If you need some convincing, here’s what the critics are saying:
From Japan comes Revenge, a spine tingling volume subtitled Eleven Dark Tales, from Yoko Ogawa … These are shiningly sinister stories that grab you by the vulnerable back of the neck and don’t let go.—ELLE
Revenge is a delicious mosaic that concerns much more than its titular subject…. Compulsively readable… Ogawa’s style is so spare and simple, so everyday and true, that her set-ups slide past your defenses and explode on target. These elegant, literate tales are unvarnished outtakes from reality, disturbing glimpses under the veneer of life at the inescapable calamities of urban existence.—Shelf Awareness
Every act of malice glows creepily against the plain background. It’s a book that ought to be distributed to every fiction-M.F.A. candidate who tends to overwrite: Ogawa is an expert in doing more with less.—New York
Japan’s best teller of macabre tales… Ogawa is such a master that she pushes the boundaries and suspends the mystery… You never know ‘why,’ only that humans are slaves to time, and we keep on with our lives so that someday we might understand.—The Daily Beast
Eleven creeptastic stories, complete with Murakami-esque weirdness.—io9
Interwoven stories from Ogawa involve murder, desire, jealousy, love, and torture, making for creepy but compelling experimental horror that stays with you long past the book’s last page. —The Atlantic Wire
Revenge is about as elegant as horror gets, in both style and presentation. … an exceptionally well-done and well-balanced piece of horror-writing, disarmingly detached — and all the more unsettling for that.—Michael Orthofer, The Complete Review
The first of five New in Paperback titles from Picador is Siri Hustvedt’s essay collection LIVING, THINKING, LOOKING. Available online and in bookstores near you tomorrow, June 5th.
Living, Thinking, Looking: Essays by Siri Hustvedt
A Picador Paperback Original
“No one writing about art today comes closer than Siri Hustvedt to the elusive strangeness of a great painting.” —Calvin Tomkins
“She brings both knowledge and an artist’s insight to the discussion of memory, language, and personal identity… . It is Hustvedt’s gift to write with exemplary clarity of what is by necessity unclear.” —Hilary Mantel
The internationally acclaimed novelist Siri Hustvedt has also produced a growing body of nonfiction. She has published a book of essays on painting (Mysteries of the Rectangle) as well as an interdisciplinary investigation of a neurological disorder (The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves). She has given lectures on artists and theories of art at the Prado, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. In 2011, she delivered the thirty-ninth annual Freud Lecture in Vienna. Living, Thinking, Looking brings together thirty-two essays written between 2006 and 2011, in which the author culls insights from philosophy, neuroscience, psychology, psychoanalysis, and literature.
The book is divided into three sections: the essays in Living draw directly from Hustvedt’s life; those in Thinking explore memory, emotion, and the imagination; and the pieces in Looking are about visual art. And yet, the same questions recur throughout the collection. How do we see, remember, and feel? How do we interact with other people? What does it mean to sleep, dream, and speak? What is “the self”? Hustvedt’s unique synthesis of knowledge from many fields reinvigorates the much-needed dialogue between the humanities and the sciences as it deepens our understanding of an age-old riddle: What does it mean to be human?
Siri Hustvedt was born in 1955 in Northfield, Minnesota. She has a Ph.D. from Columbia University in English literature and is the author of five novels, The Sorrows of an American, What I Loved, The Enchantment of Lily Dahl, The Blindfold, and The Summer Without Men, as well as two collections of essays, A Plea for Eros and Mysteries of the Rectangle, and an interdisciplinary investigation of the body and mind in The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves. She lives in Brooklyn.
Continuing our series celebrating National Short Story Month, my pick is The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis.
Rick Moody once called Lydia Davis “The best prose stylist in America.” Dave Eggers says Davis “Blows the roof off of so many of our assumptions about what constitutes short fiction.” What I love about Lydia Davis’s writing is her ability to pack a punch in a few sentences. Her stories are concise but never frivolous. Her observations, subtle, are often unsettling and her wit, sharp. This collection is perfect for a commute to work, those moments in between, or a gloomy Sunday on the couch.
The Thirteenth Woman
In a town of twelve women there was a thirteenth. No one admitted she lived there, no mail came for her, no one spoke of her, no one asked after her, no one sold bread to her, no one bought anything from her, no one returned her glance, no one knocked on her door; the rain did not fall on her, the sun never shone on her, the day never dawned on her, the night never fell for her; for her the weeks did not pass, the years did not roll by; her house was unnumbered, her garden untended, her path not trod upon, her bed not slept in, her food not eaten, her clothes not worn; and yet in spite of all this she continued to live in the town without resenting what it did to her.
The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis, pg. 155 (Picador 2010)
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