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Title Author Description
book image The Pumpkin Eater
Pumpkin Eater
Penelope Mortimer
Mortimer
+ Description

An exquisitely surreal black comedy about marriage, motherhood, and the madness of modern life. "(Mortimer) is the family historian of the smart, go ahead, two-car household which has a double load of private misery packed in each boot." —Robert Pitman, Sunday Express
Contributors: Daphne Merkin

book image Hav
Hav
Jan Morris
Morris
+ Description

In Hav, famed travel-writer Jan Morris takes us on a guided tour through one of the most fascinating places on earth, the fabled city-state of Hav. But don’t be fooled: Hav is like no place on earth. In fact, it is wholly the product of Jan Morris’s prodigious imagination. “Last Letters from Hav,” the first part of this novel, was shortlisted for the Booker prize in 1985. Here Morris adds a second part, bringing the story up to date for the post–9/11 world.
Contributors: Ursula K. Le Guin

book image The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne
Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne
Brian Moore
Moore
+ Description

A deeply sympathetic portrait of a Belfast woman, come down in the world and denied the comforts once granted to her sort (from the Catholic Church, from her genteel friends), who has a shameful secret. This is the book that launched Brian Moore’s career.
Contributors: Mary Gordon

book image The Mangan Inheritance
Mangan Inheritance
Brian Moore
Moore
+ Description

After his movie-star wife dispenses with him, Jamey Mangan decamps to Ireland in search of his roots. After all, he bears an uncanny resemblance to the only known photograph of the famous Irish poète maudit James Clarence Mangan. Filled with pathos and humor, The Mangan Inheritance is a cautionary tale for those seeking their presents in their pasts.
Contributors: Christopher Ricks

book image Walkabout
Walkabout
James Vance Marshall
Marshall
+ Description

“A haunting little idyll in the same vein as A High Wind in Jamaica...tells of two children, a boy and a girl, sole survivors of a plane crash in the Australian bush. Their fragile veneer of modern culture clashes with the primitive soul of a boy who is making his tribal ‘walkabout.’” —Time
Contributors: Lee Siegel

book image Masscult and Midcult: Essays Against the American Grain
Masscult and Midcult
Dwight Macdonald
Macdonald
+ Description

Essayist and provocateur Dwight Macdonald was not afraid to slay sacred cows, and he did so with glee. In this newly gathered collection, Macdonald takes on Ernest Hemingway, James Agee, Tom Wolfe, Webster’s Dictionary, the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, and, most famously, the possibly pernicious ascendancy of popular culture.
Contributors: John Summers , Louis Menand

book image Ride a Cockhorse
Ride a Cockhorse
Raymond Kennedy
Kennedy
+ Description

Who knows why meek, middle-aged Frances suddenly gets a libido, a new hairstyle, the desire to take over the bank that employs her—and a serious case of grandiosity. But it’s a hell of a ride. Raymond Kennedy has created in Ride a Cockhorse a rollicking cautionary tale of small-town demagoguery that prefigures both America’s current financial woes and the rise of the likes of Sarah Palin.
Contributors: Katherine A. Powers

book image The Expendable Man
Expendable Man
Dorothy B. Hughes
Hughes
+ Description

Young doctor Hugh Denismore would seem to have everything going for him. Why then is he the first suspect when a hitchhiking teen goes missing? Dorothy B. Hughes was one of the great novelists of the golden age of noir. Here she not only takes up the subject of American social injustice, she delivers a supremely suspenseful story.
Contributors: Walter Mosley

book image Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age
Dancing Lessons
Bohumil Hrabal
Hrabal
+ Description

An elderly roué, passing a group of sunbathing women, reminisces about the women he has known. Part drunken boast, part confession, part metaphysical poem on the nature of love and time, this astonishing novel (which unfolds in a single monumental sentence) shows why Milan Kundera called Hrabal “our very best writer today.”
Contributors: Adam Thirlwell , Michael Henry Heim

book image Turtle Diary
Turtle Diary
Russell Hoban
Hoban
+ Description

A man and a woman, each isolated, desperate and despairing—and utter strangers to the other—are simultaneously seized with the desire to liberate turtles from the London Zoo. Hoban confronts the dangers of modern life, its disconnect from nature and solipsistic atomization, with a dark eye and a generous spirit.
Contributors: Ed Park