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Letters to Kurt

by Eric Erlandson

"Nearly two decades after the death of Kurt Cobain, a friend and fellow musician not only continues to mourn his suicide, but also rages against the culture that he holds responsible. These 52 'letters' . . . combine the subject matter of the Byrds' 'So You Wanna Be a Rock and Roll Star' with the fury of Allen Ginsberg's Howl . . . A catharsis for the writer and perhaps for the reader as well."--Kirkus Reviews"A touching and enlightening collection of prose poems addressed to [Erlandson's] departed friend."--The San Francisco Bay Guardian"Erlandson finally comes to terms with his loss in 52 prose-poem letters ostensibly addressed to Cobain in which he straightforwardly confronts his inner demons while offering personal reflections on food, drug abuse, death, and self-sabotage."--Booklist"The reverberations of Kurt's suicide last to this day, and have touched the lives of many. Dozens of people could have written their own version of this bracingly candid book; Eric Erlandson has written one, filled with rage and love, landmined with detail, that can stand for them all."--Michael Azerrad, author of Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana"Eric was the spirit-boy in the Nirvana/Hole dynamic. Quiet, bemused, intelligent, and curiously intuitive to the power of hugging the devil, to say we will all be okay . . . Eric expresses how enchanting Kurt was, how the whole scene was, with his thoughtful, radical adult/prose love. Bring on the future, darling."--Thurston Moore, musician"Eric. He was always there: supportive, observing, in the thick of it. Hidden in plain sight . . . Without him, I can't imagine Seattle or L.A. or a dozen other places. This book is beautiful, brutal, brief. Happy-sad eloquence. Boy Scouts playing with the complimentary cologne in the heart of the ghost town. Listen to the man. He knows."--Everett True, author of Nirvana: The BiographyLetters to Kurt is an anguished, angry, and tender meditation on the octane and ether of rock and roll and its many moons: sex, drugs, suicide, fame, and rage. It's part Dream Songs, part Bukowski, Ferlinghetti, Ginsberg, and the Clash. Rants, reflections, and gunshot fill these fifty-two prose poems. They are raw, funny, sad, and searching. This will make a beautiful book for anyone who loved Nirvana and Hole and the time and place when their music changed everything. Ultimately, it's an elegy for Kurt and the "suicide idols" who tragically fail to find salvation in their amazing music.

The Mercury Fountain

by Eliza Factor

"Eliza Factor's first novel, The Mercury Fountain, explores what happens when a life driven by ideology confronts implacable truths of science and human nature. It also shows how leaders can inflict damage by neglecting the real needs of real people. Though the action takes place between 1900 and 1923, the resonance feel alarmingly contemporary. . . Factor counters convention with a sharp sense of character, evocative subplots and the dangerous allure of mercury itself."--New York Times Book Review"Factor develops her characters in entertaining ways while building a novel of social realism."--Kirkus ReviewsSet in a remote stretch of desert near the border of west Texas and Mexico at the turn of the twentieth century, this story follows the pursuits of Owen Scraperton as he struggles to establish Pristina, a utopian community based on mercury mining that aims to resolve the great questions of labor and race. As age, love, and experience cause Owen to modify his original vision, his fiercely idealistic daughter Victoria remains true to Pristina's founding principles-setting them up for a major conflict that captures the imagination of the entire town. The Mercury Fountain combines realistic modern writing with elements from American and Greco-Roman mythology, taking its cue from Mercury, the most slippery and mischievous of gods, who rules over science, commerce, eloquence, and thievery.Eliza Factor was born in 1968 in Boston, Massachusetts, and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. The Mercury Fountain is her debut novel.

Mumbai Noir

by Altaf Tyrewala

"Tyrewala's insightful introduction greatly enhances the reading experience, and the glossary helps, too . . . The collection is astonishingly diverse . . . Tyrewala's anthology [offers] a sampling of brand-new authors and [a] superb introduction. It might provide a fictional contrast to Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers."--Library Journal (Starred review)"Most of the 14 short stories in Akashic's workmanlike Mumbai volume draw inspiration from the criminal networks and the sordid underbelly the city is infamous for . . . Armchair travelers will find plenty of amusement in touring the seedier parts of this island city in perfect safety."--Publishers Weekly"The fifteen contributors to Mumbai Noir . . . provide a cool composite narrative of a unique human-intensive metropolitan system, whose magnitude, complexity, diversity, and pace can hardly be captured in writing or, for that matter, any other medium. [Mumbai Noir is] rich and diverse in character and characterization."--Rain Taxi Review of BooksFeaturing brand-new stories by: Annie Zaidi, R. Raj Rao, Abbas Tyrewala, Avtar Singh, Ahmed Bunglowala, Smita Harish Jain, Sonia Faleiro, Altaf Tyrewala, Namita Devidayal, Jerry Pinto, Kalpish Ratna, Riaz Mulla, Paromita Vohra, and Devashish Makhija.Bombay's communal riots of 1992--in which Hindus were alleged to be the primary perpetrators-were followed by retaliatory bomb blasts in 1993, masterminded by the Muslim-dominated underworld. Over a thousand citizens lost their lives in these internecine bouts of violence and thousands more became refugees in their own city. In a matter of months, Bombay ceased to be the cosmopolitan, wholesome, and middle-class bastion it had been for decades. When the city was renamed Mumbai in 1995, it merely formalized the widespread perception that the Bombay everyone knew and remembered had been lost forever.Today Mumbai is like any other Asian city on the rise, with gigantic construction cranes winding atop upcoming skyscrapers and malls . . . Right-wing violence, failing electricity and water supplies, overcrowding, and the ever-looming threat of terrorist attacks-these are some of the gruesome ground realities that Mumbai's middle and working classes must deal with every day, while the city's super-rich . . . zip from roof to roof in their private choppers. Abandoned by its wealthy, mistreated by its politicians and administrators, Mumbai continues to thrive primarily because of the helpless resilience of its hardworking, upright citizens.The stories in Mumbai Noir depict the many ways in which the city's ever-present shadowy aspects often force themselves onto the lives of ordinary people. . . . What emerges is the sense of a city that, despite its new name and triumphant tryst with capitalism, is yet to heal from the wounds of the early '90s, and from all the subsequent acts of havoc wreaked within its precincts by both local and outside forces.

The Warmest December

by James Frey Bernice L. Mcfadden

"McFadden's reissued second novel takes an unflinching look at the corrosive nature of alcoholism . . . This is not a story of easy redemption . . . McFadden writes candidly about the treacherous hold of addiction."--Publishers Weekly"Riveting. . . . So nicely avoids the sentimentality that swirls around the subject matter. I am as impressed by its structural strength as by the searing and expertly imagined scenes."--Toni Morrison, author of Beloved"The sharpness of the prose and power of the story make it hard to stop reading even the most brutal scenes . . . The story feels real perhaps because it's familiar . . . Or maybe, as Frey points out, the story is too vivid to be read purely as fiction. But in this Precious-style novel, genre is the least of our concerns."--Bust magazine"This is a story that cuts across all race and social strata in its need to be told."--The Dallas Morning NewsThe Warmest December is the incredibly moving story of one Brooklyn family and the alcoholism that determined years of their lives. Narrated by Kenzie Lowe, a young woman reminiscent of Jamaica Kincaid's Annie John, as she visits her dying father and finds that choices she once thought beyond her control are very much hers to make.Bernice L. McFadden is the author of seven critically acclaimed novels.

Gathering of Waters

by Bernice L. Mcfadden

Selected as a Go On Girl! Book Pick"100 Notable Books of 2012" -New York Times"50 Best Books of 2012" -Washington Post"McFadden works a kind of miracle -- not only do [her characters] retain their appealing humanity; their story eclipses the bonds of history to offer continuous surprises . . . Beautiful and evocative, Gathering of Waters brings three generations to life . . . The real power of the narrative lies in the richness and complexity of the characters. While they inhabit these pages they live, and they do so gloriously and messily and magically, so that we are at last sorry to see them go, and we sit with those small moments we had with them and worry over them, enchanted, until they become something like our own memories, dimmed by time, but alive with the ghosts of the past, and burning with spirits."--New York Times Book Review"Read it aloud. Hire a chorus to chant it to you and anyone else interested in hearing about civil rights and uncivil desires, about the dark heat of hate, about the force of forgiveness."--Alan Cheuse, All Things Considered, NPR"McFadden combines events of Biblical proportions--from flooding to resurrection--with history to create a cautionary, redemptive tale that spans the early twentieth century to the start of Hurricane Katrina. She compellingly invites readers to consider the distinctions between 'truth or fantasy' . . . In McFadden's boldly spun yarn, consequences extend across time and place. This is an arresting historical portrait of Southern life with reimagined outcomes, suggesting that hope in the enduring power of memory can offer healing where justice does not suffice."--Publishers Weekly"The rich text is shaped by the African American storytelling tradition and layered with significant American histories. Recalling the woven spirituality of Toni Morrison's Beloved, this work will appeal to readers of mystic literature."--Library Journal"McFadden makes powerful use of imagery in this fantastical novel of ever-flowing waters and troubled spirits."--Booklist"In this fierce reimagining, the actual town of Money, MS narrates the story about the ghost of Emmett Till and his from-the-other-side reunification with the girl he loved as a child in Gathering of Waters by Bernice L. McFadden."--Ebony MagazineGathering of Waters is a deeply engrossing tale narrated by the town of Money, Mississippi--a site both significant and infamous in our collective story as a nation. Money is personified in this haunting story, which chronicles its troubled history following the arrival of the Hilson and Bryant families.Tass Hilson and Emmett Till were young and in love when Emmett was brutally murdered in 1955. Anxious to escape the town, Tass marries Maximillian May and relocates to Detroit.Forty years later, after the death of her husband, Tass returns to Money and fantasy takes flesh when Emmett Till's spirit is finally released from the dank, dark waters of the Tallahatchie River. The two lovers are reunited, bringing the story to an enchanting and profound conclusion.Gathering of Waters mines the truth about Money, Mississippi, as well as the town's families, and threads their history over decades. The bare-bones realism--both disturbing and riveting--combined with a magical realm in which ghosts have the final say, is reminiscent of Toni Morrison's Beloved.

Curse the Names

by Robert Arellano

"In this unsettling mix of noir and paranormal obsession . . . Arellano displays a sly, Hitchcockian touch."--Publishers Weekly"Arellano pulls off the not-inconsiderable feat of making the disintegration of his hero more compelling than the end of the world as we know it."--Kirkus Reviews". . . [N]othing in New Mexico has ever been more secret than Los Alamos, the Atomic City, where a diverse group of geniuses built the first atomic bombs and changed the face of the world forever. That's the setting and premise for this excellent novel by Cuban-American Robert Arellano. Disaster is about to happen and one man can avert it . . . maybe."--Globe and Mail (Canada)"Arellano's taut prose [is] a trip into the mind of a man on the edge of delirium, piecing together a puzzle at the expense of his marriage and his sanity."--AARP"Arellano writes with pure movement and action . . . Curse the Names does exactly what Hitchcock and The Twilight Zone did so well. It takes the ordinary, the benign and relatable and turns it into a fast-paced romp with unexpected events and realizations at every turn. Don't be surprised if you start this book and don't look up again until you're finished. Though its release has come at the doorstep of 2012, Arellano has definitely earned a late addition to my best books of 2011."--Ryan W. Bradley, The Nervous Breakdown"Readers, fasten your seat belts for this one. Arellano's novel is a dizzying Thompsonian concoction of noir crime thriller and alternately nightmarish and comic surreal psychodrama, spiced up with a heaping handful of local northern New Mexico flavor."--Albuquerque Journal"The nightmare intensity to Arellano's prose gets under your skin. You won't want to turn the lights out after reading it."--Charles Ardai, Edgar Award winnerHigh on a mesa in the mountains of New Mexico, a small town hides a dreadful secret. On a morning very soon there will be an accident that triggers a terrible chain reaction, and the world we know will be wiped out.James Oberhelm, a reporter at Los Alamos National Laboratory, already sees the devastation, like the skin torn off a moment that is yet to be. He believes he can prevent an apocalypse, but first James must escape the devices of a sensuous young blood tech, a lecherous old hippie, a predator in a waking nightmare, and a forsaken adobe house high away in the Sangre de Cristo mountains whose dark history entwines them all.A massive bomb is ticking beneath the sands of the Southwest, and time is running out to send a warning. James has to find a way to pass along the message--even if it ruins him.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

by Ralph J. Temple

"Temple's expertise was representing individuals who had chosen to place themselves in the path of history or who were victims of discrimination and injustice . . . These legal war stories will give readers a realistic view of what a civil rights lawyer faced in championing unpopular causes."--Publishers WeeklyThis volume comprises Ralph J. Temple's memoirs of his life and his work on behalf of the poor and disadvantaged. He was born in England on October 18, 1932. Shortly before his father was called into the Royal British Army in 1940, Temple fled with his mother by boat from the Nazi attack on London and settled in Miami, Florida.After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1956, Temple worked for Thurgood Marshall at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, until being drafted into the United States Army. A critical formative experience was Temple's August 1964 trip to St. Augustine, Florida, with the New York City Lawyers Constitutional Defense Fund; he worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others to ensure compliance with the newly enacted 1964 Civil Rights Act.Moving to the American Civil Liberties Union, he soon found his calling as a civil rights and civil liberties attorney, rising to the position of Legal Director of the ACLU of the National Capital Area in Washington, DC, where he served from 1966-80. During his tenure there, he established himself in Washington as a lion ready to fight (and win) across a broad array of free speech issues. In 2008, the DC ACLU presented him with their annual Alan and Adrienne Barth Award for Exemplary Volunteer Service.Temple kept up his legal activism and civic organizing in Oregon (where he relocated in 1996) until the day he passed away on August 27, 2011. On September 18, 2011, he was recognized by the ACLU Foundation of Oregon for his brilliant and tireless work on behalf of civil liberties.

All or Nothing

by Preston L. Allen

Preston L. Allen's witty, charming, and very likable school bus driver--named P--is a desperate gambler. He has blown the hundred thousand dollars he won at the casino six months ago, but his wife and family still think he's loaded. P spins out of control on the addict's downward spiral of dependency, paranoia, and depression, as he must find ways to keep coming up with the money to fool his family and fund his growing addiction. The bets get bigger and bigger, until finally, faced with the ultimate financial crisis, he hits it really big. Yet winning, he soon learns, is just the beginning of a deeper problem.The one constant for P--who rises from wage-earner to millionaire and back again in his roller-coaster-ride of a life--is that he must gamble. That his son has died, that his wife is leaving him, that his girlfriend has been arrested, that he has no money, that he has more money than he could ever have dreamed--are all lesser concerns for P as he constantly seeks out new gambling opportunities.While other books on gambling seek either to sermonize on the addiction or to glorify it by highlighting its few prosperous celebrities, All or Nothing is an honest, straightforward account of what it is like to live as a gambler--whether a high-rolling millionaire playing $1,000-ante poker in Las Vegas or a regular guy at the local Indian casino praying for a miracle as he feeds his meager life savings into the unforgiving slot machine. All or Nothing is the first novel to dig beneath the veneer to explore the gambler's unique and complex relationship with money. If you've ever wanted to get into the heart and psyche of a compulsive gambler, here is your chance.Preston L. Allen is a recipient of a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship and author of the thriller Hoochie Mama, as well as the collection Churchboys and Other Sinners. His stories have appeared in numerous magazines and journals and have been anthologized in Brown Sugar (Penguin) and Miami Noir (Akashic). He lives in South Florida.New York Times Book Review, Sun., June 15, 2008"As a cartographer of autodegradation, Allen takes his place on a continuum that begins, perhaps, with Dostoyevsky's Gambler, courses through Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano, William S. Burroughs's Junky, [and] the collected works of Charles Bukowski and Hubert Selby Jr...Like Dostoyevsky, Allen colorfully evokes the gambling milieu...Like Burroughs, he is a dispassionate chronicler of the addict's daily ritual, neither glorifying nor vilifying the matter at hand. Yet he never wallows like Lowry nor amuses like Bukowski. His spare, efficient prose could be called medium-boiled."Library Journal, Nov. 15, 2007"Allen's new novel poignantly depicts the life of P . . . Told without preaching or moralizing, the facts of P's life express volumes on the destructive power of gambling. This is strongly recommended and deserves a wide audience; an excellent choice for book discussion groups."Kirkus Reviews, Sept., 15, 2007"A gambler's hands and heart perpetually tremble in this raw story of addiction . . . Allen's brilliant at conveying the hothouse atmosphere of hell-bent gaming."ForeWord, Jan/Feb. 2008"All or Nothing is funny, relentless, haunting, and highly readable."

Toronto Noir

by Janine Armin Nathaniel G. Moore

A multicultural nexus, Toronto hosts Indian, Portuguese, African, Italian, and Chinese communities that provide fertile backdrops for Toronto Noir's corrosive exposés.Features brand-new stories by: RM Vaughan, Nathan Sellyn, Ibi Kaslik, Peter Robinson, Heather Birrell, Sean Dixon, Raywat Deonandad, Christine Murray, Gail Bowen, Emily Schultz, Andrew Pyper, Kim Moritsugu, Mark Sinnet, George Elliott Clarke, Pasha Malla, and Michael Redhill.

With or Without You

by Lauren Sanders

"In Sanders's hands, what is usually cliché or gratuitous is hot." --Amy Ray of the Indigo GirlsAward-winning novelist Lauren Sanders offers a story about the isolation and loneliness of adolescence and the neglect--benign as it may be--of the familial, cultural, and political institutions that are supposed to provide some sort of "support system."Lauren Sanders is a novelist and journalist who lives in New York City. Her highly acclaimed debut novel, Kamikaze Lust (Akashic, 2000), won a 2001 Lambda Literary Award. Sanders's writing has appeared in many publications including the American Book Review, Poets &amp Writers, and Time Out New York.

The Weeping Buddha

by Heather Dune Macadam

New Year's Eve: Long Island detectives Devon Halsey and Lochwood Brennen, secret lovers, are thrust into mayhem by the grisly murder of Devon's best friend. What has haunted Devon for years begins to take shape, and as she dissects the file, she learns that the carvings in the victims' bodies are actually Koans--unanswerable questions that must be meditated upon in order to reach enlightenment.Heather Dune Macadam is a professor at Suffolk County Community College and a former dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company. She is the author of Rena's Promise, a nonfiction memoir about Auschwitz, which was nominated for a National Book Award. Her writing has appeared in Newsweek and the New York Times Sunday Magazine.

Tango for a Torturer

by Peter Bush Daniel Chavarría

Aldo Bianchi, a former Argentine revolutionary now living in Italy, travels to Havana, where he meets the beautiful Bini, a sultry student with great charm and panache working the hotels. Bianchi soon discovers via his liaison with Bini that his nemesis, the Uruguayan military torturer Alberto Ríos, is living under a false identity in Cuba. Putting his tropical holiday on hold, Bianchi goes on the hunt for his sadistic enemy.Daniel Chavarría authentically portrays the sensuousness and skullduggery of contemporary Havana, a city that offers erotic thrills to pleasure-seeking tourists, even as it hides villains in its humid embrace. While Ríos thrives on bribery and corruption, Bianchi is driven by a desire to see justice done. Tango for a Torturer is a sexy and political thriller chock-full of bawdy humor and chilling evocations of the evils wrought by Latin American military dictatorships. Daniel Chavarría, a former Tupamaros who hijacked a plane to fly himself to Havana in 1969, is a Uruguayan writer with two passions: classical literature and prostitutes. For years he was a professor of Latin, Greek, and classical literature, devoting much of his time and energy to researching the origins and evolution of prostitution. He has won numerous literary awards around the world, including the 1992 Dashiell Hammett Award and the 2002 Edgar Allan Poe Award. His novels Adios Muchachos and The Eye of Cybele are also published by Akashic Books. He lives in Havana.

Since You Ask

by Louise Wareham

From a Connecticut sanitarium, 24-year-old Betsy Scott tells her doctor a story about the destructive secrets in an outwardly successful family. Confusing love and sex, desire and fear, Betsy grows alienated, confused and desperate. She finally faces truths about herself and her family that enable her to move beyond them and into a new life. Since You Ask is about the origins of sexual compulsion, and the ways in which one young woman tries to overcome it.Louise Wareham grew up in Manhattan and graduated from Columbia University. She has worked as a reporter in New York City, Oxford, Mississippi and New Zealand. Since You Ask was the winner of the James Jones Literary Society First Novel Award.

The Show That Smells

by Dennis Cooper Derek Mccormack

"Derek McCormack has written a mini-masterpiece that keeps swelling with invention long after you've put it down."--Guy Maddin, filmmaker "A hilarious, strange and altogether ghoulish little freak show of a book . . . A book like The Show that Smells...demonstrates that innovative literature, if such a thing still exists, can be accessible and even fun, especially for those of us with a dark sense of humor."-Miami HeraldThe most shocking story ever shown on the silver screen!It's also the tale of Jimmie--a country music singer dying of tuberculosis--and Carrie, his wife, who tries to save him by selling her soul to a devil who designs haute couture clothing! Elsa is a powerful Parisian dress designer, and a vampire. She wants to make Carrie look beautiful, smell beautiful--and then she wants to eat her! Will Carrie survive as her slave? Will Jimmie be cured? Starring a host of Hollywood's brightest stars, including Coco Chanel, Lon Chaney, and The Carter Family. The Show that Smells is a thrilling tale of hillbillies, high fashion, and horror!Derek McCormack is the author of Grab Bag (Akashic Books) and The Haunted Hillbilly (Soft Skull Press), which was named a "Best Book of the Year" by both the Village Voice and the Globe and Mail, and was a Lambda Literary Award finalist. He writes fashion and arts articles for the National Post. He lives in Toronto.

Iron Balloons

by Colin Channer

Reggae's rebel spirit blazes in this hot selection of short fiction from Jamaica's Calabash Writer's Workshop. Set in the Caribbean and the U.S.A., the stories sweep across a range of moods and genres to create a narrative LP of fascinating voices. From the old lady who gives a "how to" speech on beating children, to the schizophrenic singer who thinks he's Bob Marley, to the hotel maid who gets a sexual offer that she can't refuse, the diverse mix of characters are linked by the fundamental principle that all cliched conventions must be shouted off the page. In the proudly odd tradition of Jamaican music, the selections seek to entertain while asking daring questions that provoke new ideas into being.Contributors include: Colin Channer, Elizabeth Nunez, Marlon James, Kwame Dawes, Kaylie Jones, Geoffrey Philp, Rudolph Wallace, Konrad Kirlew, Alwin Bully, A-dZiko Simba, and Sharon Leach.

The Hungered One

by Ed Bullins

"A richness of language and observation pervades this collection of short stories by a black writer about real black people."--The New York Times Book ReviewThese early writings from award-winning playwright Ed Bullins explore loneliness and despair in beautifully crafted stories.Ed Bullins has written numerous plays and fiction, including In the Wine Time, Goin' a Buffalo, Clara's Ole Man, and The Taking of Miss Janie, which received the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best American Play of the 1974-1975 season. His book of short fiction, The Hungered One: Early Writings, was originally published in 1971.

Headless

by Dennis Cooper Benjamin Weissman

"Headless is fearless, fun, and sometimes filthy . . . an alphabet soup of -delight in language. Eat up."--Alice Sebold"Brilliant. Wildly inventive, profane, and hilarious."--Bret Easton EllisThe author of the acclaimed cult classic Dear Dead Person ("refreshing, nauseating, hilarious"--Kirkus) returns with this long-awaited collection of brilliantly written and outrageously imaginative short stories.Benjamin Weissman is the author of Dear Dead Person (High Risk/Serpent's Tail, 1995). He is a contributing editor to Bomb Magazine and writes regularly for the contemporary art magazines Parkett and Artforum. A painter and a professor at Art Center College of Design and Otis College of the Arts, he now lives in Los Angeles.

East Village Tetralogy

by Arthur Nersesian

"Nersesian is this generation's Mark Twain and the East River is his Mississippi."--Jennifer Belle, author of High Maintenance"Award-winning playwright Arthur Nersesian has woven an effective dramatic form through four plays, each quite funny in its own way. Each yields very powerful human results while subtly investigating the major social issues of our time."--Evangelina Borges, Trying Time PressNersesian's cult status has grown from the success of his novels, and here for the first time his equal skills as a playwright are revealed to a hungry public. Three of the four plays in East Village Tetralogy have been staged off-Broadway in New York City. The four plays included in this volume are: Rent Control East Village Writer's Bloc Plea Bargains Spare Change

Dog War

by Anthony C. Winkler

In a new and highly original take on Jamaican life (on the island and in the United States), Anthony C. Winkler introduces the estimable Precious, a large-bottomed, meltingly juicy Christian Jamaican woman with unshakable ideas on the right and proper behavior for Christian Jamaican women, their husbands, and men and dogs in general. Anthony Winkler was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1942. He is the author of four previous novels and has been regarded over the past twenty years as one of the country's most talented voices. He has also written two movies, The Lunatic and The Annihilation of Fish. He now lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Cake

by Kenji Jasper D

"There's a new player stepping into the street-lit spotlight, and he's one to watch. . . . Urban libraries have to get Got."--Library Journal, on D's debut novel Got (starred review)It's less than six months after the events of D's first novel, Got, and our nameless narrator has vanished off the Brooklyn grid, only to end up in Atlanta. Yet trouble is shadowing him, and he is forced to make a life-or-death decision.Writing since the age of 8, D has never held a legitimate job in his life. His words, however, have appeared in VIBE and other urban publications. An Atlanta native, he currently lives in an ungentrified neighborhood near you.

Artificial Light

by Dennis Cooper James Greer

"Artificial Light beats the bejeezus out of the last dozen Thomas Pynchons, the last nineteen Don DeLillos, and the last forty-three Kurt Vonneguts."--Richard MeltzerStunningly written in prose that is poetic, gripping, and highly adventurous, Artificial Light may be the first American novel to successfully treat the alternative rock scene of the 1990s as a subject for serious literature.James Greer, a novelist and screenwriter, has written for Spin, Tennis Magazine, Sunfish Holy Breakfast, and Paris Hilton. He is the author of Guided by Voices: A Brief History: Twenty-One Years of Hunting Accidents in the Forests of Rock 'n' Roll (Grove, 2005). He lives in Los Angeles.

Adios Muchachos

by Carlos Lopez Daniel Chavarría

Alicia is a smart, confident and gorgeous prostitute in Havana. She is not a street-walker. Rather, she displays her wares on bicycle, seducing men through the irresistible pull of her fine derrière. John King, her new client, is a Canadian businessman with a striking resemblance to movie star Alain Delon. This is no ordinary "John" and Alicia's feelings for him grow; she sees in their relationship the possibility of escape from her dead-end life in a Havana plagued with scarcity. When John King's wealthy and sexually deviant boss is suddenly killed, Alicia and John hatch a get-rich-quick scheme. A web of deception is woven, but just as quickly unraveled disastrously, and only one person is able to say "adiós" to the dilapidated island of Cuba.Daniel Chavarría was born in Uruguay in 1933. He spent the 1960s involved in several South American liberation struggles. He fled the continent and settled in Havana, Cuba, where he has resided since 1969. From 1975 to 1986, Chavarría worked as a translator of literature into Spanish, and taught Latin, Greek and Classical Literature at the University of Havana. His novels, short stories, literary journalism, and screenplays have reached audiences across Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Chavarría has won numerous literary awards around the world, including a 1992 Dashiell Hammett Award. Adiós Muchachos is his first novel to be translated into English. In 2002, Akashic Books will publish his mystery novel, The Eye of Cybele, set in ancient Greece.

The Plot Against Hip Hop: A Novel

by Nelson George

"George is an ace at interlacing the real dramas of the world . . . the book's slim length and flyweight depth could make it an artifact of this particular zeitgeist in American history. Playas and haters and celebrity cameos fuel a novel that is wickedly entertaining while being frozen in time."--Kirkus Reviews"This hard-boiled tale is jazzed up with authentic street slang and name-dropping (Biggie, Mary J. Blige, Lil Wayne, and Chuck D) . . . George's tightly packaged mystery pivots on a believable conspiracy . . . and his street cred shines in his descriptions of Harlem and Brownsville's mean streets."--Library Journal"George is a well-known, respected hip-hop chronicler . . . Now he adds crime fiction to his resume with a carefully plotted crime novel peopled by believable characters and real-life hip-hop personalities."--Booklist"The most accomplished black music critic of his generation."--The Washington Post Book World"Perhaps one of the greatest books ever written. It has the realness of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, the warmth of The Color Purple, and the page count of Tuesdays with Morrie. It's a must-read."--Chris Rock on City KidThe Plot Against Hip Hop is a noir novel set in the world of hip hop culture. The stabbing murder of esteemed music critic Dwayne Robinson in a Soho office building is dismissed by the NYPD as a gang initiation. But his old friend, bodyguard and security expert D Hunter, suspects there are larger forces at work.D Hunter's investigation into his mentor's murder leads into a parallel history of hip hop, a place where renegade government agents, behind-the-scenes power brokers, and paranoid journalists know a truth that only a few hardcore fans suspect. This rewrite of hip hop history mixes real-life figures with characters pulled from the culture's hidden world, including Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Russell Simmons.

New Jersey Noir

by Joyce Carol Oates

"Oates's introduction to Akashic's noir volume dedicated to the Garden State, with its evocative definition of the genre, is alone worth the price of the book . . . Poems by C.K. Williams, Paul Muldoon, and others--plus photos by Gerald Slota--enhance this distinguished entry."--Publishers Weekly"It was inevitable that this fine noir series would reach New Jersey. It took longer than some readers might have wanted, but, oh boy, was it worth the wait . . . More than most of the entries in the series, this volume is about mood and atmosphere more than it is about plot and character . . . It should go without saying that regular readers of the noir series will seek this one out, but beyond that, the book also serves as a very good introduction to what is a popular but often misunderstood term and style of writing."--Booklist, Starred Review"A lovingly collected assortment of tales and poems that range from the disturbing to the darkly humorous."--Shelf AwarenessFeaturing brand-new stories (and a few poems) by: Joyce Carol Oates, Jonathan Safran Foer, Robert Pinsky, Edmund White & Michael Carroll, Richard Burgin, Paul Muldoon, Sheila Kohler, C.K. Williams, Gerald Stern, Lou Manfredo, S.A. Solomon, Bradford Morrow, Jonathan Santlofer, Jeffrey Ford, S.J. Rozan, Barry N. Malzberg & Bill Pronzini, Hirsh Sawhney, and Robert Arellano.From the introduction by Joyce Carol Oates:". . . The most civilized and 'decent' among us find that we are complicit with the most brutal murderers. We enter into literally unspeakable alliances--of which we dare not speak except through the obliquities and indirections of fiction, poetry, and visual art of the sort gathered here in New Jersey Noir."

Boundaries

by Elizabeth Nunez

"Boundaries is told in spare and transcendent prose. [...] As always, Nunez delivers a unique and riveting perspective on Caribbean life as well as immigrant life in general."--The New York Amsterdam News"Many moments of elegant, overarching insight bind the personal to the collective past."--New York Times Book Review"If I wore a hat, I'd tip it to novelist Elizabeth Nunez . . . with Boundaries, her eighth work, the storyteller is in fine form . . . [it] is timely and provocative -- and it's written with such vivid prose that, despite the bittersweet ending, you'll step away from this refreshing take on contemporary publishing with a smile."--Essence"In Nunez's latest, the author further explores immigrant life, a life where a hard-working woman can progress up the corporate ladder, buy an apartment in a soon-to-be trendy neighborhood, and still be plagued by outsider's angst . . . A thoughtful literary novel exploring the shadows of cultural identity and the mirage of assimilation."--Kirkus Reviews"A quiet, sensitive portrait. . . This work covers a lot of ground, from mother-daughter and male-female relationships to the tensions between immigrants and the American born."--Library Journal"Nunez deftly dissects the immigrant experience in light of cultural traditions that impact family roles, professional obligations, and romantic opportunities."--Booklist"Elizabeth Nunez is one of the finest and most necessary voices in contemporary American and Caribbean fiction."--Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World SpinIn an age of reality TV, a husband and wife cling to Victorian notions of privacy, though doing so threatens the life of the wife. Their daughter Anna yearns for her mother's unguarded affection, and eventually learns there is value in restraint. But Anna, a Caribbean American immigrant, finds that lesson harder to accept when, eager to assimilate in her new country, she discovers that a gap yawns between her and American-born citizens.THE HEAD OF A SPECIALIZED IMPRINT at a major publishing house, Anna is soon challenged for her position by an ambitious upstart who accuses her of not really understanding American culture, particularly African American culture. Her job at stake, Anna turns for advice to her boyfriend Paul, a Caribbean American himself, who attempts to convince her that immigrants must accept limitations on their freedom in America.TOLD IN SPARE AND TRANSCENDENT PROSE, Boundaries is a riveting immigrant story, a fascinating look into the world of contemporary book publishing, a beautiful extension of the exploration of family dynamics that began in Nunez's previous novel Anna In-Between, and a heart-warming love story.

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