by New Directions Publishing

Água Viva
Clarice Lispector
New Directions Publishing - 15.00€ -

In Água Viva Clarice Lispector aims to 'capture the present'. Her direct, confessional and unfiltered meditations on everything from life and time to perfume and sleep are strange and hypnotic in their emotional power and have been a huge influence on many artists and writers, including one Brazilian musician who read it one hundred and eleven times. Despite its apparent spontaneity, this is a masterly work of art, which rearranges language and plays in the gaps between reality and fiction.

Clarice Lispector (December 10, 1920 – December 9, 1977) was a Brazilian writer acclaimed internationally for her innovative novels and short stories. Born to a Jewish family in Podolia in Western Ukraine, as an infant she moved to Brazil with her family, amidst the disasters engulfing her native land following the First World War. 

The Employees: A Workplace Novel of the 22nd Century
Olga Ravn
New Directions Publishing - 22.00€ -

Funny and doom-drenched, The Employees chronicles the fate of the Six-Thousand Ship. The human and humanoid crew members complain about their daily tasks in a series of staff reports and memos. When the ship takes on a number of strange objects from the planet New Discovery, the crew becomes strangely and deeply attached to them, even as tensions boil toward mutiny, especially among the humanoids. Olga Ravn's prose is chilling, crackling, exhilarating, and foreboding. The Employees probes into what makes us human, while delivering a hilariously stinging critique of life governed by the logic of productivity.

Olga Ravn (born 1986) is a Danish novelist and poet. Her debut poetry collection I Devour Myself Like Heather appeared to critical acclaim in 2012. Alongside Johanne Lykke Holm she ran the feminist performance group and writing school Hekseskolen from 2015 to 2019. In collaboration with Danish publisher Gyldendal she edited a selection of Tove Ditlevsen's texts and books that relaunched Ditlevsen readership worldwide.

Novel On Yellow Paper
Stevie Smith
New Directions Publishing - 18.00€ -

I am a forward-thinking girl, and don’t stay where I am. ‘Left right, be bright.’

Pompey Casmilus, Stevie Smith’s loquacious alter ego, works as a secretary and writes down on yellow office paper this wickedly amusing novel. “Dear Reader,” she addresses us politely in the whirlwind of her opinions on death, sex, anti-Semitism, art, Greek tragedy, friendship, marriage, Nazism, gossip, and the suburbs. But most of all Pompey talks about love.

When Smith first tried to get her poems published in 1935, she was told by a publisher to “go away and write a novel.” Novel on Yellow Paper, the happy result of this advice, made its author an instant celebrity and was acclaimed as “a curious, amusing, provocative and very serious piece of work” (The London Times Literary Supplement, 1936).

Published 1936, 2022

Stevie Smith (20 September 1902 – 7 March 1971), was an English poet and novelist.

The Nick of Time
Rosmarie Waldrop
New Directions Publishing - 17.00€ -  out of stock

A philosophical tour de force melding astrophysics and grief by the American maestra of the prose poem.

"If memory serves, it was five years ago that yours began to refuse," Rosmarie Waldrop writes to her husband in The Nick of Time. "Does it feel like crossing from an open field into the woods, the sunlight suddenly switched off? Or like a roof without edge or frame, pushed sideways in time?" Ten years in the making, Waldrop's phenomenally beautiful new collection explores the felt nature of existence as well as gravity and velocity, the second hemisphere of time, mortality and aging, language and immigration, a Chinese primer, the artist Hannah Höch, and dwarf stars. Of one sequence, "White Is a Color," first published as a chapbook, the Irish poet Billy Mills wrote, "In what must be less than 1000 words, Waldrop says more about the human condition and how we explore it through words than most of us would manage in a thousand pages." Love blooms in the cut, in the gap, in the nick between memory and thought, sentence and experience. Like the late work of Cézanne, Waldrop's art has found a new way of seeing and thinking that "vibrates on multiple registers through endless, restless exploration" (citation for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize).

 

Midwinter Day
Bernadette Mayer
New Directions Publishing - 16.00€ -  out of stock

Midwinter Day, as Alice Notley noted, is an epic poem about a daily routine. A poem in six parts, Midwinter Day takes us from awakening and emerging from dreams through the whole day-morning, afternoon, evening, night-to dreams again:...

a plain introduction to modes of love and reason/ Then to end I guess with love, a method to this winter season/ Now I've said this love it's all I can remember/ Of Midwinter Day the twenty-second of December// Welcome sun, at last with thy softer light/ That takes the bite from winter weather/ And weaves the random cloth of life together/ And drives away the long black night!

Near to the Wild Heart
Clarice Lispector
New Directions Publishing - 16.00€ -  out of stock

Near to the Wild Heart, published in Rio de Janeiro in 1943, introduced Brazil to what one writer called "Hurricane Clarice" a twenty-three-year-old girl who wrote her first book in a tiny rented room and then baptized it with a title taken from Joyce: "He was alone, unheeded, near to the wild heart of life."

Narrative epiphanies and interior monologue frame the life of Joana, from her middle-class childhood through her unhappy marriage and its dissolution to transcendence, when she proclaims: "I shall arise as strong and comely as a young colt."

The Passion According to G.H.
Clarice Lispector
New Directions Publishing - 16.00€ -  out of stock

The Passion According to G.H., Clarice Lispector's mystical novel of 1964, concerns a well-to-do Rio sculptress, G.H., who enters her maid's room, sees a cockroach crawling out of the wardrobe, and, panicking, slams the door, crushing the cockroach, and then watches it die. At the end of the novel, at the height of a spiritual crisis, comes the most famous and most genuinely shocking scene in Brazilian literature... 

Lispector wrote that of all her works this novel was the one that "best corresponded to her demands as a writer."

The Trojan Women
Anne Carson, Rosanna Bruno
New Directions Publishing - 20.00€ -

A fantastic comic-book collaboration between the artist Rosanna Bruno and the poet Anne Carson, based on Euripides’s famous tragedy.

The Trojan Women, follows the fates of Hekabe, Andromache, and Kassandra after Troy has been sacked and all its men killed. This collaboration between the visual artist Rosanna Bruno and the poet and classicist Anne Carson attempts to give a genuine representation of how human beings are affected by warfare. Therefore, all the characters take the form of animals (except Kassandra, whose mind is in another world).

Double Trio: Tej Bet, So's Notice, Nerve Church (Limited Edition Box Set)
Nathaniel Mackey
New Directions Publishing - 65.00€ -

For thirty-five years American poet Nathaniel Mackey has been writing a long poem of fugitive making like no other: two elegiac, intertwined serial poems--"Song of the Andoumboulou" and " Mu"--that follow a mysterious, migrant "we" through the rhythms and currents of the world with lyrical virtuosity and impassioned expectancy. In a note to this astonishing box set of new work, Mackey writes:

"I turned sixty-five within a couple of months of beginning to write Double Trio and I was within a couple of months of turning seventy-one when I finished it.... It was a period of distress and precarity inside and outside both. During this period, a certain disposition or dispensation came upon me that I would characterize or sum up with the words all day music. It was a period during which I wanted never not to be thinking between poetry and music, poetry and the daily or the everyday, the everyday and the alter-everyday. Philosophically and technically, the work meant to be always pertaining to the relation of parts to one another and of parts to an evolving whole."

Structured in part after the last three movements of John Coltrane's Meditations--"Love," "Consequence," and "Serenity"-- Double Trio stretches the explorations and improvisations of free jazz into unprecedented poetic territory.

Nathaniel Mackey was born in Miami, Florida in 1947. He is the author of several books of poetry, fiction, and criticism, and has received many awards for his work, including the National Book Award in poetry for Splay Anthem, the Stephen Henderson Award from the African American Literature and Culture Society, and the Bollingen Prize from the Beinecke Library at Yale University. Mackey is the Reynolds Price Professor of English at Duke University, and edits the literary journal Hambone.

Published April 2021.

An Apprenticeship or the Book of Pleasures
Clarice Lispector
New Directions Publishing - 22.50€ -  out of stock

In An Apprenticeship or The Book of Pleasures, Clarice Lispector tries to discover how to bridge the gap between people, or how to even begin to try.

A woman struggles to emerge from solitude and sadness into love, including sexual love: her guide on this journey is Ulisses, who (yes) leads her patiently into the fullness of life. An Apprenticeship was a bestseller and, as her biographer Benjamin Moser writes, this accessible love story surprised many readers. When it came out, an interviewer said: 'I thought The Book of Pleasures was much easier to read than any of your other books. Do you think there's any basis for that?' Clarice answered: 'There is. I humanized myself, the book reflects that.'"

The Gift
H.D.
New Directions Publishing - 15.00€ -  out of stock

The connections and interconnections of past and present––the realization that life is a whole continuously echoing back to the past and unfolding toward the future––were sources of the strength, renewal, and joy celebrated in H.D.’s Trilogy and, in a differing, but no less real way, in The Gift––her novelistic memoir of childhood. In recapturing her memories of being a very little girl in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and later on a country place outside Philadelphia, H.D. “let the story tell itself or the child tell it.” It is this voice or child’s-eye view that lends The Gift its special charm as H.D. recreates the ordinary and extraordinary occasions of her early youth, the nightmares and delights. A road-company presentation of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Christmas Eve with its particular family ritual, a family outing, a disturbing accident––the happenings and incidents, perceptions and misconceptions with which a child’s life is crowded are the substance of this most winning book. As she did for the H.D. novel HERmione, H.D.’s daughter, Perdita Schaffner, provides a fine introduction.

Malina
Ingeborg Bachman
New Directions Publishing - 16.00€ -  out of stock

Malina invites the reader on a linguistic journey, into a world that stretches the very limits of language with Wittgensteinian zeal and Joycean inventiveness, where Ingeborg Bachmann ventriloquizes, and in the process demolishes, Proust, Musil, and Balzac, and yet filters everything through her own utterly singular idiom. Malina is, quite simply, unlike anything else; it's a masterpiece. 

In Malina, Bachmann uses the intertwined lives of three characters to explore the roots of society's breakdown that lead to fascism, and in Bachmann's own words, "it doesn't start with the first bombs that are dropped; it doesn't start with the terror that can be written about in every newspaper. It starts with relationships between people. Fascism is the first thing in the relationship between a man and a woman, and I attempted to say that here in this society there is always war. There isn't war and peace, there's only war."

The Hole
Hiroko Oyamada
New Directions Publishing - 13.00€ -  out of stock

One day, while running an errand for her mother-in-law, she comes across a strange creature, follows it to the embankment of a river, and ends up falling into a hole, a hole that seems to have been made specifically for her. This is the first in a series of bizarre experiences that drive Asa deeper into the mysteries of this rural landscape filled with eccentric characters and unidentifiable creatures, leading her to question her role in this world, and eventually, her sanity.

Winner of the 150th Akutagawa Prize in 2014

Glass, Irony & God
Anne Carson
New Directions Publishing - 16.00€ -

Known as a remarkable classicist, Anne Carson weaves contemporary and ancient poetic strands with stunning style in Glass, Irony and God. This collection includes: "The Glass Essay," a powerful poem about the end of a love affair, told in the context of Carson's reading of the Bronte sisters; "Book of Isaiah," a poem evoking the deeply primitive feel of ancient Judaism; and "The Fall of Rome," about her trip to "find" Rome and her struggle to overcome feelings of a terrible alienation there.

Anne Carson was born in Canada and teaches ancient Greek for a living.

Hurricane Season
Fernanda Melchor
New Directions Publishing - 17.00€ -  out of stock

The Witch is dead. And the discovery of her corpse--by a group of children playing near the irrigation canals--propels the whole village into an investigation of how and why this murder occurred. Rumors and suspicions spread. As the novel unfolds in a dazzling linguistic torrent, with each unreliable narrator lingering details, new acts of depravity or brutality, Melchor extracts some tiny shred of humanity from these characters that most would write off as utterly irredeemable, forming a lasting portrait of a damned Mexican village.

Like Roberto Bolano's 2666 or Faulkner's novels, Hurricane Season takes place in a world saturated with mythology and violence--real violence, the kind that seeps into the soil, poisoning everything around: it's a world that becomes more and more terrifying the deeper you explore it.

Translated by Sophie Hughes.

Published October 2020.

Fairy Tales: Dramolettes
Robert Walser
New Directions Publishing - 13.00€ -  out of stock

Fairy Tales gathers the unconventional verse dramolettes of the Swiss writer Robert Walser. Narrated in Walser's inimitable, playful language, these theatrical pieces overturn traditional notions of the fairy tale, transforming the Brothers Grimm into metatheater, even metareflections.

Snow White forgives the evil queen for trying to kill her, Cinderella doubts her prince and enjoys being hated by her evil stepsisters; the Fairy Tale itself is a character who encourages her to stay within the confines of the story. Sleeping Beauty, the royal family, and its retainers are not happy about being woken from their sleep by an absurd, unpretentious, Walser-like hero. Mary and Joseph are taken aback by what lies in store for their baby Jesus.

Robert Walser (1878-1956) was born in Switzerland. He left school at fourteen and led a wandering and precarious existence working as a bank clerk, a butler in a castle, and an inventor's assistant while producing essays, stories, and novels. In 1933 he abandoned writing and entered a sanatorium--where he remained for the rest of his life. "I am not here to write," Walser said, "but to be mad."

Published 2015

A Bernadette Mayer Reader
Bernadette Mayer
New Directions Publishing - 15.00€ -  out of stock

A Bernadette Mayer Reader collects texts that were originally published in small press books and chapbooks, magazines, and anthologies. The book holds poetry and prose from Mayer’s earliest works to then-contemporary publications. From Story (1968), to excerpts from Desires of Mothers and Midwinter Day (1982), and including a cache of new poems, this is a sprawling, surprising collection of Mayer at her best.

The reader was met with praise from peers and critics alike. In the words of Jackson Mac Low, "[Mayer] never gets stuck in one place - she changes as the spirit moves her- and her structural inventions and self-revelations provoke surprise and delight." 

Of the publication, Fanny Howe writes, "America could prove that her conscience, heart, and intelligence are still operating with this one volume of poetry." 

Bernadette Mayer was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1945. A most prolific poet, her first book was published at the age of twenty-three. Many texts later she continues to write progressive poetry from her home in East Nassau, New York. For many years Mayer lived and worked on the Lower East Side of Manhattan where she was the Director of St. Mark's Poetry Project from 1980-1984. Bernadette Mayer has received grants and awards from PEN American Center, The Foundation for Contemporary Performance Art, the NEA, The Academy of American Poets, and The American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Published 1992

Tropisms
Nathalie Sarraute
New Directions Publishing - 10.00€ -  out of stock

Nathalie Sarraute's Tropisms is considered one of the defining texts of the nouveau roman movement. Tropisms was championed as a masterpiece by Jean Genet, Marguerite Duras, and Jean-Paul Sartre, who hailed Sarraute as his favorite "anti-novelist." Sarraute defined her Tropisms as the "movements that are hidden under the commonplace, seemingly harmless instances of our everyday lives." Like figures in a grainy and shadowy photo, the characters in Tropisms are barely defined, the narrative never developed beyond a stressed moment. Instead, Sarraute brilliantly highlights the shift in tone through remarks or subtle details when a relationship changes, when we fall slightly deeper into or begin to emerge out of love or trust, or when something innocent tilts by the smallest degree toward suspicion.

Tropisms--something like 'prose poems'--as Sarraute calls them that-- this is her form! Her texture is anti-novelistic, though she's decided to write 'novels' and launched an important critique of the novel on the basis of her method.--Susan Sontag

Translated by Maria Jolas.

Published 2015.

Black Mountain Poems
Jonathan C. Creasy
New Directions Publishing - 15.00€ -  out of stock

Black Mountain College had an explosive influence on American poetry, music, art, craft, dance, and thought; it's hard to imagine any other institution that was so utopian, rebellious, and experimental. Founded with the mission of creating rounded, complete people by balancing the arts and manual labor within a democratic, nonhierarchical structure, Black Mountain was a crucible of revolutionary literature. Although this artistic haven only existed from 1933 to 1956, Black Mountain helped inspire some of the most radical and significant midcentury American poets.

This anthology begins with the well-known Black Mountain Poets--Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, and Denise Levertov--but also includes the artist Josef Albers and the musician John Cage, as well as the often overlooked women associated with the college, M. C. Richards and Hilda Morley.

published 2019.

Not A Novel
Jenny Erpenbeck
New Directions Publishing - 15.00€ -  out of stock

Jenny Erpenbeck's highly acclaimed novel Go, Went, Gone was a New York Times notable book and launched one of Germany's most admired writers into the American spotlight. In the New Yorker, James Wood wrote: "When Erpenbeck wins the Nobel Prize in a few years, I suspect that this novel will be cited."

On the heels of this literary breakthrough comes Not a Novel, a book of personal, profound, often humorous meditations and reflections. Erpenbeck writes, "With this collection of texts, I am looking back for the first time at many years of my life, at the thoughts that filled my life from day to day."

Starting with her childhood days in East Berlin ("I start with my life as a schoolgirl ... my own conscious life begins at the same time as the socialist life of Leipziger Strasse"), Not a Novel provides a glimpse of growing up in the GDR and of what it was like to be twenty-two when the wall collapsed; it takes us through Erpenbeck's early adult years, working in a bakery after immersing herself in the worlds of music, theater, and opera, and ultimately discovering her path as a writer.

There are lively essays about her literary influences (Thomas Bernhard, the Brothers Grimm, Kafka, and Thomas Mann), unforgettable reflections on the forces at work in her novels (including history, silence, and time), and scathing commentaries on the dire situation of America and Europe today. "Why do we still hear laments for the Germans who died attempting to flee over the wall, but almost none for the countless refugees who have drowned in the Mediterranean in recent years, turning the sea into a giant grave?" With deep insight and warm intelligence, Jenny Erpenbeck provides us with a collection of unforgettable essays that take us into the heart and mind of "one of the finest and most exciting writers alive"

Published September 2020. 

 

Minor Detail
Adania Shibli
New Directions Publishing - 16.00€ -

Minor Detail begins during the summer of 1949, one year after the war that the Palestinians mourn as the Nakba—the catastrophe that led to the displacement and exile of some 700,000 people—and the Israelis celebrate as the War of Independence. Israeli soldiers murder an encampment of Bedouin in the Negev desert, and among their victims they capture a Palestinian teenager and they rape her, kill her, and bury her in the sand.

Many years later, in the near-present day, a young woman in Ramallah tries to uncover some of the details surrounding this particular rape and murder, and becomes fascinated to the point of obsession, not only because of the nature of the crime, but because it was committed exactly twenty-five years to the day before she was born. Adania Shibli masterfully overlays these two translucent narratives of exactly the same length to evoke a present forever haunted by the past.

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