We are sad to announce the death of Russell Hoban, who passed away this Tuesday, December 13, at the age of eighty-six. Hoban gained the most acclaim for his post-apocalyptic masterpiece Ridley Walker, but was also a highly prolific children’s book author and illustrator. Last spring we are proud to have reissued one of Hoban’s most heartwarming classics, The Sorely Trying Day.
On Wednesday, the New York Times highlighted several children’s Christmas classics that are returning to booksellers’ shelves this season, offering an escape for the materialism of the 21st century holiday season within their pleasant pages—among them, Palmer Brown’s Something for Christmas, republished by The New York Review Children’s Collection.
The Sindbad whose adventures the great Hungarian writer Gyula Krúdy recounts has very little
to do with the dauntless character whose name, we are told, the Hungarian Sindbad picked out himself
from the Arabian Nights, his favorite book. He could even be accused of passing under false pretences.
Yes, this Sindbad is incorrigibly restless, frequently in a tight spot, and not a little wily, but
he is hardly a man of action and in no sense a hero. He is not young but ageless, wandering grayhaired
in a green hat across the Hungarian plains or turning up in a Carpathian mountain village when not
haunting the streets of Buda and Pest.
To mark the recent re-issue of Jean Strouse’s Bancroft Prize-winning biography of Alice James, Strouse will be discussing the James family with Lorin Stein, editor of The Paris Review at The New York Public Library on December 7th.
This week, the National Book Awards bestowed the 2011 prize for nonfiction to Stephen Greenblatt for his masterful work, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern. Greenblatt is a distinguished scholar who has previously published many outstanding works on English literature, including the bestselling Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare.
In May 2012, NYRB Classics will publish Sir Thomas Browne’s Religio Medici and Urne-Burial, edited and introduced by Stephen Greenblatt and Ramie Targoff.
Today we celebrate the 70th birthday of the incomparable writer and illustrator Daniel Pinkwater, author of about one hundred books as unique and funny as he is, by calling attention to his personal favorite book, Lizard Music, the story of Victor, a boy who, in exploring the nearby city of Hogboro while his parents are away, meets the Chicken Man, who is keen on the lizard (yes, lizard) musicians who appear on Victor’s television after the broadcast of the late-late movie. Victor and the Chicken Man travel to the lizards’ floating island, where the strange is fantastic and inspired—all adjectives that could be used to describe Pinkwater himself.
Published in 1947, The Gallery was one of the earliest works of post WWII fiction. It was a critically-acclaimed bestseller and was a trailblazer for books like Catch-22 to follow. Set in occupied Naples in 1944—where author John Horne Burns had been commissioned as an army intelligence officer to investigate crimes committed by U.S. troops—the book captures the shock the war dealt to the preconceptions and ideals of the victorious Americans. It also provides one of the first unblinking looks at gay life in the military.
Poet, editor, and University of Allahabad professor Arvind Krishna Mehrotra will be reading from his dazzling new translation of Kabir’s poetry at two events in New York City on November 2nd & 3rd. Following the attempts of Ezra Pound and Robert Bly, he has revitalized the work of this legendary North Indian bhakti poet, which explodes with passion, satire, metaphysical ideas, and upside-down language.
Join John Summers, editor of Masscult and Midcult: Essays Again the American Grain, for a series of discussions about Dwight Macdonald. The events will be held in NYC, Chicago, Cambridge, and Washington DC this month.