Epic in scope, Marge Piercy’s sweeping novel encompasses the wide range of people and places marked by the Second World War. Each of her ten narrators has a unique and compelling story that powerfully depicts his or her personality, desires, and fears. Special attention is given to the women of the war effort, like Bernice, who rebels against her domineering father to become a fighter pilot, and Naomi, a Parisian Jew sent to live with relatives in Detroit, whose twin sister, Jacqueline—still in France—joins the resistance against Nazi rule.
The horrors of the concentration camps; the heroism of soldiers on the beaches of Okinawa, the skies above London, and the seas of the Mediterranean; the brilliance of code breakers; and the resilience of families waiting for the return of sons, brothers, and fathers are all conveyed through powerful, poignant prose that resonates beyond the page. Gone to Soldiers is a testament to the ordinary people, with their flaws and inner strife, who rose to defend liberty during the most extraordinary times.
Connie Ramos is a Mexican American woman living on the streets of New York. Once ambitious and proud, she has lost her child, her husband, her dignity—and now they want to take her sanity. After being unjustly committed to a mental institution, Connie is contacted by an envoy from the year 2137, who shows her a time of sexual and racial equality, environmental purity, and unprecedented self-actualization. But Connie also bears witness to another potential outcome: a society of grotesque exploitation in which the barrier between person and commodity has finally been eroded. One will become our world. And Connie herself may strike the decisive blow.
Praise for Woman on the Edge of Time
“This is one of those rare novels that leave us different people at the end than we were at the beginning. Whether you are reading Marge Piercy’s great work again or for the first time, it will remind you that we are creating the future with every choice we make.”—Gloria Steinem
“An ambitious, unusual novel about the possibilities for moral courage in contemporary society.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“A stunning, even astonishing novel . . . marvelous and compelling.”—Publishers Weekly
“Connie Ramos’s world is cuttingly real.”—Newsweek
“Absorbing and exciting.”—The New York Times Book Review
From the Trade Paperback edition.
After a cross-country tour promoting her latest cookbook, Daria Walker is ready to return to her beautiful home in an affluent Boston suburb and her beloved husband, Ross, a prominent attorney whose rough-hewn good looks have never stopped charming her. But when she arrives, he blindsides her by announcing he wants a divorce. Surprised and devastated, Daria suspects he may be having an affair, but the reality is far worse and will tear apart the illusion of her perfectly happy family.
When a boy dies tragically and a scandal erupts involving a mercenary slumlord, Daria is outraged along with the rest of the city. But when she learns that Ross may have a connection to the case, she sets out on a journey to discover the truth—a quest that will cast a shadow over the comfortable life she once enjoyed.
From the New York Times–bestselling author of Woman on the Edge of Time, Fly Away Home is the story of a woman forced to question her values, her relationships, and herself—“a tale of love, betrayal, and revenge set against a backdrop of sterile suburbs, confrontational politics [and] the evils of gentrification” (The New York Times).
When her best friend’s death rattles her sense of complacency, college professor Leila Landsman decides she’s finally had enough of her cheating husband. Leila throws herself into her work and encounters Becky Burgess, a local woman who climbed her way out of poverty but whose success is completely halted when she becomes the prime suspect in her husband’s murder. Meanwhile, Leila’s housekeeper, Mary Burke, is no stranger to failed marriage. Abandoned by her husband for a younger woman, and unable to support herself on her own income alone, Mary now secretly sleeps in her clients’ houses, hiding her homelessness to remain employed and survive.
Flawed but resourceful, frightened yet determined, these three women must draw on an inner strength they never knew existed to make it without the men they’ve come to depend on. Although their situations differ, Leila, Becky, and Mary have all reached their tipping points—and each is about to be pushed to the brink—in this gripping and relatable story of the dangers of dependence and the liberating power of self-reliance.
With searing honesty, Piercy tells of her strained childhood growing up in a religiously split, working-class family in Detroit. She examines her myriad friendships and relationships, including two painful early marriages, and reveals their effects on her creativity and career. More than a reminiscence of things past, however, Sleeping With Cats is also a celebration of the present and the future, as Piercy shares her views on aging, creativity, and finding a lasting and improbable love with a man fourteen years younger than herself.
A chronicle of the turbulent and exciting journey of one artist's life, Sleeping With Cats is a deeply intimate, unforgettable story.
In the middle of the twenty-first century, life as we know it has changed for all time. Shira Shipman's marriage has broken up, and her young son has been taken from her by the corporation that runs her zone, so she has returned to Tikva, the Jewish free town where she grew up. There, she is welcomed by Malkah, the brilliant grandmother who raised her, and meets an extraordinary man who is not a man at all, but a unique cyborg implanted with intelligence, emotions--and the ability to kill....
From the imagination of Marge Piercy comes yet another stunning novel of morality and courage, a bold adventure of women, men, and the world of tomorrow.
From the Paperback edition.
In the tradition of her bestselling World War II epic Gone to Soldiers, Marge Piercy once again re-creates a turbulent period in American history and explores changing attitudes in a land of sacrifice, suffering, promise, and reward.
Piercy offers her distinct slant on each element of the feast and provides dozens of her own wonderful recipes, which she delivers in the same warm, commanding voice as is heard in her poems and prose: “When I told Ira that I was going to explain how to cook matzoh brei, he thought I was crazy. Everybody knows how to make matzoh brei, he said. But I am of the opinion that there is no longer anything that everybody knows how to cook.”
It is in that spirit–no question too simple–that Piercy welcomes readers to her kind of seder: a homemade and personal affair, the kind we all wish we could attend. This charming and instructive book of Passover wisdom, brimming with favorite dishes and Marge Piercy’s own moving Passover poems and blessings, invites us to look at an important Jewish ritual in a whole new way.
From the Hardcover edition.
In her trademark style, combining the sublime with the gritty, Marge Piercy describes the night she was born: “the sky burned red / over Detroit and sirens sharpened their knives. / The elms made tents of solace over grimy / streets and alley cats purred me to sleep.” She writes in graphic, unflinching language about the poor, banished now by politicians because they are no longer “real people like corporations.” There are elegies for her peer group of poets, gone now, whose work she cherishes but from whom she cannot help but want more. There are laments for the suicide of dolphins and for her beloved cats, as she remembers “exactly how I loved each.” She continues to celebrate Jewish holidays in compellingly original ways and sings praises of her marriage and the small pleasures of daily life.
This is a stunning collection that will please those who already know Marge Piercy’s work and offer a splendid introduction to it for those who don’t.
Intertwining the lives of three generations of contemporary women, master storyteller Marge Piercy plunges into the deepest, most elemental basics of life -- love, aging, illness, and death -- and emerges with a brave, compassionate exploration of the volatile ground between mothers and daughters.
For Claire Lacombe and Pauline Leon, two poor women of eighteenth-century France, the lofty ideals of the coming revolution could not seem more abstract. But when Claire sees the gaping disparity between the poverty she has known and the lavish lives of aristocrats as her theater group performs in their homes, and Pauline witnesses the execution of local bread riot leaders, both are driven to join the uprising. They, along with upper-class women like Madame Manon Roland, who ghostwrites speeches for her politician husband and runs a Parisian salon where revolutionaries gather, will play critical roles in the French people’s bloody battle for liberty and equality.
Author Marge Piercy’s thrilling and scrupulously researched fictionalized account of these real women’s lives shines with emotional depth and strikingly animated action. By interweaving their tales with the exploits of men whose names have become synonymous with the revolution, like Robespierre and Danton, Piercy reveals how the contributions of these courageous women may be lesser known, but no less important. Rich in detail and broad in scope, City of Darkness, City of Light is a riveting portrayal of an extraordinary era and the women who helped shape an important chapter in history.
For more than a decade, Dinah, Susan, and Susan’s husband, Willie—artists and neighbors in a small Cape Cod town—have enjoyed an unconventional, but deeply satisfying, three-way relationship. When the annual summer crowd flocks to the Cape, Dinah misses her quiet afternoons composing music in the woods, and Willie, a sculptor, puts aside his own work to do carpentry jobs on lavish vacation homes. Susan, though, envies the glamorous lives of the summer residents. And one visitor, Tyrone Burdock, a wealthy and seductive financier, offers her an enticing glimpse into his world that may jolt the foundation of her ménage à trois.
The clash between moneyed newcomers and the soulful artists who live on the Cape year-round shakes the threesome’s external world and the bonds holding them together as they see their bohemian enclave becoming a bourgeois retreat. Bestselling author Marge Piercy skillfully navigates this unique landscape with vivid details and an eye for emotional complexity, bringing these singular characters to life as their relationship undergoes profound changes that will resonate long after the summer people have left.
Here are poems that chart the milestone events and fierce passions of her middle years: the death of her mother, whom we meet first as a young woman, “awkwardly lovely, her face / pure as a single trill perfectly / prolonged on a violin,” and again as an older woman musing on what the afterlife may hold for her. There is a new marriage which she celebrates not only for romantic beginnings but also for the more intimate details that emerge over time: “love cherishes too the backpockets, / the pencil ends of childhood fears.”
Some poems convey her long-held, never-wavering political convictions, which she declares in language unmistakably and colorfully her own, as when she encourages her feminist readers to go to the opera instead of the movies because at least there the heroine is real, “fifty and weighs as much as a ’65 Chevy with fins.”
Living out to sea on Cape Cod settles her into the rhythm of seasons and provides poems of planting and harvests, odes to tomatoes and roses, tributes to the power and freedom of whales. And in these years she rediscovers her Jewish heritage, celebrating holidays and making of them something new and original.
She begins to examine her own legacy:
I have worn the faces, the masks
of hieroglyphs, gods and demons,
bat faced ghosts, sibyls and thieves,
lover, loser, red rose and ragweed,
these are the tracks I have left
on the white crust of time.
From the Hardcover edition.
A local university plans to bulldoze and replace parts of a predominantly African American Chicago slum with student housing. But for those who live there, the affordable if run-down homes are havens for creativity and self-exploration, and a setting for developing meaningful relationships. Among the residents are Anna, a teacher; her lover, Rowley, a soul singer; and their friends, documentary filmmaker Leon and the beautiful yet mysterious Caroline. The university may have more money and political clout, but these determined young people aren’t willing to let the wrecking ball tear through their world without a fight.
Their relationships are strained and their convictions are tested as secrets are uncovered and they battle with a changing economic climate that jeopardizes their very way of life. The city has turned its back on them, and they have nothing left to lose. Bestselling author Marge Piercy combines social commentary and her talent for depicting characters’ emotions with unflinching precision in this novel that has as much to say about the consequences of gentrification as it does about the vulnerabilities of the human heart.
About Marge Piercy's collection of her old and new poems that celebrate the Jewish experience, the poet Lyn Lifshin writes: "The Art of Blessing the Day is an exquisite book. The whole collection is strong, passionate, and poignant, but the mother and daughter poems, fierce and emotional, with their intense ambivalence, pain and joy, themes of separation and reconnecting, are among the very strongest about that difficult relationship.
"These striking, original, beautifully sensuous poems do just that. Ordinary moments--a sunset, a walk, a private religious ritual--are so alive in poems like 'Shabbat moment' and 'Rosh Hodesh.' In the same way that she celebrates ordinary moments, small things become charged with memories and feelings: paper snowflakes, buttons, one bird, a bottle-cap flower made from a ginger ale top and crystal beads.
"She celebrates the body in rollicking, gusto-filled poems like 'Belly good' and 'The chuppah,' where 'our bodies open their portals wide.' So much that is richly sensuous: 'hands that caressed you, . . . untied the knot of pleasure and loosened your flesh till it fluttered,' and lush praise for 'life in our spines, our throats, our knees, our genitals, our brains, our tongues.'
"I love the humor in poems like 'Eat fruit,' the nostalgia and joy in 'The rabbi's granddaughter and the Christmas tree,' the fresh, beautiful images of nature--'In winter . . .the sun hangs its wizened rosehip in the oaks.'
"I admire Piercy's sense of the past alive in the present, in personal and social history. The poems are memorials, like the yahrtzeit candle in a glass. 'We lose and we go on losing,' but the poems are never far from harsh joy, the joy that is 'the wine of life.'
"Growing up haunted by Holocaust ghosts is an echo throughout the book, and some of the strongest poems are about the Holocaust, poems that become the voices of those who had no voice: 'What you carry in your blood is us, the books we did not write, music we could not make, a world gone from gristle to smoke, only as real now as words can make it.'
"Marge Piercy's words make such a moving variety of experiences beautifully and forcefully real."
Growing up, Beth always dreamed of her wedding day. But a few months into her marriage to Jim, whose affection she once clung to desperately, she realizes she didn’t anticipate life beyond the altar. Jim spends his nights out drinking with his buddies and criticizes every meal Beth cooks, and the only solution her family suggests is to have a baby—which she knows would trap her in this miserable life forever. So she takes matters into her own hands and flees to Boston. There she meets Miriam, an ambitious computer science PhD candidate who nonetheless gives up her career for an unfulfilling marriage.
Alongside a cast of intellectuals, budding feminists, and political activists, Beth and Miriam find themselves rapidly evolving as they are swept up in the tumultuous social upheaval of the sixties. Experimenting with relationships and sexuality, and taking a stand for women’s rights and against the Vietnam War, they learn to trust their instincts and lean on each other. Small Changes is a glimmering example of bestselling author Marge Piercy’s knack for capturing the authentic struggles and desires of contemporary women with clarity and compassion.
When Cape Cod high school star pitcher David Greene left home, everyone in his small beach town rallied behind his dream of making it in the pros. No one expected the local legend to return broke a few years later, with an undistinguished minor league record and a painful divorce behind him. As he tries to rebuild his life, David begins an affair with Judith Silver—one that her much older, terminally ill husband, Gordon, condones on the condition that David run for a seat on the town’s board of selectman against Gordon’s political rival.
Set in a lushly drawn seaside resort town, this thrilling novel pushes its complicated and fascinating characters to extremes of emotion. Driven by passion and a lust for power, David, Judith, and Gordon are all guilty of seduction and manipulation that will result in irrevocable consequences. As David’s romantic and political involvements escalate at a fever pitch, a forceful storm rolls in off the ocean, leading up to a tumultuous climax.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
While Melissa and Blake's attraction is immediate and fiery, a dangerous secret lurks beneath their relationship -- one that could destroy them ... and their families.
Provocative and beautifully written, and dealing with themes of love, honesty, identity, and the consequences of ambition, The Third Child is a remarkable page-turner.
"The Chuppah" comprises poems actually used in her wedding ceremony with Ira Wood. This section sings with powerfully female love poetry. There is also a sustained and direct use of her Jewish identity and faith in these poems, as there is in a number of other poems throughout the volume.
Readers of Piercy's previous collections will not be surprised to encounter her mixture of the personal and the political, her love of animals and the Cape landscape. There are poems about doing housework, about accidents, about dreaming, about bag ladies, about luggage, about children's fears of nuclear holocaust; about tomcats, insects in the rafters, the influence of a name, appleblossoms and blackberries, pollution, and some of the ways women objectify one another. In "Does the light fail us, or do we fail the light?" Piercy writes with lacerating honesty about our relationships with the elderly and about hers with her father.
Some of the most moving poems are domestic, as in the final sequence, "Six underrated pleasures," which finds in daily women's tasks both pleasure and mystery, affirmation of serf and connection with the mother.
In all, My Mother's Body is one of Piercy's most powerful and balanced collections.
Heartbroken after her girlfriend leaves her for another woman, Leslie, a history grad student, follows her thesis advisor from Grand Rapids to Detroit for a fresh start. There she befriends seventeen-year-old Honor, who sparks a familiar passion within her. Feeling that she can’t act on her desire, she sleeps with Honor’s older friend, Bernard, a gay former street hustler who resents his past and, to make matters more complicated, also lusts for Honor.
As the three grapple with issues of sexuality and identity, author Marge Piercy manages to be both intimately attuned to her characters’ emotions and aware of their role in a larger social and economic context. Leslie, Honor, and Bernard struggle financially in a city that doesn’t offer many opportunities, and they discover that expressing their sexuality and finding love may be privileges they cannot afford.
“A novel as ambiguous and fascinating as life itself.” —The New York Times
“Piercy goes over her subjects with a fine-tooth comb and provides food for thought about some of our directions, feelings and values.” —Publishers Weekly
Feisty and funny as always, she turns a sharp eye on the world around her, bidding an exhausted farewell to the twentieth century and singing an "electronic breakdown blues" for the twenty-first. She memorializes movingly those who, like los desaparecidos and the victims of 9/11, disappear suddenly and without a trace.
She writes an elegy for her mother, a woman who struggled with a deadening round o fhousework, washin gon Monday, ironing on Tuesday, and so on, "until stroke broke/her open." She remembers the scraps of lace, the touch of velvet, that were part of her maternal inheritance and fist aroused her sensual curiosity.
Here are paeans to the pleasures of the natural world (rosy ripe tomatoes, a mating dance of hawks) as the poet confronts her own mortality in the cycle of seasons and the eternity of the cosmos: "iam hurrying, I am running hard / toward I don't know what, / but I mean to arrive before dark." Other poems--about her grandmother's passage from Russia to the New World, or the interrupting of a Passover seder to watch a comet pass--expand on Piercy's appreciation of Jewish life that won her so much acclaim in The Art of Blessing the Day.
Colors Passing Through Us is a moving celebration of the endurance of love an dof the phenomenon of life itself--a book to treasure.
From the Hardcover edition.
Assassination by drone is a subject of deep and enduring fascination. Yet few understand how and why this has become our principal way of waging war. Kill Chain uncovers the real and extraordinary story; its origins in long-buried secret programs, the breakthroughs that made UAV operations possible, the ways in which the technology works and, despite official claims, does not work. Taking the reader inside the well-guarded world of national security, the book reveals the powerful interests - military, CIA and corporate - that have led the drive to kill individuals by remote control. Most importantly of all, the book describes what has really happened when the theories underpinning the strategy -- and the multi-billion dollar contracts they spawn -- have been put to the test. Drawing on sources deep in the military and intelligence establishments, Andrew Cockburn's Kill Chain unveils the true effects, as demonstrated by bloody experience, of assassination warfare, a revelation that readers will find surprising as well as shocking.
Publication of The Souls of Black Folk was a dramatic event that helped to polarize black leaders into two groups: the more conservative followers of Washington and the more radical supporters of aggressive protest. Its influence cannot be overstated. It is essential reading for everyone interested in African-American history and the struggle for civil rights in America.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta's cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can't afford health insurance. This phenomenal New York Times bestseller tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.
From two of our most fiercely moral voices, a passionate call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world.
With Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn as our guides, we undertake an odyssey through Africa and Asia to meet the extraordinary women struggling there, among them a Cambodian teenager sold into sex slavery and an Ethiopian woman who suffered devastating injuries in childbirth. Drawing on the breadth of their combined reporting experience, Kristof and WuDunn depict our world with anger, sadness, clarity, and, ultimately, hope.
They show how a little help can transform the lives of women and girls abroad. That Cambodian girl eventually escaped from her brothel and, with assistance from an aid group, built a thriving retail business that supports her family. The Ethiopian woman had her injuries repaired and in time became a surgeon. A Zimbabwean mother of five, counseled to return to school, earned her doctorate and became an expert on AIDS.
Through these stories, Kristof and WuDunn help us see that the key to economic progress lies in unleashing women’s potential. They make clear how so many people have helped to do just that, and how we can each do our part. Throughout much of the world, the greatest unexploited economic resource is the female half of the population. Countries such as China have prospered precisely because they emancipated women and brought them into the formal economy. Unleashing that process globally is not only the right thing to do; it’s also the best strategy for fighting poverty.
Deeply felt, pragmatic, and inspirational, Half the Sky is essential reading for every global citizen.
Viewers everywhere have fallen in love with this candid look at post-war London. In the 1950s, twenty-two-year-old Jenny Lee leaves her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in London's East End slums. While delivering babies all over the city, Jenny encounters a colorful cast of women—from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with whom she lives, to the woman with twenty-four children who can't speak English, to the prostitutes of the city's seedier side.
An unfortgettable story of motherhood, the bravery of a community, and the strength of remarkable and inspiring women, Call the Midwife is the true story behind the beloved PBS series, which will soon return for its sixth season.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Join Cassandra Clare and a Circle of more than a dozen top YA writers, including New York Times bestsellers Holly Black, Rachel Caine, and Kami Garcia, as they write about the Mortal Instruments series, its characters, and its world.
Inside you’ll read:
• A cinematic tutorial on why the best friend (Simon) always loses out to the bad boy (Jace)
• The unexpected benefits of the incest taboo
• What we can read between the lines of Alec and Magnus’ European vacation
• The importance of friendship, art, humor, and rebellion
• And more, from the virtues of Downworlders to the naughty side of Shadowhunting
Yeonmi Park has told the harrowing story of her escape from North Korea as a child many times, but never before has she revealed the most intimate and devastating details of the repressive society she was raised in and the enormous price she paid to escape.
Park’s family was loving and close-knit, but life in North Korea was brutal, practically medieval. Park would regularly go without food and was made to believe that, Kim Jong Il, the country’s dictator, could read her mind. After her father was imprisoned and tortured by the regime for trading on the black-market, a risk he took in order to provide for his wife and two young daughters, Yeonmi and her family were branded as criminals and forced to the cruel margins of North Korean society. With thirteen-year-old Park suffering from a botched appendectomy and weighing a mere sixty pounds, she and her mother were smuggled across the border into China.
I wasn’t dreaming of freedom when I escaped from North Korea. I didn’t even know what it meant to be free. All I knew was that if my family stayed behind, we would probably die—from starvation, from disease, from the inhuman conditions of a prison labor camp. The hunger had become unbearable; I was willing to risk my life for the promise of a bowl of rice. But there was more to our journey than our own survival. My mother and I were searching for my older sister, Eunmi, who had left for China a few days earlier and had not been heard from since.
Park knew the journey would be difficult, but could not have imagined the extent of the hardship to come. Those years in China cost Park her childhood, and nearly her life. By the time she and her mother made their way to South Korea two years later, her father was dead and her sister was still missing. Before now, only her mother knew what really happened between the time they crossed the Yalu river into China and when they followed the stars through the frigid Gobi Desert to freedom. As she writes, “I convinced myself that a lot of what I had experienced never happened. I taught myself to forget the rest.”
In In Order to Live, Park shines a light not just into the darkest corners of life in North Korea, describing the deprivation and deception she endured and which millions of North Korean people continue to endure to this day, but also onto her own most painful and difficult memories. She tells with bravery and dignity for the first time the story of how she and her mother were betrayed and sold into sexual slavery in China and forced to suffer terrible psychological and physical hardship before they finally made their way to Seoul, South Korea—and to freedom.
Still in her early twenties, Yeonmi Park has lived through experiences that few people of any age will ever know—and most people would never recover from. Park confronts her past with a startling resilience, refusing to be defeated or defined by the circumstances of her former life in North Korea and China. In spite of everything, she has never stopped being proud of where she is from, and never stopped striving for a better life. Indeed, today she is a human rights activist working determinedly to bring attention to the oppression taking place in her home country.
Park’s testimony is rare, edifying, and terribly important, and the story she tells in In Order to Live is heartbreaking and unimaginable, but never without hope. Her voice is riveting and dignified. This is the human spirit at its most indomitable.
David Foster Wallace answers these questions and more in essays that are also enthralling narrative adventures. Whether covering the three-ring circus of John McCain's 2000 presidential race, plunging into the wars between dictionary writers, or confronting the World's Largest Lobster Cooker at the annual Maine Lobster Festival, Wallace projects a quality of thought that is uniquely his and a voice as powerful and distinct as any in American letters.
Chuck Klosterman, “The Ethicist” for The New York Times Magazine, has walked into the darkness. In I Wear the Black Hat, he questions the modern understanding of villainy. When we classify someone as a bad person, what are we really saying, and why are we so obsessed with saying it? How does the culture of malevolence operate? What was so Machiavellian about Machiavelli? Why don’t we see Bernhard Goetz the same way we see Batman? Who is more worthy of our vitriol—Bill Clinton or Don Henley? What was O.J. Simpson’s second-worst decision? And why is Klosterman still haunted by some kid he knew for one week in 1985?
Masterfully blending cultural analysis with self-interrogation and imaginative hypotheticals, I Wear the Black Hat delivers perceptive observations on the complexity of the antihero (seemingly the only kind of hero America still creates). As the Los Angeles Times notes: “By underscoring the contradictory, often knee-jerk ways we encounter the heroes and villains of our culture, Klosterman illustrates the passionate but incomplete computations that have come to define American culture—and maybe even American morality.” I Wear the Black Hat is a rare example of serious criticism that’s instantly accessible and really, really funny.
Over the past two centuries or so, capitalism has undergone profound changes—economic cycles that veer from boom to bust—from which it has always emerged transformed and strengthened. Surveying this turbulent history, Paul Mason’s Postcapitalism argues that we are on the brink of a change so big and so profound that this time capitalism itself, the immensely complex system within which entire societies function, will mutate into something wholly new.
At the heart of this change is information technology, a revolution that is driven by capitalism but, with its tendency to push the value of much of what we make toward zero, has the potential to destroy an economy based on markets, wages, and private ownership. Almost unnoticed, in the niches and hollows of the market system, swaths of economic life are beginning to move to a different rhythm. Vast numbers of people are changing how they behave and live, in ways contrary to the current system of state-backed corporate capitalism. And as the terrain changes, new paths open.
In this bold and prophetic book, Mason shows how, from the ashes of the crisis, we have the chance to create a more socially just and sustainable economy. Although the dangers ahead are profound, he argues that there is cause for hope. This is the first time in human history in which, equipped with an understanding of what is happening around us, we can predict and shape the future.
Would you want to be one of Artemis’ Hunters?
Why do so many monsters go into retail?
Spend a little more time in Percy Jackson’s world—a place where the gods bike among us, monsters man snack bars, and each of us has the potential to become a hero.
Why Dionysus might actually be the best director Camp Half-Blood could have
How to recognize a monster when you see one
Why even if we aren’t facing manticores and minotaurs, reading myth can still help us deal with the scary things in our own lives
Plus, consult our glossary of people, places, and things from Greek myth: how Medusa got her snake hair extensions, why Chiron isn’t into partying and paintball like the rest of his centaur family, and the whole story on Percy’s mythical namesake.
Of all the charming misfits on television, there’s no doubt Raj from The Big Bang Theory—the sincere yet incurably geeky Indian astrophysicist—ranks among the misfittingest. Now, we meet the actor who is every bit as loveable as the character he plays on TV. In this revealing collection of essays written in his irreverent, hilarious, and self-deprecating voice, Kunal Nayyar traces his journey from a little boy in New Delhi who mistakes an awkward first kiss for a sacred commitment, gets nosebleeds chugging Coca-Cola to impress other students, and excels in the sport of badminton, to the confident, successful actor on the set of TV’s most-watched sitcom since Friends.
Going behind the scenes of The Big Bang Theory and into his personal experiences, Kunal introduces readers to the people who helped him grow, such as his James Bond-loving, mustachioed father. Kunal also walks us through his college years in Portland, where he takes his first sips of alcohol and learns to let loose with his French, 6’8” gentle-giant roommate, works his first-ever job for the university’s housekeeping department cleaning toilets for minimum wage, and begins a series of romantic exploits that go just about as well as they would for Raj. (That is, until he meets and marries a former Miss India in an elaborate seven-day event that we get to experience in a chapter titled “My Big Fat Indian Wedding.”)
Full of heart, but never taking itself too seriously, this witty collection of underdog tales follows a young man as he traverses two continents in search of a dream, along the way transcending culture and language (and many, many embarrassing incidents) to somehow miraculously land the role of a lifetime.
In Afghanistan, a culture ruled almost entirely by men, the birth of a son is cause for celebration and the arrival of a daughter is often mourned as misfortune. A bacha posh (literally translated from Dari as “dressed up like a boy”) is a third kind of child--a girl temporarily raised as a boy and presented as such to the outside world. Jenny Nordberg, the reporter who broke the story of this phenomenon for the New York Times, constructs a powerful and moving account of those secretly living on the other side of a deeply segregated society where women have almost no rights and little freedom.
The Underground Girls of Kabul is anchored by vivid characters who bring this remarkable story to life: Azita, a female parliamentarian who sees no other choice but to turn her fourth daughter Mehran into a boy; Zahra, the tomboy teenager who struggles with puberty and refuses her parents’ attempts to turn her back into a girl; Shukria, now a married mother of three after living for twenty years as a man; and Nader, who prays with Shahed, the undercover female police officer, as they both remain in male disguise as adults.
At the heart of this emotional narrative is a new perspective on the extreme sacrifices of Afghan women and girls against the violent backdrop of America’s longest war. Divided into four parts, the book follows those born as the unwanted sex in Afghanistan, but who live as the socially favored gender through childhood and puberty, only to later be forced into marriage and childbirth. The Underground Girls of Kabul charts their dramatic life cycles, while examining our own history and the parallels to subversive actions of people who live under oppression everywhere.
When Everything Changed begins in 1960, when most American women had to get their husbands' permission to apply for a credit card. It ends in 2008 with Hillary Clinton's historic presidential campaign. This was a time of cataclysmic change, when, after four hundred years, expectations about the lives of American women were smashed in just a generation.
A comprehensive mix of oral history and Gail Collins's keen research--covering politics, fashion, popular culture, economics, sex, families, and work--When Everything Changed is the definitive book on five crucial decades of progress. The enormous strides made since 1960 include the advent of the birth control pill, the end of "Help Wanted--Male" and "Help Wanted--Female" ads, and the lifting of quotas for women in admission to medical and law schools. Gail Collins describes what has happened in every realm of women's lives, partly through the testimonies of both those who made history and those who simply made their way.
Picking up where her highly lauded book America's Women left off, When Everything Changed is a dynamic story, told with the down-to-earth, amusing, and agenda-free tone for which this beloved New York Times columnist is known. Older readers, men and women alike, will be startled as they are reminded of what their lives once were--"Father Knows Best" and "My Little Margie" on TV; daily weigh-ins for stewardesses; few female professors; no women in the Boston marathon, in combat zones, or in the police department. Younger readers will see their history in a rich new way. It has been an era packed with drama and dreams--some dashed and others realized beyond anyone's imagining.
“My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved. I have been given much and I have given something in return. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.”
No writer has succeeded in capturing the medical and human drama of illness as honestly and as eloquently as Oliver Sacks.
During the last few months of his life, he wrote a set of essays in which he movingly explored his feelings about completing a life and coming to terms with his own death.
“It is the fate of every human being,” Sacks writes, “to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.”
Together, these four essays form an ode to the uniqueness of each human being and to gratitude for the gift of life.
“Oliver Sacks was like no other clinician, or writer. He was drawn to the homes of the sick, the institutions of the most frail and disabled, the company of the unusual and the ‘abnormal.’ He wanted to see humanity in its many variants and to do so in his own, almost anachronistic way—face to face, over time, away from our burgeoning apparatus of computers and algorithms. And, through his writing, he showed us what he saw.”
—Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal
Missoula, Montana, is a typical college town, with a highly regarded state university, bucolic surroundings, a lively social scene, and an excellent football team — the Grizzlies — with a rabid fan base.
The Department of Justice investigated 350 sexual assaults reported to the Missoula police between January 2008 and May 2012. Few of these assaults were properly handled by either the university or local authorities. In this, Missoula is also typical.
A DOJ report released in December of 2014 estimates 110,000 women between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four are raped each year. Krakauer’s devastating narrative of what happened in Missoula makes clear why rape is so prevalent on American campuses, and why rape victims are so reluctant to report assault.
Acquaintance rape is a crime like no other. Unlike burglary or embezzlement or any other felony, the victim often comes under more suspicion than the alleged perpetrator. This is especially true if the victim is sexually active; if she had been drinking prior to the assault — and if the man she accuses plays on a popular sports team. The vanishingly small but highly publicized incidents of false accusations are often used to dismiss her claims in the press. If the case goes to trial, the woman’s entire personal life becomes fair game for defense attorneys.
This brutal reality goes a long way towards explaining why acquaintance rape is the most underreported crime in America. In addition to physical trauma, its victims often suffer devastating psychological damage that leads to feelings of shame, emotional paralysis and stigmatization. PTSD rates for rape victims are estimated to be 50%, higher than soldiers returning from war.
In Missoula, Krakauer chronicles the searing experiences of several women in Missoula — the nights when they were raped; their fear and self-doubt in the aftermath; the way they were treated by the police, prosecutors, defense attorneys; the public vilification and private anguish; their bravery in pushing forward and what it cost them.
Some of them went to the police. Some declined to go to the police, or to press charges, but sought redress from the university, which has its own, non-criminal judicial process when a student is accused of rape. In two cases the police agreed to press charges and the district attorney agreed to prosecute. One case led to a conviction; one to an acquittal. Those women courageous enough to press charges or to speak publicly about their experiences were attacked in the media, on Grizzly football fan sites, and/or to their faces. The university expelled three of the accused rapists, but one was reinstated by state officials in a secret proceeding. One district attorney testified for an alleged rapist at his university hearing. She later left the prosecutor’s office and successfully defended the Grizzlies’ star quarterback in his rape trial. The horror of being raped, in each woman’s case, was magnified by the mechanics of the justice system and the reaction of the community.
Krakauer’s dispassionate, carefully documented account of what these women endured cuts through the abstract ideological debate about campus rape. College-age women are not raped because they are promiscuous, or drunk, or send mixed signals, or feel guilty about casual sex, or seek attention. They are the victims of a terrible crime and deserving of compassion from society and fairness from a justice system that is clearly broken.
This is her heartbreaking story.
This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage takes us into the very real world of Ann Patchett’s life. Stretching from her childhood to the present day, from a disastrous early marriage to a later happy one, it covers a multitude of topics, including relationships with family and friends, and charts the hard work and joy of writing, and the unexpected thrill of opening a bookstore.
As she shares stories of the people, places, ideals, and art to which she has remained indelibly committed, Ann Patchett brings into focus the large experiences and small moments that have shaped her as a daughter, wife, and writer.
Once the sought-after video girl, this sexy siren has helped multi-platinum artists, such as Jay-Z, R. Kelly and LL Cool J, sell millions of albums with her sensual dancing. In a word, Karrine was H-O-T. So hot that she made as much as $2500 a day in videos and was selected by well-known film director F. Gary Gray to co-star in his film, A Man Apart, starring Vin Diesel. But the film and music video sets, swanky Hollywood and New York restaurants and trysts with the celebrities featured in the pages of People and In Touch magazines only touches the surface of Karrine Steffans' life.
Her journey is filled with physical abuse, rape, drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness and single motherhood—all by the age of 26. By sharing her story, Steffans hopes to shed light on an otherwise romanticised industry and help young women avoid the same pitfalls she encountered. If they're already in danger, she hopes to inspire them to find a way to dig themselves out of what she knows first-hand
to be a cycle of hopelessness and despair.
"A short list of the greatest living conversationalists in English," said The Economist, "would probably have to include Christopher Hitchens, Sir Patrick Leigh-Fermor, and Sir Tom Stoppard. Great brilliance, fantastic powers of recall, and quick wit are clearly valuable in sustaining conversation at these cosmic levels. Charm may be helpful, too." Hitchens-who staunchly declines all offers of knighthood-hereby invites you to take a seat at a democratic conversation, to be engaged, and to be reasoned with. His knowledge is formidable, an encyclopedic treasure, and yet one has the feeling, reading him, of hearing a person thinking out loud, following the inexorable logic of his thought, wherever it might lead, unafraid to expose fraudulence, denounce injustice, and excoriate hypocrisy. Legions of readers, admirers and detractors alike, have learned to read Hitchens with something approaching awe at his felicity of language, the oxygen in every sentence, the enviable wit and his readiness, even eagerness, to fight a foe or mount the ramparts.
Here, he supplies fresh perceptions of such figures as varied as Charles Dickens, Karl Marx, Rebecca West, George Orwell, J.G. Ballard, and Philip Larkin are matched in brilliance by his pungent discussions and intrepid observations, gathered from a lifetime of traveling and reporting from such destinations as Iran, China, and Pakistan.
Hitchens's directness, elegance, lightly carried erudition, critical and psychological insight, humor, and sympathy-applied as they are here to a dazzling variety of subjects-all set a standard for the essayist that has rarely been matched in our time. What emerges from this indispensable volume is an intellectual self-portrait of a writer with an exemplary steadiness of purpose and a love affair with the delights and seductions of the English language, a man anchored in a profound and humane vision of the human longing for reason and justice.
In her thought-provoking, uproarious memoir, Bertsche blends the story of her girl-dates (whom she meets everywhere from improv class to friend rental websites) with the latest social research to examine how difficult—and hilariously awkward—it is to make new friends as an adult. In a time when women will happily announce they need a man but are embarrassed to admit they need a BFF, Bertsche uncovers the reality that no matter how great your love life is, you’ve gotta have friends.
From the Trade Paperback edition.