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Title Author Description
book image Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village
Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village
Ronald Blythe
+ Description

This landmark oral history of rapidly disappearing traditional British village life reverberates with the recollections and opinions of its residents, from the schoolteacher to the blacksmith, from survivors of World War I to the newest generation of farmworkers, and everyone in between. “If you buy only one book this year, let it be this one.” —Studs Terkel
Contributors: Matt Weiland

book image Fat City
Leonard Gardner
+ Description

The basis of the celebrated film by John Huston, Fat City casts a compassionate eye on the rundown lives of the dreamers, drifters, and would-be contenders on the boxing circuit of Stockton, California. “[Gardner] has got it exactly right . . . but he has done more than just get it down, he has made it a metaphor for the joyless in heart.”—Joan Didion
Contributors: Denis Johnson

book image Chocky
John Wyndham
+ Description

“What John Wyndham does so brilliantly is invest quiet suburban streets with menace. The idea of an alien intelligence inhabiting a child is always frightening. But here Wyndham turns a story of ‘possession’ into a touching fable about our profligate use of the planet.” —The Telegraph
Contributors: Margaret Atwood

book image Henri Duchemin and His Shadows
Henri Duchemin and His Shadows
Emmanuel Bove
+ Description

A perfect introduction to Emmanuel Bove, the twentieth-century French poet of the flophouse and the dive who, as Samuel Beckett remarked, possessed an unparalleled "instinct for the essential detail." Henri Duchemin and His Shadows brims with characters who call to mind Herman Melville’s Bartleby, Robert Walser’s “little men,” and Jean Rhys’s lost women.
Contributors: Donald Breckenridge , Alyson Waters

book image Dear Illusion: Collected Stories
Dear Illusion: Collected Stories
Kingsley Amis
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Science fiction, the spy story, the ghost story—all were grist for Amis’s mill, and this original collection shows him at his adventurous best. “[Amis’s stories] are, in the most positive sense, a mixed bag. They are written by a man with plenty of interests in life, a large capacity for changing his mind and containing contrasting, even conflicting opinions within himself. The reader genuinely never knows what is coming next.”—The Spectator
Contributors: Rachel Cusk

book image The Prank: The Best of Young Chekhov
Anton Chekhov
+ Description

In 1880, the young Anton Chekhov set out to edit and publish what he considered his best work. The collection, which was to include illustrations by his brother Nikolay, was censored and never appeared as originally conceived—until now. The Prank is the first appearance of this collection in any language and includes two stories never before published in English as well as Nikolay’s drawings.
Contributors: Nikolay Chekhov , Maria Bloshteyn

book image The Peach Blossom Fan
Peach Blossom Fan
K’ung Shang-jen
+ Description

A grand historical drama about the collapse of the Ming Dynasty, The Peach Blossom Fan, written in 1699, was massively popular in its time and remains one of the most pervasively adapted works in all of Chinese literature. ”Replete with romance, conflicts between loyalty and treachery, a healthy measure of bawdy humor, punning, elegant poetry, moral issues, and popular philosophical currents”—Howard Goldblatt
Contributors: Judith Zeitlin , Chen Shih-hsiang, Harold Acton , Cyril Birch

book image Talk
Linda Rosenkrantz
+ Description

Rosenkrantz's groundbreaking 1968 novel set over the course of the summer spent at the beach offers all the pleasure and startling insight of eavesdropping on the witty and raw conversation between the most intimate of friends. “The pattern of self-revelation is far from coarse: it is eloquent and convincing, with its insights suddenly stumbled upon, its slender bridges of nervous sympathy that join each private island to the threatening outside world.”—The Guardian
Contributors: Stephen Koch

book image The Little Town Where Time Stood Still
Little Town Where Time Stood Still
Bohumil Hrabal
+ Description

A tale at once moving and hilarious about a rural Czechoslovakia town on the brink of a new age. “Hrabal is a most sophisticated novelist, with a gusting humour and a hushed tenderness of detail.” —Julian Barnes
Contributors: Joshua Cohen , James Naughton

book image Naked Earth
Naked Earth
Eileen Chang
+ Description

Part love story, part political drama, Eileen Chang’s novel about war and its ravages in midcentury China is a stunning, tragic work. A young man and a young woman are sent to help peasants on a collective farm. Despite their troubled pasts, a romance blossoms. But spies abound, and their love is threatened—perhaps irrevocably. "Eileen Chang is the fallen angel of Chinese literature."—Ang Lee
Contributors: Perry Link

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