Ernesto

Author: Umberto Saba
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 9781681370835
Release Date: 2017-03-28
Genre: Fiction

A coming of age story that is a classic of gay literature, now in English for the first time An NYRB Classics Original Ernesto is a classic of gay literature, a tender and complex tale of sexual awakening by one of Italy’s most admired poets. Ernesto is a sixteen-year-old boy from an educated family who lives with his mother in Trieste. His mother is eager for him to get ahead and has asked a local businessman to give him some workplace experience in his warehouse. One day a workingman makes advances to Ernesto, who responds with willing curiosity. A month of trysts ensues before the boy begins to tire of the relationship, finally escaping it altogether by engineering his own dismissal. And yet his experience has changed him, and as Umberto Saba’s unfinished, autobiographical story breaks off, Ernesto has struck up a new, oddly romantic attachment to a boy his own age.

Poets in a Landscape

Author: Gilbert Highet
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590173384
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Literary Criticism

Gilbert Highet was a legendary teacher at Columbia University, admired both for his scholarship and his charisma as a lecturer. Poets in a Landscape is his delightful exploration of Latin literature and the Italian landscape. As Highet writes in his introduction, “I have endeavored to recall some of the greatest Roman poets by describing the places were they lived, recreating their characters and evoking the essence of their work.” The poets are Catullus, Vergil, Propertius, Horace, Tibullus, Ovid, and Juvenal. Highet brings them life, setting them in their historical context and locating them in the physical world, while also offering crisp modern translations of the poets’ finest work. The result is an entirely sui generis amalgam of travel writing, biography, criticism, and pure poetry—altogether an unexcelled introduction to the world of the classics.

Last Words from Montmartre

Author: Qiu Miaojin
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 9781590177389
Release Date: 2014-06-03
Genre: Fiction

An NYRB Classics Original When the pioneering Taiwanese novelist Qiu Miaojin committed suicide in 1995 at age twenty-six, she left behind her unpublished masterpiece, Last Words from Montmartre. Unfolding through a series of letters written by an unnamed narrator, Last Words tells the story of a passionate relationship between two young women—their sexual awakening, their gradual breakup, and the devastating aftermath of their broken love. In a style that veers between extremes, from self-deprecation to pathos, compulsive repetition to rhapsodic musings, reticence to vulnerability, Qiu’s genre-bending novel is at once a psychological thriller, a sublime romance, and the author’s own suicide note. The letters (which, Qiu tells us, can be read in any order) leap between Paris, Taipei, and Tokyo. They display wrenching insights into what it means to live between cultures, languages, and genders—until the genderless character Zoë appears, and the narrator’s spiritual and physical identity is transformed. As powerfully raw and transcendent as Mishima’s Confessions of a Mask, Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther, and Theresa Cha’s Dictée, to name but a few, Last Words from Montmartre proves Qiu Miaojin to be one of the finest experimentalists and modernist Chinese-language writers of our generation.

Bodega Dreams

Author: Ernesto B. Quinonez
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780804154055
Release Date: 2015-01-21
Genre: Fiction

In a stunning narrative combining the gritty rhythms of Junot Diaz with the noir genius of Walter Mosley, Bodega Dreams pulls us into Spanish Harlem, where the word is out: Willie Bodega is king. Need college tuition for your daughter? Start-up funds for your fruit stand? Bodega can help. He gives everyone a leg up, in exchange only for loyalty—and a steady income from the drugs he pushes. Lyrical, inspired, and darkly funny, this powerful debut novel brilliantly evokes the trial of Chino, a smart, promising young man to whom Bodega turns for a favor. Chino is drawn to Bodega's street-smart idealism, but soon finds himself over his head, navigating an underworld of switchblade tempers, turncoat morality, and murder.

Zama

Author: Antonio Di Benedetto
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 9781590177358
Release Date: 2016-08-23
Genre: Fiction

An NYRB Classics Original First published in 1956, Zama is now universally recognized as one of the masterpieces of modern Argentine and Spanish-language literature. Written in a style that is both precise and sumptuous, weirdly archaic and powerfully novel, Zama takes place in the last decade of the eighteenth century and describes the solitary, suspended existence of Don Diego de Zama, a highly placed servant of the Spanish crown who has been posted to Asunción, the capital of remote Paraguay. There, eaten up by pride, lust, petty grudges, and paranoid fantasies, he does as little as he possibly can while plotting his eventual transfer to Buenos Aires, where everything about his hopeless existence will, he is confident, be miraculously transformed and made good. Don Diego’s slow, nightmarish slide into the abyss is not just a tale of one man’s perdition but an exploration of existential, and very American, loneliness. Zama, with its stark dreamlike prose and spare imagery, is at once dense and unforeseen, terse and fateful, marked throughout by a haunting movement between sentences, paragraphs, and sections, so that every word seems to emerge from an ocean of things left unsaid. The philosophical depths of this great book spring directly from its dazzling prose.

Notes of a Crocodile

Author: Qiu Miaojin
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 9781681370774
Release Date: 2017-05-02
Genre: Fiction

The English-language premiere of Qiu Miaojin's coming-of-age novel about queer teenagers in Taiwan, a cult classic in China and winner of the 1995 China Times Literature Award. An NYRB Classics Original Set in the post-martial-law era of late-1980s Taipei, Notes of a Crocodile is a coming-of-age story of queer misfits discovering love, friendship, and artistic affinity while hardly studying at Taiwan’s most prestigious university. Told through the eyes of an anonymous lesbian narrator nicknamed Lazi, this cult classic is a postmodern pastiche of diaries, vignettes, mash notes, aphorisms, exegesis, and satire by an incisive prose stylist and major countercultural figure. Afflicted by her fatalistic attraction to Shui Ling, an older woman, Lazi turns for support to a circle of friends that includes a rich kid turned criminal and his troubled, self-destructive gay lover, as well as a bored, mischievous overachiever and her alluring slacker artist girlfriend. Illustrating a process of liberation from the strictures of gender through radical self-inquiry, Notes of a Crocodile is a poignant masterpiece of social defiance by a singular voice in contemporary Chinese literature.

The Unknown Masterpiece

Author: Honore de Balzac
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 9781590174159
Release Date: 2011-01-26
Genre: Fiction

Honoré De Balzac (1799-1850) is generally credited as the inventor of the modern realistic novel. In more than ninety novels, he set forth French society and life as he saw it. He created a cast of over two thousand individual and identifiable characters, some of whom reappear in different novels. He organized his works into his masterpiece, La Comedie Humaine,which was the final result of his attempt to grasp the whole of society and experience into one varied but unified work. Richard Howard was born in Cleveland in 1929. He is the author of fourteen volumes of poetry and has published more than one hundred fifty translations from the French, including works by Gide, Stendhal, de Beauvoir, Baudelaire, and de Gaulle. Howard received a National Book Award for his translation of Fleurs du mal and a Pulitzer Prize for Untitled Subjects, a collection of poetry.

Jews Queers Germans

Author: Martin Duberman
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
ISBN: 9781609807399
Release Date: 2017-03-07
Genre: Fiction

A breathtaking historical novel that recreates the intimate milieu around Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm from 1907 through the 1930s, a period of great human suffering and destruction and also of enormous freedom and creativity, a time when the remnants and artifices of the old word still mattered, and yet when art and the social sciences were pirouetting with successive revolutions in thought and style. Set in a time when many men in the upper classes in Europe were gay, but could not be so publicly, Jews Queers Germans revolves around three men: Prince Philipp von Eulenburg, Kaiser Wilhelm II's closest friend, who becomes the subject of a notorious 1907 trial for homosexuality; Magnus Hirschfeld, a famed, Jewish sexologist who gives testimony at the trial; and Count Harry Kessler, a leading proponent of modernism, and the keeper of a famous set of diaries which lay out in intimate detail the major social, artistic and political events of the day and allude as well to his own homosexuality. The central theme here is the gay life of a very upper crust intellectual milieu that had a real impact on the major political upheavals that would shape the modern world forever after. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The End of Eddy

Author: Edouard Louis
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781473513105
Release Date: 2017-02-02
Genre: Fiction

‘Before I had a chance to rebel against the world of my childhood, that world rebelled against me. In truth, confronting my parents, my social class, its poverty, racism and brutality came second. From early on I provoked shame and even disgust from my family and others around me. The only option I had was to get away somehow. This book is an effort to understand all that.’ Édouard Louis grew up in Hallencourt, a village in northern France where many live below the poverty line. His bestselling debut novel about life there, The End of Eddy, has sparked debate on social inequality, sexuality and violence. It is an extraordinary portrait of escaping from an unbearable childhood, inspired by the author’s own. Written with an openness and compassionate intelligence, ultimately, it asks, how can we create our own freedom?

The Communist

Author: Guido Morselli
Publisher: NYRB Classics
ISBN: 1681370786
Release Date: 2017-05-18
Genre: Fiction

An NYRB Classics Original The Communist is the story of a life lived in the service of a faith and what happens when that faith is lost. Walter Ferranini, a child of Italy's agricultural heartland, begins as an earnest autodidact who works as a labor organizer before being driven, under Mussolini, into exile in the United States, the belly of the capitalist beast. After World War II, he returns to Italy and enters parliament as a communist MP. Then Khrushchev's 1956 denunciation of Stalin's crimes leads to a crisis in Walter's life. He has come to question that most basic communist belief, that human life finds its fulfillment in labor, and he writes an article expressing his doubts. It is a scandal, as, in the eyes of the prudish party elders, is his new relationship with Nuccia, a journalist who is a married woman. Under these circumstances, Walter is invited for the first time to visit the Soviet Union, and there he finds himself bewildered beyond words. In The Communist, Guido Morselli portrays a man of conviction cast adrift with deep and compelling sympathy.

Down Below

Author: Leonora Carrington
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1681370603
Release Date: 2017-04-04
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Nonfiction. Fiction. Translated from the French by Victor Llona. DOWN BELOW is an account of Leonora Carrington's travels to Spain after having been declared "incurably insane." Carrington wrote and painted as a defender of the Surrealist movement into the twentieth century. DOWN BELOW was first published in 1944. This recent publication includes new collages by Debra Taub.

What Light Can Do

Author: Robert Hass
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780062096845
Release Date: 2012-08-14
Genre: Literary Criticism

Universally lauded poet Robert Hass offers a stunning, wide-ranging collection of essays on art, imagination, and the natural world—with accompanying photos throughout. What Light Can Do is a magnificent companion piece to the former U.S. Poet Laureate’s Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning poetry collection, Time and Materials, as well as his earlier book of essays, the NBCC Award-winner Twentieth Century Pleasures. Haas brilliantly discourses on many of his favorite topics—on writers ranging from Jack London to Wallace Stevens to Allen Ginsberg to Cormac McCarthy; on California; and on the art of photography in several memorable pieces—in What Light Can Do, a remarkable literary treasure that might best be described as “luminous.”

The Carnivorous Lamb

Author: Agustin Gomez-Arcos
Publisher: Plume Books
ISBN: UCAL:B4936702
Release Date: 1986
Genre: Fiction

Dramatizes life in Franco's Spain through the experiences of a family, Carlos, a ruined Republican lawyer, Matilde, his wife, and their sons Antonio and Ignacio, who become lovers

Chango s Fire

Author: Ernesto Quinonez
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780062030436
Release Date: 2010-10-12
Genre: Fiction

In New York City's Spanish Harlem, Julio and Maritza are each searching for a path that will give their lives meaning, even if it's shadowed by controversy. Julio is an arsonist for hire, pocketing thousands of dollars from investors eager to capitalize on more expensive real estate. But when he has reason to stop setting his neighborhood ablaze and vows to change his ways, Julio's employers threaten his life -- and the lives of those close to him. Maritza, meanwhile, has become the pastor of a progressive Pentecostal church -- the perfect cover for the scam she's running. For the right price, she'll make anyone an American citizen. With a cast of characters as colorful as the city itself, Ernesto Quiñonez brings to life a landscape we can all recognize.