Thieves of Manhattan
As the rejection slips pile up, an embittered writer plots revenge on New York’s publishing scene. His weapon, a fake memoir, turns deadly as tall tales and truth-telling merge with explosive results. A sly summation of a book industry in upheaval, Langer’s page-turner explores the meaning of truth, lies and the space in between.
How I Escaped My Certain Fate
Stephen Fry described the late Peter Cook as “The funniest man who ever drew breath”. We’ll nick that and say Stewart Lee is the funniest man still drawing it. His pioneering, often poetic performances are the antithesis of working men’s club shtick and this equally amusing book shines a light behind some of the finest routines to offend small-minded tabloid editors and the religious right. In its way this does for stand-up comedy what Martin Amis’s Experience did for the novel.
Kundera’s latest book is a well turned-out new brother for his The Art of the Novel, although these pieces cover wider ground – Francis Bacon paintings, Philip Roth novels, Fellini’s films – they continue to follow the author’s forensic and fascinated eye for the blood pumping through the heart of culture.
An ambitious debut novel from the Pulitzer-shortlisted writer Adam Haslett, which explores the morality of late capitalism via a court battle between Doug, an arriviste banker and Charlotte, an old-money academic, over a gaudy mansion built on a disputed plot of land. In relying on the binary opposition of financial and intellectual wealth, Haslett creates characters that are somewhat 2-D, but depictions of deceptions and machinations that drive Wall Street’s financial alchemy are thoroughly engaging.
Art of McSweeney’s
The editors of McSweeney’s
Twelve years ago, Dave Eggers founded McSweeney’s, a literary journal that has grown into a publishing empire. This anniversary book celebrates the artistry and graphic design innovations in independent literary publishing. Photos, sketches and interviews give insights into McSweeney’s distinctive creative process in designing books, DVDs, a quarterly journal, The Believer, and a literary website.
The Elephant’s Journey
Solomon the elephant and his keeper Subhro are uprooted from their home in Portugal when King Dom João III decides to give the pachyderm to Hapsburg archduke Maxmillian as a wedding gift. The late Portuguese author José Saramago tells the enchanting tale of the long journey on foot with the king’s entourage that ensues and a noble beast who is given the status of a near deity.