The Land Breakers cover

The Land Breakers

John Ehle, introduction by Linda Spalding

Set deep in the Appalachian wilderness between the years of 1779 and 1784, The Land Breakers is a saga like the Norse sagas or the book of Genesis, a story of first and last things, of the violence of birth and death, of inescapable sacrifice and the faltering emergence of community.

Mooney and Imy Wright, twenty-one, former indentured servants, long habituated to backbreaking work but not long married, are traveling west. They arrive in a no-account settlement in North Carolina and, on impulse, part with all their savings to acquire a patch of land high in the mountains. With a little livestock and a handful of crude tools, they enter the mountain world—one of transcendent beauty and cruel necessity—and begin to make a ...

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Featured Titles

The Use of Man

Aleksandar Tišma, introduction by Claire Messud, translated from the Serbo-Croatian by Bernard Johnson
A powerful work that tracks the intertwined lives of a group of high-school classmates in Yugoslavia during WWII: Jew, Nazi, resistance fighter, and cold-blooded killer. “Its power is on a scale normally associated with our favorite (dead) authors…. The world will not look quite the same after you’ve read this book.
Toronto Star

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Cat Town

Sakutarō Hagiwara, translated from the Japanese by Hiroaki Sato
Sakutarō Hagiwara is the ultimate modern Japanese poet. He first perfected the use of the colloquial language as a medium for modern poetic expression. Using that language, he reveals a sensibility that can be tough, neurotic, ironic, touching, and profound, sometimes all in the same poem. Always rhythmic and occasionally obscure, poem after poem can represent a scintillating verbal and spiritual adventure, particularly in the lucid and elegant translations created by Hiroaki Sato.”—J. Thomas Rimer

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In the Heart of the Heart of the Country: And Other Stories

William H. Gass, introduction by Joanna Scott
This collection defines Gass not as a special but as a major voice … Gass engenders brand-new abrupt vulnerabilities. We read about the becalmed Midwest, about farmers mired in their dailiness, and realize too late that we’ve been exposed to a deadly poetry. It says that America is lost … No writer I’ve ever read, not even Joyce, can celebrate his world with a more piercing sadness.”—Frederic Morton, The New York Times

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The Complete Bostock and Harris

The Complete Bostock and Harris combines two delightful, suspenseful, and madly funny tales of Harris and the not-so-bright Bostock, a rollicking best-friend duo who’ve been through thick and thin together in eighteenth-century Brighton. “A delicious literary concoction bubbling along with the author’s perfect sense of dramatic timing and with his mixture of earthy humor and effervescent wit.”—The Horn Book Magazine

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Announcements

An Evening with John Ehle

On Tuesday, November 25th, at 7 p.m., John Ehle will discuss his book The Land Breakers, published in a new edition by NYRB Classics, with writer Jackson Taylor and his daughter, the actress Jennifer Ehle, at McNally Jackson bookstore.

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