A gripping first-hand account of midwife Penny Armstrong’s journey from student midwife in Glasgow to running her own practice among the Amish in rural Pennsylvania, A Midwife’s Story never fails to enlighten, inform and surprise.
Going far beyond mere biography, Armstrong’s journey of self-discovery is ultimately very moving, and it is the honesty with which she describes the world she discovers which makes this book a classic, and essential reading not just for aspiring midwives but to anyone interested in natural birth.
As a professor emeritus at Harvard University, a renowned child psychiatrist, and the author of more than forty books, including The Moral Intelligence of Children, Robert Coles knows better than anyone the transformative power of learning and literature on young minds. In this “persuasive” book (The New York Times Book Review), Coles convenes a virtual symposium of college, law, and medical school students to explore the phenomenon of storytelling as a source of values and character.
Here are transcriptions of classroom conversations in which Coles and his students discuss the impact of particular works of literature on their moral development. Here also are Coles’s intimate personal reflections on his experiences in the civil rights movement, his child psychiatry practice, and his interactions with his own literary mentors including William Carlos Williams and L.E. Sissman. The life lessons learned from these stories are of special resonance to doctors and teachers looking to apply them in classroom and clinical environments.
The rare public intellectual to be honored with a MacArthur Award, a Presidential Medal of Freedom, and a National Humanities Medal, Robert Coles is a true national treasure, and The Call of Stories is, in the words of National Book Award winner Walker Percy, “Coles at his wisest and best.”
From the Hardcover edition.
Coles tells how to be a moral leader and shows how the intervention of one person can change the course of history, as well as influence the day-to-day quality of life in our homes, schools, communities, and nation. We need to "hand one another along" in life, says Coles, quoting his friend Walker Percy, and in Lives of Moral Leadership he explores how each of us can be engaged in a continual and mutual life-giving process of personal and national leadership development. Coles discusses how the actions of the American president affect the way people feel about themselves and the country, and-citing the influence of Shakespeare's Henry V on Robert Kennedy, and of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina on his own mother--explains how reading literature can motivate action and growth. The way in which moral leaders emerge today, and for all time, comes vividly to light in this brilliant book by one of America's finest teachers and writers.
From the Hardcover edition.
In the 1950s Robert Coles began studying, living among, and, above all, listening to American children & their parents.
Dr. Coles shows how the work of writers, artists, and thinkers of the past two centuries can inspire our own reflections on the daily lives we lead. He offers a compelling call to venture outside of our own selves and lives and to listen, attentively and with growing humanity, to the way others get through life. Coles encourages us to examine our own character, kindness, and complexity by looking carefully at our perceptions of others, and by studying the wisdom of authors from Charles Dickens to Flannery O’Connor, from James Agee to George Orwell, and many others. In this influential conversation about empathy and engagement, Coles inspires us to seek out deeper meaning in our lives, and guides us toward achieving greater clarity, strength, and richness of understanding, amid the moral, psychological, and social complexities of the modern world.
From the Hardcover edition.
In Felix Holt, the Radical, George Eliot observes that progressive reformers can be even more self-serving than their conservative counterparts; in The Prime Minister, Anthony Trollope suggests that honest men must cope with the corruption of politics–or leave leadership entirely to the crooked; and the works of Nadine Gordimer and George Orwell reveal that those who overturn tyrants often envy their power and repeat their mistakes. Anyone trying to understand today’s confused and violent world will be both challenged and inspired by this unique and important collection.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
James Rufus Agee (1909 – 1955) was was one of the most influential film critics in the U.S. He was the author of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (to which he contributed the text and Walker Evans contributed the photographs) which grew out of an assignment the two men accepted in 1936 to produce a magazine article on the conditions among white sharecropper families in the American South. His autobiographical novel, A Death in the Family (1957), won the author a posthumous Pulitzer Prize.
Simone Weil (1909 – 1943) was a French philosopher, activist, and religious searcher, whose death in 1943 was hastened by starvation. Weil published during her lifetime only a few poems and articles. With her posthumous works --16 volumes in all -- Weil has earned a reputation as one of the most original thinkers of her era. T.S. Eliot described her as "a woman of genius, of a kind of genius akin to that of the saints."
William Carlos Williams (1883 – 1963), was an American poet who was also a pediatrician and general practitioner of medicine. Williams "worked harder at being a writer than he did at being a physician," wrote biographer Linda Wagner-Martin; but during his long lifetime, Williams excelled at both. He considered himself a socialist and opponent of capitalism and is probably spinning in his grave at the current state of things, economically and socially. One of his best known poems is an "apology poem" taught to most American children in elementary school called "This Is Just to Say" : "I have eaten / the plums / that were in / the icebox / and which / you were probably /saving / for breakfast. / Forgive me / they were delicious / so sweet /and so cold."
Dorothy Day (1897 – 1980) was an American journalist and social activist who became most famous for founding, with Peter Maurin, the Catholic Worker movement, a nonviolent, pacifist movement which combines direct aid for the poor and homeless with nonviolent direct action on their behalf.
Dorothea Lange (1895 – 1965) was a hugely influential American documentary photographer and photojournalist, best know for her Depression-era work for the Farm Security Administration (FSA). Lange's photographs humanized the tragic consequences of the Great Depression and profoundly influenced the development of documentary photography, one of Robert Coles' great passions.
Erik Erikson (1902 – 1994) was a Danish-German-American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theories on social development of human beings. He may be most famous for coining the phrase "identity crisis." Erikson's greatest innovation was to postulate not five stages of development, as Freud has done with his psychosexual stages, but eight. Erik Erikson believed that every human being goes through a certain number of stages to reach his or her full development, theorizing eight stages, that a human being goes through from birth to death.
Walker Percy (1916 – 1990) was an American southern author best known for his philosophical novels set in and around New Orleans, the first of which, The Moviegoer, won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1962. He devoted his literary life to the exploration of "the dislocation of man in th
What is the ideal way to give birth to your baby? Is it a high-tech delivery, with drugs, and monitors, and surgery? Or is it more naturally, with a midwife and/or birth center? Is it possible today to combine the best of twentieth-century medicine with the human advantages of a natural childbirth?
Penny Armstrong and Sheryl Feldman, authors of the acclaimed A Midwife's Story, explore the issues that influence the way women give birth: technology, psychology, culture, medications, history, and women's relationships with their mothers. They demonstrate, in a warm and convincing fashion, that most hospitals aren't designed to bring out the wisdom of the body at birth. And they reveal how to find a setting that will help make your child's birth a healthy and powerful experience.
Informative, provocative, and based on the latest medical research as well as on Penny Armstrong's years of experience as a certified nurse-midwife, A Wise Birth is essential reading for mothers, fathers, and health-care professionals.
A New York Times Notable Book
What do children think about when they consider God, Heaven and Hell, the value of life in the here and now, and the inevitability of death? Child psychiatrist, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, and Harvard professor Robert Coles spent thirty years interviewing hundreds of children—from South America and Europe to Africa and the Middle East—who are developing concepts of faith even as they struggle to understand its contradictions.
Be they Catholic or Protestant, Jewish children from Boston, Pakistani children in London, agnostics, Native Americans, or young Christians in the American South, they offer honest, enlightening and sometimes startling ideas of a spiritual existence. A Hopi girl who knows for a fact that we are resurrected as birds; an African American child who believes God exists as a hurricane to “blow away” drug dealers; a young Christian who needs his faith to cope with the death of his sister, lest she be just “a big heartache to us till the day we die”; and a Tennessee child who rationalizes his belief by admitting that “if there's no God, that's all there is, ashes.”
The Spiritual Life of Children is “a remarkable book. The generosity of vision that characterizes Dr. Coles's enterprise enables him to create a climate where words of great beauty and truthfulness can be spoken.” —The New York Times
As a student, Coles questioned Paul Tillich on the meaning of the "secular mind," and his fascination with the perceived opposition between secular and sacred intensified over the years. This book recounts conversations Coles has had with such figures as Anna Freud, Karen Horney, William Carlos Williams, Walker Percy, and Dorothy Day. Their words dramatize the frustration and the joy of living in both the secular and sacred realms. Coles masterfully draws on a variety of literary sources that trace the relationship of the sacred and the secular: the stories of Abraham and Moses, the writings of St. Paul, Augustine, Kierkegaard, Darwin, and Freud, and the fiction of George Eliot, Hardy, Meredith, Flannery O'Connor, and Huxley. Ever since biblical times, Coles shows us, the relationship between these two realms has thrived on conflict and accommodation.
Coles also notes that psychoanalysis was first viewed as a rival to religion in terms of getting a handle on inner truths. He provocatively demonstrates how psychoanalysis has either been incorporated into the thinking of many religious denominations or become a type of religion in itself. How will people in the next millennium deal with advances in chemistry and neurology? Will these sciences surpass psychoanalysis in controlling how we think and feel? This book is for anyone who has wondered about the fate of the soul and our ability to seek out the sacred in our constantly changing world.
With wisdom and a unique personal perspective, Coles explores Springsteen’s words as contemporary American poetry, and offers firsthand accounts of how people interact with them: A trucker listens to “Blinded by the Light” during long, lonely nights and reminisces about his mother; a schoolteacher is astonished when a usually silent student offers a comparison between “Nebraska” and Conrad’s Heart of Darkness; a policeman responds to “American Skin (41 Shots),” reflecting on his own role in his family and community. As these people, and others, candidly discuss the meaning Springsteen’s words have in their lives, Coles listens and, with the special insight and compassion that are the trademarks of his art, sheds new light on “The Boss,” removing the legendary American rock musician from fan-filled stadiums and placing the poet in a greater social, cultural, and philosophical context. Coles sees Springsteen as a representative of a uniquely American documentary tradition—as a sing-ing and traveling poet who does not simply embody the culture of which he is a part but fully engages it, interacting with its people and creating a conversation that has helped to shape a distinct way of looking at, and living, American life today.
From the Hardcover edition.
Featuring writings by James Agee • Julia Alvarez • Charles Baxter • Raymond Carver • John Cheever • Anton Chekhov • Erik H. Erikson • Anna Freud • Thomas Hardy • Toni Morrison • Howard Nemerov • Flannery O’Connor • Tillie Olsen • Leo Tolstoy • Tobias Wolff • Richard Yates
Ideal for educators and students of all ages, Teaching Stories will inspire anyone who loves great writing.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Book Behind the Viral TED Talk
For the first time, the startling full story of the disastrous war on drugs--propelled by moving human stories, revolutionary insight into addiction, and fearless international reporting.
What if everything you think you know about addiction is wrong? One of Johann Hari's earliest memories is of trying to wake up one of his relatives and not be able to. As he grew older, he realized he had addiction in his family. Confused, unable to know what to do, he set out on a three-year, 30,000-mile journey to discover what really causes addiction--and what really solves it.
He uncovered a range of remarkable human stories--of how the war on drugs began with Billie Holiday, the great jazz singer, being stalked and killed by a racist policeman; of the scientist who discovered the surprising key to addiction; and of the countries that ended their war on drugs--with extraordinary results.
His discoveries led him to give a TED talk and animation which have now been viewed more than 25 million times. This is the story of a life-changing journey that showed the world the opposite of addiction is connection.
Ben Hope is unstoppable, unbreakable, unforgettable. For a limited period, discover the first 6 Ben Hope novels at an unbeatable price, to celebrate publication of the seventh and most explosive book yet – The Sacred Sword.
This special offer bundle by bestselling author Scott Mariani comprises of the first six Ben Hope novels, together for the very first time:
The Alchemist’s Secret
The Mozart Conspiracy
The Doomsday Prophecy
The Heretic’s Treasure
The Shadow Project
The Lost Relic
"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.
An inquisitive observer, thoughtful commentator, and assiduous craftsman, Neil Gaiman has long been celebrated for the sharp intellect and startling imagination that informs his bestselling fiction. Now, The View from the Cheap Seats brings together for the first time ever more than sixty pieces of his outstanding nonfiction. Analytical yet playful, erudite yet accessible, this cornucopia explores a broad range of interests and topics, including (but not limited to): authors past and present; music; storytelling; comics; bookshops; travel; fairy tales; America; inspiration; libraries; ghosts; and the title piece, at turns touching and self-deprecating, which recounts the author’s experiences at the 2010 Academy Awards in Hollywood.
Insightful, incisive, witty, and wise, The View from the Cheap Seats explores the issues and subjects that matter most to Neil Gaiman—offering a glimpse into the head and heart of one of the most acclaimed, beloved, and influential artists of our time.
Continuously in print since 1948, the Collins Complete Works of Oscar Wilde has long been recognised as the most comprehensive and authoritative single-volume collection of Wilde’s texts available, containing his only novel, The Portrait of Dorian Gray, as well as his plays, stories, poems, essays and letters, all in their most authoritative texts.
Also included is a comprehensive bibliography of works by and about Oscar Wilde, and a chronological table of his life and work.
With the insight and good humor his fans appreciated in On ?Writing , Danse Macabre is an enjoyably entertaining tour through Stephen King’s beloved world of horror.
The Alexandria Quartet is a striking and sensuous masterpiece, breathing vivid life into each of its unforgettable characters and the dusty Mediterranean city in which they live. Set in Alexandria, Egypt, in the years before, during, and after World War II, the books follow the lives of a circle of friends and lovers, including sensitive Darley, passionate Justine, philosophical Balthazar, and elegant Clea. Written in Durrell’s trademark evocative prose, these four novels explore the central theme of modern love, building into a remarkable whole that the New York Times hailed as “one of the most important works of our time.” This ebook features a new introduction by Jan Morris.
Romeo and Juliet belongs to a tradition of tragic romances stretching back to antiquity. Its plot is based on an Italian tale, translated into verse as The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke in 1562 and retold in prose in Palace of Pleasure by William Painter in 1567. Shakespeare borrowed heavily from both but, to expand the plot, developed supporting characters, particularly Mercutio and Paris. Believed to have been written between 1591 and 1595, the play was first published in a quarto version in 1597. This text was of poor quality, and later editions corrected it, bringing it more in line with Shakespeare's original.
Shakespeare's use of his poetic dramatic structure, especially effects such as switching between comedy and tragedy to heighten tension, his expansion of minor characters, and his use of sub-plots to embellish the story, has been praised as an early sign of his dramatic skill. The play ascribes different poetic forms to different characters, sometimes changing the form as the character develops. Romeo, for example, grows more adept at the sonnet over the course of the play.
Romeo and Juliet has been adapted numerous times for stage, film, musical and opera. During the English Restoration, it was revived and heavily revised by William Davenant. David Garrick's 18th-century version also modified several scenes, removing material then considered indecent, and Georg Benda's operatic adaptation omitted much of the action and added a happy ending. Performances in the 19th century, including Charlotte Cushman's, restored the original text, and focused on greater realism. John Gielgud's 1935 version kept very close to Shakespeare's text, and used Elizabethan costumes and staging to enhance the drama. In the 20th and into the 21st century, the play has been adapted in versions as diverse as George Cukor's comparatively faithful 1936 production, Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 version, Baz Luhrmann's 1996 MTV-inspired Romeo + Juliet and the 2013non-Shakespearian adaptation by Carlo Carlei.
TO HIS LADY'S RESCUE (Novella 1)
As children, Arabella Trent and Gilbert St. John were best of friends. Wherever he led, she happily followed. Their friendship held fast until Gilbert went off to fight Napoleon and Bella stayed home. Years passed and their youthful camaraderie faded to pleasant memory.
Now Gilbert is home from the wars and Bella needs his help. From the moment she climbs in his bedroom window, he knows he's in trouble. Can this beautiful desirable young lady be the same hoydenish friend from his childhood? Can Gilbert rescue Bella from her desperate circumstances even if it means . . . marriage?
THE VISCOUNT'S SURPRISE (Novella 2)
Philomena Wheeler has been living a lie for the past twelve years. After her mother dies, she pretends to be a boy so she can work in Lady Hembrough's stables alongside her beloved papa. When she's promoted to the position of groom, her father thinks it's time to call a halt to the dangerous masquerade and wants to send Phil to his sister in York to learn to be a girl again.
Viscount Hembrough pays a rare visit to his mother in London. He's looking for a new groom and hires Phil for a one-month trial period before he returns to his horse-breeding estate in the wilds of Ireland. Under the mistaken belief that she's a he, the viscount takes Phil on a trip to inspect a promising stallion for his stables.
Will Phil be able to guard her secret while traveling with the handsome viscount? And more importantly, will she be able to guard her heart against a forbidden love?
PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN (Novella 3)
Thankful for the chance to leave London and escape the unwelcome advances of an ardent suitor, Abigail Prescott accepts an invitation to Brydmoor Castle to paint the portrait of the reclusive Viscount Devlin and his small son. A young widow in straightened circumstances, she soon finds herself ensconced in his home and the object of his unwavering attention.
Nathan Holt vows never to marry again. He's done his duty and has an heir. But when Abigail Prescott comes into his vicinity, the daily presence of her in his home becomes a temptation too hard to resist. Unable to deny himself any longer, he begins his seduction of her in earnest, only to find that once will never be enough.
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In We Love You More, we learn about the many different ways that Michael Jackson affected people from all walks of life. The participants talk about how Michaels music, creativity and pubic example affected their lives and helped them to be better people. The contributions are a wonderful cathartic output to help to come to terms with the loss of Michaels huge talent. They will not only comfort those who have written them, but those who read them. People will learn about the experiences they have in common, with people throughout the world, who followed Michaels career, his music, his good deeds and the example he set for this generation and generations to come.
The book will also be of comfort to Michaels own family. They will see that the spirit of Michael will continue in people everywhere and in many ways and for many reasons. Its also fascinating to learn what people have to say about different songs and what they meant to their lives. Im impressed by the diverse elements in the book from eulogies, to memories to poems and beautiful drawings and paintings and even photo montages at the end. Mr. Henning youve done a wonderful service to the Michael Jackson fan community and I commend you.
Sincerely yours, Larry Nimmer
From the author of El Narco, the shocking story of the men at the heads of cartels throughout Latin America: what drives them, what sustains their power, and how they might be brought down.
In a ranch south of Texas, the man known as The Executioner dumps five hundred body parts in metal barrels. In Brazil's biggest city, a mysterious prisoner orders hit-men to gun down forty-one police officers and prison guards in two days. In southern Mexico, a meth maker is venerated as a saint while enforcing Old Testament justice on his enemies.
A new kind of criminal kingpin has arisen: part CEO, part terrorist, and part rock star, unleashing guerrilla attacks, strong-arming governments, and taking over much of the world's trade in narcotics, guns, and humans. What they do affects you now--from the gas in your car, to the gold in your jewelry, to the tens of thousands of Latin Americans calling for refugee status in the U.S. Gangster Warlords is the first definitive account of the crime wars now wracking Central and South America and the Caribbean, regions largely abandoned by the U.S. after the Cold War. Author of the critically acclaimed El Narco, Ioan Grillo has covered Latin America since 2001 and gained access to every level of the cartel chain of command in what he calls the new battlefields of the Americas. Moving between militia-controlled ghettos and the halls of top policy-makers, Grillo provides a disturbing new understanding of a war that has spiraled out of control--one that people across the political spectrum need to confront now.
A Perfect Plan
Priscilla King has been planning to marry Chester Lapp since she was sixteen years old, but when wedding plans begin immediately after he pops the question, everything starts to go terribly wrong.
A Recipe for Hope
The Amish kitchen is the heart of the home - and the ideal setting for stories of love and hope.
Becky's desperate prayers are answered, but she discovers the life she imagined for herself pales in comparison to God's plan.
Addiction is easy to fall into and hard to escape. It destroys the lives of individuals, and has a devastating cost to society. The National Institute of Health estimates seventeen million adults in the United States are alcoholics or have a serious problem with alcohol. At the same time, the country is seeing entire communities brought to their knees because of opioid additions. These scourges affect not only those who drink or use drugs but also their families and friends, who witness the horror of addiction. With Out of the Wreck I Rise, Neil Steinberg and Sara Bader have created a resource like no other—one that harnesses the power of literature, poetry, and creativity to illuminate what alcoholism and addiction are all about, while forging change, deepening understanding, and even saving lives.
Structured to follow the arduous steps to sobriety, the book marshals the wisdom of centuries and explores essential topics, including the importance of time, navigating family and friends, relapse, and what Raymond Carver calls “gravy,” the reward that is recovery. Each chapter begins with advice and commentary followed by a wealth of quotes to inspire and heal. The result is a mosaic of observations and encouragement that draws on writers and artists spanning thousands of years—from Seneca to David Foster Wallace, William Shakespeare to Patti Smith. The ruminations of notorious drinkers like John Cheever, Charles Bukowski, and Ernest Hemingway shed light on the difficult process of becoming sober and remind the reader that while the literary alcoholic is often romanticized, recovery is the true path of the hero.
Along with traditional routes to recovery—Alcoholics Anonymous, out-patient therapy, and intensive rehabilitation programs—this literary companion offers valuable support and inspiration to anyone seeking to fight their addiction or to a struggling loved one.
Featuring Charles Bukowski, John Cheever, Dante, Ricky Gervais, Ernest Hemingway, Billie Holiday, Anne Lamott, John Lennon, Haruki Murakami, Anaïs Nin, Mary Oliver, Samuel Pepys, Rainer Maria Rilke, J. K. Rowling, Patti Smith, Kurt Vonnegut, and many more.
Marie Colvin held a profound belief in the pursuit of truth, and the courage and humanity of her work was deeply admired. On the Front Line includes her various interviews with Yasser Arafat and Colonel Gadaffi; reports from East Timor in 1999 where she shamed the UN into protecting its refugees; accounts of her terrifying escape from the Russian army in Chechnya; and reports from the strongholds of the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers where she was hit by shrapnel, leaving her blind in one eye.
Typically, however, her new eye-patch only reinforced Colvin’s sense of humour and selfless conviction. She returned quickly to the front line, reporting on 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza and, lately, the Arab Spring.
Immediate and compelling, On the Front Line is a street-view of the historic events that have shaped the last 25 years, from an award-winning foreign correspondent and the outstanding journalist of her generation.
Hau ofa s essays criss-cross Oceania, creating a navigator s star chart of discussion and debate. Spurning the arcana of the intellectual establishments where he was schooled, Hau ofa has crafted a distinctive often lyrical, at times angry voice that speaks directly to the people of the region and the general reader. He conveys his thoughts from diverse standpoints: university-based analyst, essayist, satirist and humorist, and practical catalyst for creativity. According to Hau ofa, only through creative originality in all fields of endeavor can the people of Oceania hope to strengthen their capacity to engage the forces of globalization.
Our Sea of Islands, The Ocean in Us, Pasts to Remember, and Our Place Within, all of which are included in this collection, outline some of Hau ofa s ideas for the emergence of a stronger and freer Oceania. Throughout he expresses his concern with the environment and suggests that the most important role that the people of the sea can assume is as custodians of the Pacific, the vast area of the world s largest body of water.
One of the most celebrated English writers ever, Lawrence Durrell was a bestselling author whose vivid metafictions pushed the boundaries of modern literature. The cosmopolitan provocateur transcended borders, ideologies, and time in his work, and he’s at the height of his powers in the Avignon Quintet.
More formally daring than the Alexandria Quartet, these sweeping and stylish novels set before, during, and after World War II loosely center on the race to uncover a treasure buried by the Knights Templar. Each reveals a seemingly disparate piece of the puzzle. In Monsieur, it’s the bittersweet return to southern France by a British doctor; in Livia, it’s two sisters driven apart by the rise of Nazism in Europe. In Constance, a Freudian analyst struggles for clarity in a world on fire; in Sebastian, she reconnects with the charismatic cult leader she knew in the deserts of Egypt. And in Quinx, long-buried plots reemerge as the past and future are funneled into the present.
Durrell himself described the Avignon Quintet as a “quincunx,” a series of novels “roped together like climbers on a rockface, but all independent.” Together they form a powerful meditation on the search for meaning in a world of chaos and brutality.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Whether you seek to gain, observe, or protect yourself from domination by the forces of power in the world, Robert Greene’s comprehensive tome on this intriguing subject is in many ways a groundbreaking work of literature. The 48 Laws of Power synthesizes the thoughts of a host of history’s most influential thinkers including Machiavelli, Sun-tzu, Carl von Clausewitz and others. Not only is it rich in the history of power politics and warfare spanning three millennia, the book has real-life relevance to those contending with the affect on our lives in modern times. Greene’s 48 laws demonstrate how qualities such as prudence, cunning, stealth and subtlety, and a complete lack of mercy or compassion for one’s enemies come into play with humanity’s power dynamic.
It’s apparent that those who feel powerless in today’s globalized economy driven by the politics of big-money capitalism are a target audience of this book. The preface begins: “The feeling of having no power over people and events is generally unbearable to us—when we feel helpless we feel miserable.” Very much like the social and political pressures contained within an old royal court, a duplicitous game of non-overt power moves is the key to success in the current power paradigm.
In the enchanting novella FORGOTTEN KISSES by Cindy Roland Anderson, costume designer Madison Taylor has no love lost when the male lead playing Sir Lancelot in a TV series is fired. She couldn’t stand working with him anyway. But when she discovers who his replacement is, her heart nearly stops. Caleb Matthews is one of the hottest male actors ever… and not to mention Madison’s former boyfriend. When things got too serious between them, everything fell apart. And now, Madison must play nice or lose her job. She just has to forget all of the reasons she’d fallen for him in the first place.
In THE LAST CHRISTMAS, a sweet romance novella by Annette Lyon, Meredith only has to make it through the Christmas holiday pretending that she and her husband Eric aren’t on the verge of divorce. She doesn’t want to ruin the holiday for her two grown daughters and their boyfriends. But when Eric hurries home after weeks of living in a motel to unpack before their daughters arrive, he starts pressing Meredith with questions about why she filed for divorce. The last thing Meredith wants to do it give Eric a second chance, but it seems that Eric is not willing to let her go without trying to win her back.
In Julie Coulter Bellon’s captivating novella TRUTH OR DARE After a year of recovery, wounded war veteran Jonah Harrison comes home for Christmas. No longer the outgoing high school track star, he just wants to be left alone, away from well-meaning friends and neighbors. But when a blizzard strands him with Cami Jackson—the girl who once knew him best—he can’t hide anything from her, no matter how much he wants to. Cami has a wounded heart of her own, though, and it might take a Christmas miracle for them to find the healing they both long for and the courage to reach for a chance at love.
In the charming novella HOLIDAY BUCKET LIST by Sarah M. Eden, Celeste Lagorio has officially given up on Christmas. A single mother, with her children grown and unable to return for the holiday, Celeste determines to take a break from everything. When her single neighbor and almost-best-friend, Mike Durham, discovers her non-plans, they discuss things they’ve always wanted to do, but never had time. Mike and Celeste put together a friendly competition of checking off the things on their bucket list, all the while drawing closer and discovering they have more in common than they thought.
In CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY, a delightful novella by Heather B. Moore, Monica is on the verge of buying her dream store, but when she tells her boyfriend, he turns it into an embarrassing public argument. Heartbroken, but determined to follow her dream, she goes to her employer’s Christmas party to play Mrs. Claus, only to be paired with someone unexpected. A young Mr. Claus who is the complete opposite of her ex-boyfriend in all the most important ways. Yet, Monica is not sure she can risk opening her heart again.
In Jennifer Griffith’s exciting novella FIRST (AND LAST) CHRISTMAS DATE, pilot Juliet Law has been in a holding pattern, dating the wrong guy, until she gets a holiday shake-up: old flame Tag McClintock e-mails her to ask for second date—after ten years. Their first date, back in high school, had been an unmitigated disaster culminating with Pepto Bismol and the police. Still, Juliet would have gone out with Tag again the next day—and the next—had he asked. So now that he’s finally popping up in her in-box again, Juliet must decide whether to say yes to the date, even if it puts her at risk of another decade of carrying a torch for Tag McClintock. Will their second date be their last?
Like the visitor wandering through the city streets, the reader will be constantly surprised by the visions encountered in this mosaic of writings—a textual space brimming with life and crowded with flâneurs, flirtatious students, Indian dancers,
food vendors, fortune tellers, political activists, and peasant protesters.
The essays included in this anthology were written by a panoply of writers, from well-known authors like Carlos Monsiváis and Jorge Ibagüengoitia to younger figures like Fabrizio Mejía Madrid and Juieta García González, all of whom are experienced practitioners of the city. The texts collected in this anthology are among the most striking examples of this concomitant "theory and practice" of Mexico City, that most delirious of megalopolises.
“[An] exciting literary journey . . .”—Carolyn Malloy, Multicultural Review
The Conscript depicts, with irony and controlled anger, the staggering experiences of the Eritrean ascari, soldiers conscripted to fight in Libya by the Italian colonial army against the nationalist Libyan forces fighting for their freedom from Italy’s colonial rule. Anticipating midcentury thinkers Frantz Fanon and Aimé Césaire, Hailu paints a devastating portrait of Italian colonialism. Some of the most poignant passages of the novel include the awakening of the novel’s hero, Tuquabo, to his ironic predicament of being both under colonial rule and the instrument of suppressing the colonized Libyans.
The novel’s remarkable descriptions of the battlefield awe the reader with mesmerizing images, both disturbing and tender, of the Libyan landscape—with its vast desert sands, oases, horsemen, foot soldiers, and the brutalities of war—uncannily recalled in the satellite images that were brought to the homes of millions of viewers around the globe in 2011, during the country’s uprising against its former leader, Colonel Gaddafi.
In Where I Was From, Didion turns what John Leonard has called “her sonar ear, her radar eye” onto her own work, as well as that of such California writers as Frank Norris and Jack London and Henry George, to examine how the folly and recklessness in the very grain of the California settlement led to the California we know today–a state mortgaged first to the railroad, then to the aerospace industry, and overwhelmingly to the federal government, a dependent colony of those political and corporate owners who fly in for the annual encampment of the
Bohemian Club. Here is the one writer we always want to read on California showing us the startling contradictions in its–and in America’s–core values.
Joan Didion’s unerring sense of America and its spirit, her acute interpretation of its institutions and literature, and her incisive questioning of the stories it tells itself make this fiercely intelligent book a provocative and important tour de force from one of our greatest writers.
From the Hardcover edition.
To anyone who glanced casually inside the detention room the young man sitting there did not seem very formidable. In height he might have been a little above average, but not enough to make him noticeable. His brown hair was cropped conservatively; his unlined boy's face was not one to be remembered--unless one was observant enough to note those light-gray eyes and catch a chilling, measuring expression showing now and then for an instant in their depths.
Neatly and inconspicuously dressed, in this last quarter of the twentieth century his like was to be found on any street of the city ten floors below--to all outward appearances. But that other person under the protective coloring so assiduously cultivated could touch heights of encased and controlled fury which Murdock himself did not understand and was only just learning to use as a weapon against a world he had always found hostile.
He was aware, though he gave no sign of it, that a guard was watching him. The cop on duty was an old hand--he probably expected some reaction other than passive acceptance from the prisoner. But he was not going to get it. The law had Ross sewed up tight this time. Why didn't they get about the business of shipping him off? Why had he had that afternoon session with the skull thumper? Ross had been on the defensive then, and he had not liked it. He had given to the other's questions all the attention his shrewd mind could muster, but a faint, very faint, apprehension still clung to the memory of that meeting.
Cash Walker has discovered warrior wisdom at the handlebars of his lifeline--his bike: True freedom is the road, the ride, the real emotion that's worth fighting and dying for.
Willow Lane has been beaten, broken, and she's finished….until she meets the most unlikely angel imaginable. Cash looks like the devil himself, but he won't let her give up even as he won't let her go. Will he become another captor, or the salvation she's longed for?