jockeying.Gordon Weiss has lived in New York and worked in numerous conflict and natural disaster zones including Bosnia, Afghanistan, Darfur, Pakistan, Congo, and Haiti. Employed by the United Nations for over twelve years, Weiss is now a writer, speaker and analyst of international affairs as well as a founding advisor to the International Crimes Evidence Project, currently investigating war crimes.
A selection of the Scientific American book clubRecommended by MSNBC, Los Angeles Times, & American Association for the Advancement of Science's SB&F magazine"This wonderful scientific memoir captures the romance and beauty of research in precise poetic prose that is as gorgeous and evocative as anything written by Rilke, painted by Seurat, or played by Casals." -Mary Doria Russell, author of Doc and The Sparrow"A radiant love letter to science from a scientist with a poet's soul . . . Green is an exquisite writer, and his fierce focus and mastery of style are reminiscent of the biologist and essayist Lewis Thomas." -Kirkus ReviewsIn Boltzmann's Tomb, Bill Green interweaves the story of his own lifelong evolution as a scientist, and his work in the Antarctic, with a travelogue that is a personal and universal history of science. Like Richard Holmes' The Age of Wonder-this book serves as a marvelous introduction to the great figures of science. Along with lyrical meditations on the tragic life of Galileo, the wildly eccentric Tycho Brahe, and the visionary Sir Isaac Newton, Green's ruminations return throughout to the lesser-known figure of Ludwig Boltzmann. Using Boltzmann's theories of randomness and entropy as a larger metaphor for the unpredictable paths that our lives take, Green shows us that science, like art, is a lived adventure. Bill Green is a geochemist and professor emeritus at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He is also the author of Water, Ice & Stone: Science and Memory on the Antarctic Lakes which received the American Museum of Natural History's John Burroughs Award for Nature Writing, was a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award, and was excerpted in The Ends of the Earth: An Anthology of the Finest Writing on the Arctic and the Antarctic, edited by Elizabeth Kolbert.
Pop culture meets cutting-edge science in this one-volume introduction to the history of science and modern biology."[Weissmann] has emerged in the last three decades as America's most interesting and important essayist. He has achieved this status both epigenetically and through Twitter, word of mouth, so to speak. . . . Much like Susan Sontag, Weissmann likes being a contemporary, and does not feel shackled by tradition. . . . This book is a joy for the heart and instructive for the mind." -ERIC KANDEL, Nobel Laureate and author of In Search of Memory"Only a mind as nimble and well traveled as Gerald Weissmann's could see, never mind make and expound on, the connections between salamanders and Prohibition . . . white blood cells, Hollywood and erectile dysfunction . . . health care reform and Marie Antoinette . . . bacteria, the Equal Rights Amendment and the "Miracle on the Hudson." Better yet, Weissmann does so with wit and insight. A fascinating tour through history, science and pop culture." -MAX GOMEZ, MD, Emmy Award-winning WCBS-TV Medical Correspondent"Erudite energy leaps from this lively commingling of art, culture and science. . . . In each [essay], Weissmann finds links between research and elements of history and pop culture, which play off each other to illuminating effect. So US politician Sarah Palin pops up in a discussion of 'Marie Antoinette syndrome'. . . and the 'meltdown' of the mythical Icarus meets the nuclear version at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan." -NatureEpigenetics, which attempts to explain how our genes respond to our environment, is the latest twist on the historic nature vs. nurture debate. In addressing this and other controversies in contemporary science, Gerald Weissmann taps what he calls "the social network of Western Civilization," including the many neglected women of science: from the martyred Hypatia of Alexandria, the first woman scientist, to the Nobel laureates Marie Curie, Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, and Elizabeth Blackburn, among other luminaries in the field. Always instructive and often hilarious, this is a one-volume introduction to modern biology, viewed through the lens of today's mass media and the longer historical tradition of the Scientific Revolution. Whether engaging in the healthcare debate or imagining the future prose styling of the scientific research paper in the age of Twitter, Weissmann proves to be one of our most incisive cultural critics and satirists.Gerald Weissmann is director of the Biotechnology Study Center at the New York University School of Medicine and editor-in-chief of the FASEB Journal. His essays and reviews have appeared in numerous publications worldwide, including the London Review of Books and New York Times Book Review.
"One of the most important thinkers describes the literally mind-boggling possibilities that modern brain science could present for national security." -LAWRENCE J. KORB, former US Assistant Secretary of Defense"Fascinating and frightening." -Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsThe first book of its kind, Mind Wars covers the ethical dilemmas and bizarre history of cutting-edge technology and neuroscience developed for military applications. As the author discusses the innovative Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the role of the intelligence community and countless university science departments in preparing the military and intelligence services for the twenty-first century, he also charts the future of national security.Fully updated and revised, this edition features new material on deep brain stimulation, neuro hormones, and enhanced interrogation. With in-depth discussions of "psyops" mind control experiments, drugs that erase both fear and the need to sleep, microchip brain implants and advanced prosthetics, supersoldiers and robot armies, Mind Wars may read like science fiction or the latest conspiracy thriller, but its subjects are very real and changing the course of modern warfare.Jonathan D. Moreno has been a senior staff member for three presidential advisory commissions and has served on a number of Pentagon advisory committees. He is an ethics professor at the University of Pennsylvania and the editor-in-chief of the Center for American Progress' online magazine Science Progress.
New Hampshire Literary Award Winner"Profound . . . with more to say on the human condition than most full books. . . . A remarkable collection, with pitch-perfect leaps of imagination." -Minneapolis Star Tribune"Horvath doesn't just tell a story, he gives readers a window into the hearts, minds and souls of his characters." -Concord Monitor"Absolutely splendid . . . I call it elastic realism . . . firmly rooted in a realistic tradition of writing, but the stories are very elastic. They stretch realism into unexpected places, wonderful little niches that I just adore. . . . These are stories that are funny, they're odd . . . I loved this book." -NANCY PEARL, KUOW's The RecordWhat if there were a city that consisted only of restaurants? What if Paul Gauguin had gone to Greenland instead of Tahiti? What if there were a field called Umbrology, the study of shadows, where physicists and shadow puppeteers worked side by side? Full of speculative daring though firmly anchored in the tradition of realism, Tim Horvath's stories explore all of this and more- blending the everyday and the wondrous to contend with age-old themes of loss, identity, imagination, and the search for human connection. Whether making offhand references to Mystery Science Theater, providing a new perspective on Heidegger's philosophy and forays into Nazism, or following the imaginary travels of a library book, Horvath's writing is as entertaining as it is thought provoking.Tim Horvath teaches creative writing at New Hampshire Institute of Art and Boston's Grub Street writing center. He has also worked part-time as a counselor in a psychiatric hospital, primarily with autistic children and adolescents. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife and daughter.
"An elaborate tale of family and the paths people take to understanding." -Seattle Times"[This] mix of well-researched history and contemporary fiction makes for a fine, sad read." -Minneapolis Star Tribune"Hauntingly honest and emotionally resonant." -Publishers Weekly (starred review)"Gregory Spatz's prose is as clean and sparkling as a new fall of snow." -JANET FITCH, author of White Oleander and Paint it Black"At its heart Inukshuk is about family. But Spatz has transfigured this beautifully told, wise story with history and myth, poetry and magic into something rarer, stranger and altogether amazing. A book that points unerringly true north." -KAREN JOY FOWLER, author of The Jane Austen Book Club and Wit's EndJohn Franklin has moved his fifteen-year-old son to the remote northern Canadian town of Houndstitch to make a new life together after his wife, Thomas' mother, left them. Mourning her disappearance, John, a high school English teacher, writes poetry and escapes into an affair, while Thomas withdraws into a fantasy recreation of the infamous Victorian-era arctic expedition led by British explorer Sir John Franklin. With teenage bravado, Thomas gives himself scurvy so that he can sympathize with the characters in the film of his mind-and is almost lost himself.While told over the course of only a few days, this gripping tale slips through time, powerfully evoking a modern family in distress and the legendary "Franklin's Lost Expedition" crew's descent into despair, madness, and cannibalism aboard the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror on the Arctic tundra.Gregory Spatz is the author of the novels Inukshuk, Fiddler's Dream, and No One But Us, and the short fiction collections Wonderful Tricks and Half as Happy. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and recipient of a Washington State Book Award, he teaches at Eastern Washington University in Spokane and plays the fiddle and tours with Mighty Squirrel and the internationally acclaimed bluegrass band John Reischman and The Jaybirds.
O, The Oprah Magazine "Title to Pick Up Now" & Oprah.com Book of the Week San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the YearLibrary Journal Best Stories Collection of the Year"Emotionally rich." -New York Times"Ambitious, lush and even thrilling." -Los Angeles Times"Ripping good yarns." -Minneapolis Star Tribune"The stories in this strange and original collection bend genres-horror, mystery, Western-into wondrous new shapes." -O, The Oprah MagazineIn each of these eight lyrical and baroque tales, Melissa Pritchard transports readers into spine-tingling milieus that range from the astounding realm of Robert LeRoy Ripley's "odditoriums" to the courtyard where Edgar Allan Poe once played as a child. Whether she is setting the famed figures of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, including Annie Oakley and Sitting Bull, against the real, genocidal history of the American West, or contrasting the luxurious hotel where British writer Somerset Maugham stayed with the modern-day brothels of India, her stories illuminate the many ways history and architecture exert powerful forces upon human consciousness.Melissa Pritchard is a Flannery O'Connor, Janet Heidinger Kafka, and Carl Sandburg award-winning author whose previous short fiction collections were New York Times Notable Book and Editor's Choice selections. She has also been an embedded journalist in Afghanistan and is member of the Afghan Women's Writing Project, which helps to promote literacy and education for Afghan women and girls. She lives in Arizona.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year and Scientific American Book Club selection"Moreno pulls apart the debates on eugenics, abortion, end-of-life decisions, embryonic stem-cell research, reproductive cloning, chimeras and synthetic biology, among others, carefully reassembling what's at stake for each side. In graceful, sparkling prose, he illuminates intricate threads of history and complex philosophical arguments. . . . Highly recommended for anyone interested in the[se] vital issues." -Kirkus Reviews (starred review)We have entered what is called the "biological century" and a new biopolitics has emerged to address the implications for America's collective value system, our well-being, and ultimately, our future. The Body Politic is the first book to recognize and assess this new force in our political landscape-one that fuels today's culture wars and has motivated politicians of all stripes to reexamine their platforms. As Moreno explains the most contentious issues, he also offers an engaging history of the intersection between science and democracy in American life, a reasoned (and often surprising) analysis of how different political ideologies view scientific controversies, and a vision for how the new biopolitics can help shape the quality of our lives.Jonathan D. Moreno is the David and Lyn Silfen University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and the editor-in-chief for the Center for American Progress' online magazine, Science Progress. He divides his time between Philadelphia and Washington, DC.
The Sojourn, winner of the Chautauqua Prize and finalist for the National Book Award, is the story of Jozef Vinich, who was uprooted from a 19th-century mining town in Colorado by a family tragedy and returns with his father to an impoverished shepherd's life in rural Austria-Hungary. When World War One comes, Jozef joins his adopted brother as a sharpshooter in the Kaiser's army, surviving a perilous trek across the frozen Italian Alps and capture by a victorious enemy.A stirring tale of brotherhood, coming-of-age, and survival, that was inspired by the author's own family history, this novel evokes a time when Czechs, Slovaks, Austrians, and Germans fought on the same side while divided by language, ethnicity, and social class in the most brutal war to date. It is also a poignant tale of fathers and sons, addressing the great immigration to America and the desire to live the American dream amidst the unfolding tragedy in Europe.The Sojourn is Andrew Krivak's first novel. Krivak is also the author of A Long Retreat: In Search of a Religious Life, a memoir about his eight years in the Jesuit Order, and editor of The Letters of William Carlos Williams to Edgar Irving Williams, 1902-1912, which received the Louis L. Martz Prize. The grandson of Slovak immigrants, Krivak grew up in Pennsylvania, has lived in London, and now lives with his wife and three children in Massachusetts where he teaches in the Honors Program at Boston College.
BELIEVER BOOK AWARD FINALIST"In prose shimmering with intelligence and compassion, Michelle Latiolais dissects the essentials of everyday life to find the heartbeat within."-Alice Sebold, author of The Lovely Bones"Widow is a hymn to reverence, simultaneously heartbroken and celebratory. Michelle Latiolais has given us the rarest item, a splendidly articulated masterpiece." -William Kittredge"In this luminous collection of stories, the gifted Michelle Latiolais writes of loss in all its surprising manifestations. Widow is a devastation and a wonder." -Christine Schutt"There is something mysterious about this book, as there always is in the writing that matters most. It eludes explanation. It illumines terrifying realities. Only because these pages seem nakedly willing to take the imprint of every emotion, no matter how ugly, do they possess this great beauty." -Elizabeth TallentThe stories of Widow conjure the nuances of inner sensations as if hitting the notes of a song, deftly played across human memory. These meditations bravely explore the physiology of grief through a masterful interweaving of tender insight and unflinching detail-reminding us that the inner life is best understood through the medium of storytelling. Among these stories of loss are interwoven other tales, creating a bridge to the ineffable pleasures and follies of life before the catastrophe. Throughout this collection, Latiolais captures the longing, humor, and strange grace that accompany life's most transformative chapters.Michelle Latiolais is the author of Widow: Stories, a New York Times Editor's Choice selection, and two previous novels, including A Proper Knowledge, also published by Bellevue Literary Press. She is the recipient of the Gold Medal for Fiction from the Commonwealth Club of California and an English professor and co-director of the Programs in Writing at the University of California at Irvine.
Written In Stone is the first book to tell the story of the fossils that mapped out evolutionary history. 150 years after Darwin's Origin was published, scientists are beginning to understand how whales walked into the sea, how horses stood up on their tip-toes, how feathered dinosaurs took to the air, and how our ancestors came down from the trees.
"One of the best critiques of current mathematics education I have ever seen."--Keith Devlin, math columnist on NPR's Morning EditionA brilliant research mathematician who has devoted his career to teaching kids reveals math to be creative and beautiful and rejects standard anxiety-producing teaching methods. Witty and accessible, Paul Lockhart's controversial approach will provoke spirited debate among educators and parents alike and it will alter the way we think about math forever.Paul Lockhart, has taught mathematics at Brown University and UC Santa Cruz. Since 2000, he has dedicated himself to K-12 level students at St. Ann's School in Brooklyn, New York.
"Exhaustively detailed yet eminently readable, this is an important book."Publishers Weekly, starred review"Cassidy does not so much exculpate Heisenberg as explain him, with a transparency that makes this biography a pleasure to read."Los Angeles Times"Well crafted and readable . . . [Cassidy] provides a nuanced and compelling account of Heisenberg's life."The Harvard Book ReviewIn 1992, David C. Cassidy's groundbreaking biography of Werner Heisenberg, Uncertainty, was published to resounding acclaim from scholars and critics. Michael Frayn, in the Playbill of the Broadway production of Copenhagen, referred to it as one of his main sources and "the standard work in English." Richard Rhodes (The Making of the Atom Bomb) called it "the definitive biography of a great and tragic physicist," and the Los Angeles Times praised it as "an important book. Cassidy has sifted the record and brilliantly detailed Heisenberg's actions." No book that has appeared since has rivaled Uncertainty, now out of print, for its depth and rich detail of the life, times, and science of this brilliant and controversial figure of twentieth-century physics.Since the fall of the Soviet Union, long-suppressed information has emerged on Heisenberg's role in the Nazi atomic bomb project. In Beyond Uncertainty, Cassidy interprets this and other previously unknown material within the context of his vast research and tackles the vexing questions of a scientist's personal responsibility and guilt when serving an abhorrent military regime.David C. Cassidy is the author of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the American Century, Einstein and Our World, and Uncertainty.
Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature"A remarkable work . . . [that] documents a triumph of the human spirit over tremendous adversity."-Harper's"This elegantly-written tribute makes as beautiful a use of the darkness and light of one man's life as a Halsman photograph of a pretty young woman."-GQ"Ratner weaves a psychologically arresting fiction from these facts, imagining the creep of Nazism in 1928 Europe."-Cleveland Plain Dealer"A beautifully scrupulous, intricately detailed novel about joy and despair, anti-Semitism and assimilation, and like a great photograph, it seems to miss nothing, and to catch its subject in all his complexity."-Charles BaxterPhilippe Halsman is famous for his photographs of celebrities jumping in the air, for putting Marilyn Monroe (among countless others) on the cover of Life Magazine, and for his bizarre collaborations with surrealist Salvador Dalí ("Dalí Atomicus," Dalí's Mustache). What is not well known is his role in the "Austrian Dreyfus Affair," which rocked Europe in the years leading up to WWII. While hiking in the Tyrolean Alps, Philippe's father was brutally murdered when Philippe went ahead on the trail. The year was 1928, Nazism was on the rise and Philippe, a Jewish 22 year old from Latvia, was charged with the murder. He spent several years in an Austrian prison and the trial became a public scandal that pitted many prominent intellectuals, including Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud, against the rising tide of fascism.The Jump Artist is evocative psychological fiction based on this true story. Austin Ratner has extensively researched Halsman's life and tells the extraordinary tale of a man who transforms himself from a victim of rampant anti-Semitism into a purveyor of the marvelous.
"Every passionate reader lives for that first page of a book that alerts her, straightaway, she'll be sorry when the book ends. So it is with Michelle Latiolais' astonishing, sparklingly intelligent new novel...The work strives, with bold zest, to arrive at the marrow of things...Latiolais triumphs, folding the work's clinical ruminations into the story's delicious batter. Powerfully recommended."--Antioch Review "The novel counts--in elegant and sometimes elegiac prose--the shadowy and elusive opportunities for redemption."--Ron Carlson, author of Five Skies "A ravishing intelligence is at work in these pages."--Elizabeth Tallent, author of Honey, on Even Now A gifted psychiatrist, haunted by the death of his young sister, seeks to penetrate the mysteries of childhood autism in this beautifully written, insightful investigation into the misunderstood pathways of the brain--and the heart.
"Barash . . . brilliantly integrat[es] science, literature, and pop culture into elegant and insightful commentaries on the most interesting and important questions of our time. A delightful read."--Michael Shermer, author of The Science of Good and Evil "Entertaining and thought-provoking."--Steven Pinker, author of The Blank Slate If we are, in part, a product of our genes, can free will exist? Incisive and engaging, this indispensable tour of evolutionary biology runs the gamut of contemporary debates, from science and religion to our place in the universe.
"The Lives They Left Behind is a deeply moving testament to the human side of mental illness, and of the narrow margin which so often separates the sane from the mad. It is a remarkable portrait, too, of the life of a psychiatric asylum--the sort of community in which, for better and for worse, hundreds of thousands of people lived out their lives. Darby Penney and Peter Stastny's careful historical (almost archaeological) and biographical reconstructions give us unique insight into these lives which would otherwise be lost and, indeed, unimaginable to the rest of us."--Oliver Sacks, M.D., Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, Columbia University Artist, and author of Musicophilia "The haunting thing about the suitcase owners is that it's so easy to identify with them."--Newsweek "In their poignant detail the items helped rescue these individuals from the dark sprawl of anonymity."--The New York Times "[The authors] spent 10 years piecing together . . . the lives these patients lived before they were nightmarishly stripped of their identities."--Newsday More than four hundred abandoned suitcases filled with patients' belongings were found when Willard Psychiatric Center closed in 1995 after 125 years of operation. They are skillfully examined here and compared to the written record to create a moving--and devastating--group portrait of twentieth-century American psychiatric care.
An old man lies dying. As time collapses into memory, he travels deep into his past where he is reunited with his father and relives the wonder and pain of his impoverished New England youth. At once heartbreaking and life affirming, Tinkers is an elegiac meditation on love, loss, and the fierce beauty of nature. Paul Harding has an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and teaches creative writing at Harvard. He lives in Georgetown, Massachusetts.
The War of the Rosens, set in 1965, is about an eccentric Jewish family in the Bronx in which the sibling rivalry between two young sisters--one of whom is seriously ill--reaches a danger point, forcing each family member to face the limitations and complexities of love and faith.
When CBS News Correspondent Barry Petersen married the love of his life twenty-five years ago, he never thought his vow, "until death do us part," would have an expiration date. But Early Onset Alzheimer's claimed Jan Petersen, Barry's beautiful wife, at 55, leaving her unable to remember Barry or their life together.
One-stop shopping for researching the complexities of all aspects of civil law. Whether one writes mysteries, romance, mainstream, or nonfiction, if the facts are wrong, the book is ruined. Adding some element of the law is also a valuable asset for adding further dimension or a plot twist to a story.
"A magical world of joy,"-- Wayne Dyer. A metaphysical illustration of Julie Genovese's dramatic change in perspective from an accidental victim of a rare form of dwarfism to a divine director, from silent repression to emotional freedom, from a mind riddled with fear to a life nothing short of joy.
This is Kim Petersen's memoir recounting how she and her family navigated through death of a child, facing fear of the water, personally building a sixty-five-foot power catamaran and a four thousand mile crossing of the Atlantic Ocean with her husband and two teenaged kids. It's Eat, Pray, Love on the water.
Connie Grey, the perfect daughter, obedient and devoted to her controlling mother, is a straight-A student and a champion distance runner. She also has a chronic stomach ulcer, a good sense of humor and kleptomania. A summer helping her grandmother move sheds a disturbing light on Connie's life that will leave Connie wondering how well she knows her mother.
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