Selected and Introduced by Cheryl Strayed
An iconic story collection of heart-breakingly vulnerable characters caught against the backdrop of nostalgic New York.
Whether Julie Hayden is describing a child astonished at his new perceptions, a distraught woman walking on Fifth Avenue with her concealed liquor flask or a pair of lovers on a country picnic, her writing is ardent and precise, placing us at the center of their lives, their destinies. These stories (all but two appeared originally in The New Yorker), with their distinctive clarity, show us in a fresh way how pain and joy turn into knowledge.
“Hayden has a sharp eye, unexpectedly at the service of a tender heart; in her stories are innumerable sentences that will make smile, many sentences that will make you laugh aloud, and at least one sentence that even the most cynical readers will be unable to finish without tears.” —Brendan Gill
The Tattooed Heart & My Name Is Rose
Two novels by Theodora Keogh
Selected and Introduced by Lidia Yuknavitch
Two short novels of lust, love and the intimacies of an examined life by one of the 20th century’s most overlooked prose stylists.
The Tattooed Heart (1953)
June Grey spends a green and dreaming summer alone with her grandmother in a large isolated house at Grey’s Neck on the Long Island shore. Around the house are wooded hills that give down to beach and sea, and in these woods June meets the boy Ronny, younger than herself and still firmly anchored in the fantasies of childhood which June is on the point of leaving. Eventually the youngsters become cruelly caught up in the complicated motives and desires of their elders.
My Name Is Rose (1956)
Written partly in the form of a journal and partly in conventional narrative, Theodora Keogh’s novel is a kind of ‘examination of conscience,’ by a young wife whose marriage is breaking up after seven years. Original in its perceptions, strong in story, and clearly written in a highly personal idiom which gives all Theodora Keogh’s work a mysterious and pulsating quality which is the sign of life.
“[Keogh] writes with a skill and command of her material that should set her promptly into the ranks of the finer young writers of today.” —Patricia Highsmith Saturday Review, 1950
Total Loss Farm: A Year in the Life | By Raymond Mungo
Selected and Introduced by Dana Spiotta
A year in the life of a back-to-the-land hippie commune in late 60’s rural Vermont.
Total Loss Farm attracted widespread attention, critical and commercial success in 1970, when the “back to the land” hippie commune movement first emerged. The book’s first section, “Another Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers,” appeared in its entirety as the cover article of the May, 1970 Atlantic Monthly.
The hardcover first edition from Dutton was quickly followed by paperback editions from Bantam, Avon, and Madrona Publishers, keeping the book in print for several decades. Very recently, Dwight Garner in the New York Times Book Review cited Total Loss Farm as “the best and also the loopiest of the commune books.”
Author Raymond Mungo was a founder of this Vermont commune after co-founding the Liberation News Service in Washington, DC in the late 1960′s Of his many books, the first two, Famous Long Ago (currently is used as a college textbook in History of the Sixties classes at NYU, Harvard, Georgia State, and other schools) and Total Loss Farm, have often been described as iconic for their generation.
Crazy Weather | By Charles L McNichols
Selected and Introduced by Ursula K Le Guin
In four days of “glory-hunting” with an Indian comrade, South Boy, who is white, realizes that he must choose between two cultures. Crazy Weather is a unique, much-revered young adult tale of American identity that serves as “an important document in our cultural history.”
“Crazy Weather belongs with our best beloved stories of a boy’s growing up. But it is a story for adults in every sense of the word. . . . McNichols belongs in the great tradition of storytellers.” —New York Herald Tribune
“The book has anthropological interest and it is filled with good bits of psychology. . . . It is a reminder that racial enmities would die out in a single generation if they weren’t kept alive by tradition and adults.” —New York Times
“Crazy Weather is an important document in our cultural history.” —Western American Literature
Inside Moves | By Todd Walton
Selected and Introduced by Sherman Alexie
Jerry Maxwell and his good friend Roary are both handicapped. They divide their time between Max’s bar in San Francisco and the bleachers of the Oakland Sports Complex to cheer on the Golden State Warriors. Together the two set out to make Jerry’s dream of playing professional basketball a reality.
“The greatest basketball novel ever written.” - Sherman Alexie, author of Blasphemy, War Dances, and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
McTeague | By Frank Norris
Selected and Introduced by Jonathan Evison
A poor dentist scrapes by in 19th century San Francisco. When his wife Trina wins $5,000 in the lottery, the pair set in motion a shocking chain of events that take them from riches to rags and, finally, to murder.
“A gritty, vitriolic rant, a novel with hair on it, a goddamn magnificent bastard of a novel.” – Jonathan Evison, author of The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, West of Here, and All About Lulu
You Play the Black and the Red Comes Up
By Richard Hallas(Eric Knight)
Selected and Introduced by Matt Groening
Dick is a Depression-era drifter searching for his son and runaway wife in the seedy underbelly of 1930′s Los Angeles. You Play the Black was a bestseller when originally published in 1938 and is a noir classic.
“A whiplash ride with major plot reversals on almost every page. [You Play the Black] is sheer joyful amoral absurdity.” – Matt Groening, award-winning creator of The Simpsons and Futurama
Land of Plenty | By Robert Cantwell
Selected and Introduced by Jess Walter
A strike at a lumber mill in a sleepy Washington town pits bosses against workers in this gripping epic of American labor. Land of Plenty created a political firestorm when it was published to great success in 1935. Long out-of-print, one of the most graphically exciting novels of the Thirties and a lost classic of American history is available again through Pharos Editions.
“The novel’s dialogue could have been uttered yesterday. Written in powerful, plain-spoken prose, its tough realism and psychological acuity hums with authenticity.” – Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins, We Live in Water, and The Financial Lives of the Poets