September 25th marks the beginning of Banned Books Week. The observance began 28 years ago in response to the alarming number of books that are challenged each year by individuals and governments.
Be sure to stop by the NYRB booth at the Brooklyn Book Festival—a wide selection of NYRB Classics and Little Bookroom titles will be on sale at discounted prices. Plus, Karen Seiger will sign copies of her new book, Markets of New York City: A Guide to the Best Artisan, Farmer, Food and Flea Markets, from 1–3PM at the booth.
“The month of January. Night time. North wind blowing. The fire in the hearth was going out.” This is where Alexandros Papadiamantis’s The Murderess begins—in cramped, dark quarters on a dirtpoor island in the Aegean Sea. A man snores, a sleepless woman tosses and turns, a baby coughs and cries. It is a hundred years ago, but it could be anytime, and it goes on. Hadoula, a woman of sixty or so, an old witch her neighbors say, is trying to rock the baby, her granddaughter, to sleep, even as she gives way to “bitter wandering thoughts.” All her life Hadoula has shown herself to be a clever, industrious, tough woman, and yet now it strikes her: