Cantos: A New Directions Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Anne Carson

A preview of the upcoming spring season

with 7 comments

There’s a lot to look forward to in our upcoming spring and summer seasons – Bolaño’s Big Bang, a book-in-a-box, Beat poetry, pigeons and chat rooms, a man with a sexy body and face of a village idiot, Walser’s microscripts, household servants and accidental guests….

Antwerp by Roberto Bolano April
As Bolaño’s friend and literary executor, Ignacio Echevarria, once suggested, Antwerp can be viewed as the Big Bang of Roberto Bolaño’s fictional universe. From this springboard – which Bolaño chose to publish in 2002, twenty years after he’d written in – as if testing out a high dive, he would plunge into the unexplored depths of the modern novel. Antwerp‘s fractured narration in 54 sections – voices from a dream, from a nightmare, from passers-by, from an omniscient narrator, from “Roberto Bolaño” all speak – moves in multiple directions and cuts to the bone.
If you can’t wait, an excerpt can be found in Conjunctions:53. In July, Antwerp will be followed by another Bolaño title, The Return.

Bird Lovers, Backyard by Thalia Field April
Field’s illuminating essays, or stories, in poetic form, place scientists, philosophers, animals, even the military, in real and imagined events. Her open questioning brings in subjects as diverse as pigeons, chat rooms, nuclear testing, the building of the Kennedy Space Center, the development of seaside beaches… Throughout, she intermingles fact and fiction, probing the porous boundaries between human and animal, calling into question “what we are willing to do with words,” and spinning a world where life is haunted by echoes.

Nox by Anne Carson April

Carson’s first book of poetry in five years comes as an accordion-fold-out “book in a box”, a facsimile of a handmade book Anne Carson wrote and created after the death of her brother. The poem describes coming to terms with his loss through the lens of her translation of Poem 101 by Catallus “for his brother who died in the Troad.” Carson pasted old letters, family photos, collages, and sketches on pages.

The Rose Tattoo by Tennessee Williams April
The Rose Tattoo is larger than life–a fable, a Greek tragedy, a comedy, a melodrama–it is a love letter from Tennessee Williams to anyone who has ever been in love or ever will be. Professional widow and dressmaker Serafina delle Rosa has withdrawn from the world, locking away her heart and her sixteen-year-old daughter Rosa. Then one day a man with the sexy body of her late Sicilian husband and the face of a village idiot stumbles into her life and clumsily unlocks Serafina’s fiery anger, sense of betrayal, pride, wit, passions, and eventually her capacious love.

The Literary Conference by César Aira and Everything and Nothing by Jorge Luis Borges May
These two new titles will be released as part of our new ‘Pearl’ series. The Literary Conference focuses on César, a translator fallen on hard times who is also an author and a mad scientist hell-bent on world domination. On a visit to the beach he intuitively solves an ancient riddle, finds a pirate’s treasure, and becomes a very wealthy man. And yet, his bid for world domination comes first and so he attends a literary conference to be near the man whose clone he hopes will lead an army to victory: the world-renowned Mexican author, Carlos Fuentes…. Everything and Nothing collects Borges’ highly influential work – written in the 1930s and ’40s – that forsaw the internet, quantum mechanics, and cloning. In one essay, he discusses the relationship between blindness and poetry. As Roberto Bolaño succinctly said: “I could live under a table reading Borges.”

The Microscripts by Robert Walser May
Robert Walser wrote many of his manuscripts in a highly enigmatic, shrunken-down form. These narrow strips of paper (many of them written during his hospitalization in the Waldau sanatorium) covered with tiny ant-like markings only a millimeter or two high, came to light only after the author’s death in 1956. At first considered a secret code, the microscripts were eventually discovered to be a radically miniaturized form of a German script: a whole story could fit on the back of a business card. Selected from the six-volume German transcriptions from the original microscripts, these 25 short pieces are gathered in this gorgeously illustrated co-publication with the Christine Burgin Gallery. each microscript is reproduced in full color in its original form: the detached cover of a trashy crime novel, a disappointing letter, a receipt of payment.

Not to Disturb by Muriel Spark May
A winter’s night; a luxurious mansion near Geneva; a lucrative scandal. The first to arrive is the secretary dressed in furs with a bundle of cash, then the Baron, and finally the Baroness. They lock themselves in the library with specific instructions not to be disturbed for any reason. Soon, shouts and screams emerge from the library; the Baron’s lunatic brother starts madly howling in the attic; two of the secretary’s friends are left waiting in a car; a reverend’s services are needed for an impromptu wedding–and despite all that the servants obey their orders as they pass the time playing records, preparing dinner, and documenting false testimonies while a twisted murder plot unfolds upstairs.

Other great titles to look forward to:
Mysteriosos and Other Poems by Michael McClure — April
The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas by Dylan Thomas — April
A Splendid Conspiracy by Albert Cossery — May
William Carlos Williams: An American Dad by William Eric Williams — May
The Three Fates by Linda Lê — June
The King of Trees by Ah Cheng — June
From a Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate: Volumes 1-3 by Nathaniel Mackey — July
The Return by Roberto Bolaño — July

View the upcoming covers in full-size at our Flickr account here.


New Directions at the Brooklyn Book Festival

with one comment


Here is what our permissions editor Quinn Marshall had to say:

“For my part, I would say that the event was a very positive experience. Everyone was exhausted by the end of the day, but getting the chance to meet new ND fans and nerd out with all the other bookworms that visited the festival definitely carried us through the day. Of course we also had lots of help from our wonderful interns. Throughout the day they helped to keep things running relatively smoothly. It was a beautiful day and many Brooklynites flocked to Borough Hall (along with others from all over the city I’m sure) to take advantage of a day full of wonderful speakers (including Anne Carson (who I heard was marvelous), Paul Auster, and Michael Palmer (who stopped by just as someone was asking us questions about his books, which, of course, Michael was happy to answer and sign)). We were in great company; the New York Review of Books, Ugly Duckling Press, Akashic, Soft Skull, Archipelago; and many literary magazines, including Granta, Paris Review, Bookforum, etc. all had booths. It was literally astounding to look at the schedule of events and vendor attendees.

Our books definitely rose to the occasion. There was a steady stream of people visiting the ND booth. Throughout the day the table was chock-full of visitors standing shoulder-to-shoulder (often times with another row of people waiting behind them. It was great to see the wide variety of people visiting us: older people, younger people, and people of all nationalities (including a couple Brazilians who were thrilled that Clarice Lispector was enjoying such a renewal of interest due to the recent biography). One elderly gentleman stopped by and asked, “Is this the New Directions founded by Laughlin?” He then started rattling off all our books that he had read, including newer books like the Bolaños (By Night in Chile he said was “basically perfect”) and of course the older classics. I think that guy probably sold 3 books all by himself just among the other people around him listening. It was inspiring to see how much our books meant to people, and how excited they were about what they had yet to read. Everyone’s eyes lit up when they saw Robert Walser’s Microtexts proofs and the Anne Carson’s artbook Nox mock-up.

We sold out of a lot of the books we brought. Big sellers were The Halfway House, Nazi Literature in the Americas, Rings of Saturn, The Tanners, Emigrants, She-Devil in the Mirror, Skating Rink, Melancholy of Resistance, The Armies, By Night in Chile, and Ghosts. The good thing was that even if we had sold out of what someone wanted, they most always found something else to pick up. Everyone was asking for Clarice Lispector in the morning, prompting me to run back to the office to scrounge up what I could. I brought back about a dozen copies of her various books and they all sold out within a few hours. One thing we might consider: we had no bags for people to carry home their purchases (possibly an opportunity to sell tote bags?)

So on the whole, it was a tremendous amount of fun for us, and a fantastic event for ND to participate. It seemed like it meant a lot to people who stopped by. I would definitely put my vote in for participating again next year.”

Written by New Directions

September 24, 2009 at 5:01 pm