The Largesse of the Sea Maiden
Twenty-five years after Jesus’ Son, a haunting new collection of short stories on aging, mortality, and transcendence, from National Book Award winner and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Denis Johnson The Largesse of the Sea Maiden is the long-awaited new story collection from Denis Johnson. It follows the groundbreaking, highly acclaimed Jesus’ Son. Written in the same luminous prose, this collection finds Johnson in new territory, contemplating old age, mortality, the ghosts of the past, and the elusive and unexpected ways the mysteries of the universe assert themselves. Finished shortly before Johnson’s death in May 2017, this collection is the last word from a writer whose work will live on for many years to come. Praise for Denis Johnson “Denis Johnson was the best American writer of the past twenty-five years.”—New Republic “He was the kind of writer who comes along once in a generation, if that often: a true original, in the same league as Melville and Whitman.”—n+1 “A true American artist . . . a revelator for this still new century.”—The New York Times “The God I want to believe in has a voice and a sense of humor like Denis Johnson’s.”—Jonathan Franzen “Nobody wrote with more brutality and mercy, more hilarity and grace. What a genius he was.”—Elizabeth McCracken “Our most poetic American short-story writer since Hemingway.”—George Saunders “Prose of amazing power and stylishness.”—Philip Roth “When Denis Johnson is justly praised for his voice, I always think, just the one? He has an eerie symphony at his command.”—Karen Russell “His prose tiptoes a tightrope between peace and calamity.”—Anthony Doerr “His lonely spaces and stunned lives have a hair-trigger fascination that is American to the core.”—Don DeLillo “Denis Johnson was and is, without question, significant and great.”—Michael Cunningham
The Best American Short Stories 2015
In his introduction to this one hundredth volume of the beloved Best American Short Stories, guest editor T. C. Boyle writes, “The Model T gave way to the Model A and to the Ferrari and the Prius . . . modernism to postmodernism and post-postmodernism. We advance. We progress. We move on. But we are part of a tradition.” Boyle’s choices of stories reflect a vibrant range of characters, from a numb wife who feels alive only in the presence of violence to a new widower coming to terms with his sudden freedom, from a missing child to a champion speedboat racer. These stories will grab hold and surprise, which according to Boyle is “what the best fiction offers, and there was no shortage of such in this year’s selections.” Mulling over the question of character likability, series editor Heidi Pitlor asks, “Did I like these characters? I very much liked reading their stories, as did T. C. Boyle.” Here are characters who “are living, breathing people who screw up terribly and want and need and think uneasy thoughts.” T. C. BOYLE, guest editor, has published fifteen novels and ten collections of short stories. He won the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1988 for his novel World’s End and the Prix Médicis étranger for The Tortilla Curtain in 1995, as well as the 2014 Henry David Thoreau Prize for excellence in nature writing. His most recent book is the novel The Harder They Come. HEIDI PITLOR, series editor, is a former senior editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She is the author of the novels The Birthdays and The Daylight Marriage.
New American Stories
In New American Stories, the beautiful, the strange, the melancholy, and the sublime all comingle to show the vast range of the American short story . In this remarkable anthology, Ben Marcus has corralled a vital and artistically singular crowd of contemporary fiction writers. Collected here are practitioners of deep realism, mind-blowing experimentalism, and every hybrid in between. Luminaries and cult authors stand side by side with the most compelling new literary voices. Nothing less than the American short story renaissance distilled down to its most relevant, daring, and unforgettable works, New American Stories puts on wide display the true art of an American idiom.
The Laughing Monsters
Denis Johnson's The Laughing Monsters is a high-suspense tale of kaleidoscoping loyalties in the post-9/11 world that shows one of our great novelists at the top of his game. Roland Nair calls himself Scandinavian but travels on a U.S. passport. After ten years' absence, he returns to Freetown, Sierra Leone, to reunite with his friend Michael Adriko. They once made a lot of money here during the country's civil war, and, curious to see whether good luck will strike twice in the same place, Nair has allowed himself to be drawn back to a region he considers hopeless. Adriko is an African who styles himself a soldier of fortune and who claims to have served, at various times, the Ghanaian army, the Kuwaiti Emiri Guard, and the American Green Berets. He's probably broke now, but he remains, at thirty-six, as stirred by his own doubtful schemes as he was a decade ago. Although Nair believes some kind of money-making plan lies at the back of it all, Adriko's stated reason for inviting his friend to Freetown is for Nair to meet Adriko's fiancée, a grad student from Colorado named Davidia. Together the three set out to visit Adriko's clan in the Uganda-Congo borderland—but each of these travelers is keeping secrets from the others. Their journey through a land abandoned by the future leads Nair, Adriko, and Davidia to meet themselves not in a new light, but rather in a new darkness.
Jesus' Son is a visionary chronicle of dreamers, addicts, and lost souls. These stories tell of spiralling grief and transcendence, of rock bottom and redemption, of getting lost and found and lost again. The narrator of these interlinked stories is a young, unnamed man, reeling from his addiction to heroin and alcohol, his mind at once clouded and made brilliantly lucid by these drugs. In the course of his adventures, he meets an assortment of people, who seem as alienated and confused as he; sinners, misfits, the lost, the damned, the desperate and the forgotten. Our of their bleak, seemingly random lives, Denis Johnson creates modern-day parables of a harsh and devastating beauty.
Alvirah Meehan, the lottery winner turned amateur sleuth, and her husband Willy, private detective Regan Reilly, her new husband Jack, and Regan's parents are all guests on the Royal Mermaid's maiden voyage, the Santa Cruise. The ship's passengers include members of the Oklahoma Readers and Writers group - who are planning a mystery seminar dedicated to a Ghost of Honour, the late Left Hook Louie - as well as assorted other charitable folk all planning on a restful post-Christmas vacation. What the guests don't know is that two escaping criminals have been smuggled on board. The hoped-for tranquility quickly vanishes when a terrified mystery fan swears she has spotted the Ghost of Honour in the ship's chapel, and soon after - while a storm develops outside - an attempt is made on the life of a feeble passenger. As the Royal Mermaid sails on through troubled waters, Alvirah, Regan and Jack are uncovering clues that lead them to dangerous criminals.
Tree of Smoke
Tree of Smoke – the name given to a ‘psy op’ that might or might not be hypothetical and might or might not be officially sanctioned – is Denis Johnson’s most gripping, visionary and ambitious work to date. Set in south-east Asia and the US, and spanning two decades, it ostensibly tells the story of Skip Sands, a CIA spy who may or may not be engaged in psychological operations against the Viet Cong -- but also takes the reader on a surreal yet vivid journey, dipping in and out of characters’ lives to reveal fundamental truths at the heart of the human condition. ‘A Catch-22 for our times’ Alan Warner, Books of the Year, Observer 'The God I want to believe in has a voice and a sense of humour like Denis Johnson's' Jonathan Franzen ‘An epic of drenched sensuality and absurdly chewable dialogue, as though Don DeLillo and Joseph Heller had collaborated on a Vietnam war novel’ Steven Poole, Books of the Year, New Statesman
The Only Astrology Book You ll Ever Need
This new edition of The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need is packed with updated information on Sun signs, Moon signs, Ascending signs, the placement of Planets in your Houses, and the latest astronomical discoveries. This book provides the compatibility between every sign (144 combinations) and dispenses advice about health, money, lifestyle, and romance, while also offering advice on dealing with the negative aspects of each sign. This edition also takes an even closer look at the inner life of the individual and the emotional needs that motivate a person. Chapters include a look back on the history and mythology of astrology as well as the newest developments in astronomy. This is an indispensable source book for unlocking the mysteries of the cosmos through the twenty-first century and beyond.
A Night to Remember
#1 New York Times Bestseller: The definitive account of the sinking of the Titanic, based on interviews with survivors. At first, no one but the lookout recognized the sound. Passengers described it as the impact of a heavy wave, a scraping noise, or the tearing of a long calico strip. In fact, it was the sound of the world’s most famous ocean liner striking an iceberg, and it served as the death knell for 1,500 souls. In the next two hours and forty minutes, the maiden voyage of the Titanic became one of history’s worst maritime accidents. As the ship’s deck slipped closer to the icy waterline, women pleaded with their husbands to join them on lifeboats. Men changed into their evening clothes to meet death with dignity. And in steerage, hundreds fought bitterly against certain death. At 2:15 a.m. the ship’s band played “Autumn.” Five minutes later, the Titanic was gone. Based on interviews with sixty-three survivors, Lord’s moment-by-moment account is among the finest books written about one of the twentieth century’s bleakest nights.
Robert Grainer is a day labourer in the American West at the start of the twentieth century - an ordinary man in extraordinary times. Shipped by train in 1893 into the woods of the Idaho panhandle, he grows up, works on logging gangs, falls in love, and loses his wife and baby daughter to a particularly pernicious wildfire. Derailed by the loss of his family, Grainer struggles to make sense of this strange new world. As his story unfolds, we witness both his shocking personal defeats and the radical changes that transform America in his lifetime. Suffused with the history and landscapes of the American West, Train Dreams captures the disappearance of a distinctly American way of life.