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William H. Gass: On Being Blue

Starting this post off with a bit of a disclaimer: other than this book (which I’ve read only once) I have never read anything else by William H. Gass. I know many out there are big fans. When I saw that NYRB Classics was reissuing On Being Blue: A Philosophical…

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Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky: Autobiography of a Corpse

Over the past few years, NYRB Classics has released two books of tales (we can call them science fiction, philosophical, political —  from the Soviet writer Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky: Memories of the Future (my thoughts here; our podcast covering it here) and The Letter Killers Club (my thoughts here). It’s remarkable that these books have…

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Honoré de Balzac: “Facino Cane”

Some time last year, when NYRB Classics posted the books they’d be publishing in the near future, I immediately began tweeting about them (I pay close attention). One of the books that got people most excited was a new translation of selected stories from Balzac’s The Human Comedy. Apparently, people who know Balzac…

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Bonus Episode: NYRB Classics’ Early 2014 Releases

In this episode we look at what NYRB Classics will be releasing in the first part of 2014 (and a bit beyond). http://traffic.libsyn.com/mookse/MookseBonus004.m4a While we do discuss all fourteen of the titles, the fun part of the episode is when Brian and I step back and list our top five…

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Jeremias Gotthelf: The Black Spider

This year’s Halloween treat from NYRB Classics is a new translation of Gotthelf’s novella/religious sermon The Black Spider (Schwarze spinne, 1842; tr. from the German by Susan Bernofsky, 2013). With the threat of plague and damnation around every corner, it fits the bill nicely. The book opens with a beautiful sunrise over a green valley….

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Robert Walser: A Schoolboy’s Diary

This week, NYRB Classics published a new collection of Robert Walser’s short fiction in A Schoolboy’s Diary (1904-1925; tr. from the German by Damion Searls). It’s very short fiction: approximately 70 pieces in about 180 pages. Those of you who follow this blog don’t need to hear it again, but for those of…

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Dorothy Kunhardt: Junket Is Nice and Now Open the Box

This summer NYRB Classics Children’s Collection is releasing new editions of two Dorothy Kunhardt books from the 1930s, Junket Is Nice  (1932) and Now Open the Box (1934). While not moving and deep like the last one we reviewed, Hickory (see our review here), these two books are filled with imagination…

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Simon Leys: The Hall of Uselessness

Today marks the exciting publication of Simon Leys’ collected essays, The Hall of Uselessness. I wasn’t familiar with Leys before starting this collection, but this goes down as one of my favorite collections. Please forgive what may appear to be gushing enthusiasm. Forgive it, because there was nothing to be…

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Alfred Hayes: My Face for the World to See

Five years after publishing In Love (my review here), Alfred Hayes delved into another doomed relationship in My Face for the World to See (1958). Both short novels by this screenwriter from a classic/cynical Hollywood, are now available from NYRB Classics, each with lovely covers featuring photographs by Saul Leiter. In My…

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Alfred Hayes: In Love

Over the next couple of weeks NYRB Classics will be publishing four books I’m really excited about: two nonfiction titles, Frederick the Great and The Hall of Uselessness, and two novels, In Love and My Face for the World to See. The two novels, which could be novellas at 130 pages apiece, are each by…