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Jean d'Ormesson, 1925-2017 December 05, 2017

We were saddened to hear of the death of the writer Jean d'Ormesson yesterday. Author of The Glory of the Empire, which won the Grand Prize for fiction from the Académie française, d'Ormesson wrote over thirty books, very few of which have ever been translated into English. Daniel Mendelsohn wrote about the author and his genre-defying Glory of the Empire in the introduction to the NYRB Classics edition of the book:

The temptation to take both the book and its author lightly is one that has been encouraged by d’Ormesson himself, a genial celebrity of the French literary world who enjoys hinting that he never really mastered the serious stuff. “I remained rather good in history and literature, but was always little more than a zero in philosophy,” he wrote in a 1966 memoir called Au revoir et merci, referring to his high-school days in the 1930s at the prestigious École normale supérieure....d’Ormesson’s autobiographical writings are filled with blithe references to his intellectual shortcomings. “I was, alas, an excellent mediocrity,” he laments apropos of his school days; “my life was a little bit useless, like my writing,” he comments somewhere else. Above all, he claims to be chagrined by his failure to master the “queen of sciences.” “Like a man who can possess every woman with the exception of the one he wants, I did a little history, a little German,a little French, but only philosophy, which wouldn’t have me, fascinated me."

D’Ormesson has surely been too hard on himself. To be sure, many of the pleasures provided by The Glory of the Empire are those afforded by popular literature and popular history both: In and of itself, the “history” that d’Ormesson invents, filled with all the high drama, grand gestures, and memorable characters you get in everyone from Herodotus to Arnold Toynbee, makes for a gripping page-turner. And yet, forty-five years after its first publication, what strikes you about The Glory of the Empire is what you could call its philosophical dimension: a clear-eyed vision of history and the pitfalls of writing history that a thinker of more strident ideological and intellectual pretensions might never have achieved.

Read the entire introduction here.

A Life Changed by Dorothy Baker November 01, 2017

This month, on November 27, the NYRB Classics Bookclub at Books are Magic in Brooklyn will be discussing Dorothy Baker's novel Cassandra at the Wedding. David Jelinek, an art teacher and scholar of Baker's work, will be moderating. Jelinek's admiration for Baker's writing goes beyond scholarship, however. Her novels changed his life. Jelinek was kind enough to write a bit about his experience. Just click through for more:

I owe a lot to the NYRB Classics, not the least of which is my marriage to Denise. She and I met ten years ago in the lunchroom of the school where we both teach; we were also married, though obviously not to one another. We shared favorite authors: Proust and Wilde. In the summer of our first year teaching together, the school conveniently asked us both to chaperone students on a European expedition, and the Fates seated us together on the airplane over. At the time, I was reading Stephan Zweig’s The Post-Office Girl. Denise asked if she could read along from my copy. I said yes. On the way back, we did the same with Cassandra at the Wedding. Neither novel is particularly happy, but sometimes hope is born from inopportune circumstances, such as being married to the wrong person. We kept reading.

I admired Dorothy Baker’s writings so much that I bought her other three novels; this required some Internet sleuthing and bidding, as the books were out of print. Baker’s short stories were even more of a struggle to find, as they appear in defunct magazines, lost literary collections and university archives. (Admittedly, the excuse of having to travel to Stanford and Berkeley was none too taxing.) I wrote to NYRB to get Baker’s first novel, Young Man with a Horn, republished and cried a little when it was.

Cassandra is Baker’s masterpiece. It reads like an American version of Ingmar Bergman’s Persona without so much of the Sturm und Drang. Yes, there’s drama, but it uncoils slowly, just as Cassandra journeys to the family ranch or gets drunk during the course of a day. There’s a bit of O’Neill here: “Long Day’s Drive into the Hills”. But there’s wonderfully humorous scenes as well.

The book is dedicated, in memoriam, to the painter David Park. Baker and he were good friends, and Park drew the trumpet that appears on the original cover of Young Man. A playful inscription to him reads, “To David, without whom this book could never have been wrote.” Dorothy was “one of the wittiest people ever,” her daughter Joan emailed, “Sort of a Dorothy Parker type.” David Park’s compositions now grace the NYRB covers of both Baker novels.

With the ability to look at a subject from differing perspectives, Park’s early paintings and Cassandra are influenced by Cubism. Add identical twins, Cassandra and Judith, who co-narrate the story, and the view becomes kaleidoscopic, a fly looking at its own reflection. Early in the novel, Cassandra gazes in the bar mirror and is unsure who is reflected: Cass, Cassie, Judith, Jude or Judy. Indeed, the two women even have alternating names.

It’s a tale told from varying voices narrating the same events, much like Kurosawa’s Rashomon, but also like a duet. The twins share a piano; Dorothy and David were also musical. “One of my fondest memories is David banging out jazz on the piano with my mother belting out the lyrics. What they lacked in talent, they compensated for in volume!” Young Man is loosely based on the life of composer and cornetist Bix Beiderbecke, a native of Davenport, Iowa. Oddly enough, I found myself in Davenport a few years back, asked to officiate at the wedding of Denise’s sister (not that I’m an expert on marriage). My second priority was to locate Bix’s home. Standing outside it, I felt a rush similar to when I held a photograph of Dorothy from Stanford’s library archive.

Events celebrating Elizabeth Hardwick October 13, 2017

Darryl Pinckney, editor of The Collected Essays of Elizabeth Hardwick, will be participating in a few events to mark the publication of this collection. Come out and celebrate the work of this remarkable essayist.

Tuesday, October 17, 7pm
Barnard Hall, Sulzberger Parlor, 3009 Broadway, NYC
With Susan Minot and Saskia Hamilton

Wednesday, October 18, 7:30pm
Brooklyn Public Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn
With Margo Jefferson, Stephanie Danler, and Ian Buruma

Wednesday, November 1, 7pm
Paula Cooper Gallery, 534 W 21st St, NYC
With Sigrid Nunez, co-presented by 192 Books

Sunday, November 19, 11am
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave, NYC

Upcoming Events with Paule Eprile October 12, 2017

Paul Eprile, translator of Jean Giono's Melville—and, previously, Giono's Hill—will be doing a few events to mark the US publication of Melville. We hope to see you at one of them.

A Reading of Melville
Tuesday, October 17, 8pm
City of Asylum, 40 W North Ave, Pittsburgh

Translating Jean Giono: A Conversation
with Alyson Waters and Emmanuelle Artel
Monday, October 23, 7pm
La Maison Française of New York University, 16 Washington Mews, New York

A Discussion of Jean Giono 
with Edmund White
Tuesday, October 24, 7pm
192 Books, 192 10th Ave, New York

Books You Should Read and Gift: 'The Collected Essays of Elizabeth Hardwick' and 'The Doorman's Repose' October 03, 2017

We were excited to find our new book The Collected Essays of Elizabeth Hardwick, selected and with an introduction by Darryl Pinckney, included on Lit Hub's list of "15 Books You Should Read this October." Lit Hub features editor Jess Bergman writes, "[T]his cross-section of Hardwick’s 50-year career renders questions of whether criticism can be art obsolete: Taking in her complicated, flyaway know you couldn’t possibly be looking at anything else." 

If you're getting a head start on holiday shopping, take a look at Publishers Weekly's 2017 Holiday Gift Guide, which includes Chris Raschka's The Doorman's Repose

Visit us at the Brooklyn Book Festival and BBF Children's Day August 21, 2017

On the weekend of September 16th and 17th, NYRB will have booths at the Brooklyn Book Festival and the Brooklyn Book Festival Children's Day. 

The Brooklyn Book Festival Children's Day will be held at MetroTech Commons on Saturday, September 16th, from 10-4. We will have a selection of our children's books available at discounted prices. Also, join us for events with Maira Kalman and Chris Raschka:

At 11am, an event with Maira Kalman, author of Max Makes a Million and Hey Willy, See the Pyramids, will be held at the Picture Book Stage at MetroTech Commons.

At 1pm, Chris Raschka will read from his book The Doorman's Repose and children will be invited to draw and decorate packages that they imagine could be delivered to the doorman's building. The event will be held at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, 6 Metro Tech Center, 4th floor.

At 3pm, Chris Rascka will join Katy Wu, Liniers, Gregg Schigiel, George O’Connor, Misa Saburi, Alix Delinois and Ruth Chan for "Illustrator Smackdown!," a dramatic and hilarious live action drawing competition. 

The Brooklyn Book Festival will be held on Sunday, September 17th, from 10-6:30, at Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza, 209 Joralemon Street. Find us at booth numbers 409 and 410, where we will have discounted books and free issues of The New York Review of Books

'Berlin-Hamlet' and 'Zama' Nominated for National Translation Award August 15, 2017

We are very pleased to announce that two books from our imprints have been shortlisted for the 2017 National Translation Award, which is awarded by The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA).

Berlin-Hamlet (NYRB Poets), by Szilárd Borbély, translated from the Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet, has been nominated in the poetry category. The judges write, "Ottilie Mulzet’s translations render Borbély’s voice and grief palpable and the striking beauty of his poems real."

Zama (NYRB Classics), by Antonio di Benedetto, translated from the Spanish by Esther Allen, has been nominated in the prose category. The judges write, "Esther Allen’s superb translation captures the remarkable atmosphere and existential anguish of di Benedetto’s masterwork."

Congratulations to both of our stellar translators on this honor. The winners will be announced this October.


Megan Abbott and Sarah Weinman on Dorothy B. Hughes at The Mysterious Bookshop August 11, 2017

On Wednesday, August 16, at 6:30pm, Megan Abbott, who wrote the afterword to Dorothy B. Hughes's In a Lonely Placewill be in conversation with Sarah Weinman at The Mysterious Bookshop, 58 Warren Street, New York.

Winner of the Notting Hill Essay Prize Announced June 30, 2017

Congratulations to William Max Nelson, author of the essay "Five Ways of Being a Painting," which has won the 2017 Notting Hill Essay Prize. The judges awarded Nelson's essay for its “its curious mix of the philosophical and the personal, the argumentative and the ruminative, that makes it a real essay.”

The biennial Notting Hill Editions Essay Prize is open to all essays written in English of between 2,000 and 8,000 words, on any subject. The first prize is £20,000 and five runners up each receive £1,000, making it the richest non-fiction prize in the world. Essays by runners-up Laura Esther Wolfson, Garret Keizer, Karen Holmberg, Patrick McGuinness, Dasha Shkurpela are included in the volume. 

Read more about Five Ways of Being a Painting: The Winners of the Third Notting Hill Editions Essay Prize here, and learn more about the Notting Hill Essay Prize on The BookSeller

'Austerity Measures' Reviewed on 'The New Yorker' Page-Turner June 29, 2017

This past week, David Wallace wrote about Austerity Measures for The New Yorker's Page-Turner blog. Of the current relationship between politics and poetry in Greece, he wrote:
For the past decade, the news has been grim, and there is a surplus of poets who have tuned in: ‘Poets writing graffiti on walls, poets reading in public squares, theaters, and empty lots, poets performing in slams, chanting slogans, and singing songs at rallies, poets blogging and posting on the internet, poets teaming up with artists and musicians, poets teaching workshops to schoolchildren and migrants,’ as Karen Van Dyck writes in her introduction to Austerity Measures, an anthology that presents contemporary Greek-language poetry as a thriving community amid the turmoil.
 Included in the article are excerpts from the following poems:
  • "Nightmare Pink," by Elena Penga, translated by Karen Van Dyck
  • "Around the House," by Danae Sioziou, translated by Rachel Hadas
  • "Simple Math," by Yannis Stiggas, translated by Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke
  • "Fuck Armageddon," by Jazra Khaleed, translated by Max Ritvo
  • "Poetry Does Not Suffice," by Statamis Polenakis, translated by A.E. Stallings
Read the entire piece here.
(Thumbnail of illustration by Seb Agresti.)

Tom Kremer, founder of Notting Hill Editions, 1930-2017 June 28, 2017

We were saddened by the death last week of Tom Kremer, founder of Notting Hill Editions and the NHE Essay Prize. Born in Transylvania, Kremer survived the concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen, fought in Israel’s War of Independence, and went on to popularize the Rubik’s Cube, before founding Notting Hill Editions at the age of 80. Kremer died peacefully in his sleep on June 24th. 
Learn more about Kremer’s remarkable life on The Bookseller

Bresson series at Metrograph theater June 07, 2017

If you missed Metrograph's first Bresson series, you're in luck: the theater will screen six of the inimitable director's films between Wednesday, June 7, and Monday, June 12. Visit Metrograph's website for details. 

Bresson on Bresson: Interviews, 1943-1983 is available from New York Review Books and Notes on the Cinematograph by Bresson is available from NYRB Classics. You can find a selection of books from NYRB in Metrograph's bookstore

Metrograph is located at 7 Ludlow Street, New York.

Events with Chris Raschka in Brooklyn May 16, 2017

This weekend, join us for events in Brooklyn with Chris Raschka, author of The Doorman's Repose, an original book from The New York Review Children's Collection. 

On Friday, May 19, at 6pm, celebrate the launch of The Doorman's Repose at Stories Bookshop + Storytelling Lab (458 Bergen Street), where Raschka will read, draw, and sign books. Refreshments will be served. 

On Saturday, May 20, at 11:30am, children can join Raschka for an interactive reading and drawing story time at Greenlight Bookstore's Fort Greene location (686 Fulton Street). 

Raschka will give a second story time on Saturday, May 20, at 1:30pm at Greenlight Bookstore's Prospect Lefferts Gardens location (632 Flatbush Ave). 

Visit our events page for details. 

Translation, Women, and Italian Literature: The Life and Work of Natalia Ginzburg May 10, 2017

On April 28, NYU's Casa Italiana hosted a panel celebrating the life and work of Natalia Ginzburg, author of Family Lexicon. Jenny McPhee, translator of the NYRB Classics edition of the book, spoke with Jhumpa Lahiri, Ann Goldstein, Giovanna Calvino, Lynne Sharon Schwartz, and moderator Ruth Ben-Ghiat. You can watch the full discussion here.

Readings from 'Austerity Measures: The New Greek Poetry' April 28, 2017

In celebration of the end of poetry month, several poets featured in Austerity Measures: The New Greek Poetry sent in videos of themselves reading one of their poems from the anthology. We love that each video has its own distinct style, often reflecting the mood of the poems being read—and there's even a cat (named Djidjika) in one of them and a breathtaking view of the Acropolis in another. We've also thrown in some videos from the launch event for the anthology at McNally Jackson Booksellers in NYC. We have provided the English translations of the poems below each video.

AROUND THE HOUSE by Danae Sioziou

She wasn’t paying attention
maybe she didn’t even notice
she simply continued cutting
beyond the pears she was peeling
her hands

Blood ran gently
from the lines of fate
of life of love
and into the sink
and swirled around among the dirty dishes
and the scraps of food

Her cat, uneasy,
ran up to her
and with sincere fellow feeling
licked her wounds
while she

for a split second
saw herself
through its glassy cat eyes
a stranger

imprisoned in a filthy cage
a ceiling without sunrise
little beetles on the floor
in the sink a dark lake
she soaked her hands in
and now it shines, crowned with
the white frost of detergent

From the depths of the sink
rise full moons brilliant white
she thought
let me at least
finish the dishes today

(trans. by Rachel Hadas)

NOON by Moma Radic

You await
the rain like a finger
you invite the clouds
bearing vacant

The face of your heart
slips like a snail

And all things that glow
feet of snakes arms bodies
in sweat

leave traces

(Trans. by Chloe Haralambous and Moira Egan)


FISH by Elena Penga

Take a look at that. The fish change color. When the male
gets excited he turns black. He rises to the surface with
the female, and as soon as they have sex, he turns silver
again. There are so many and they’re so excited, it looks
like lights flickering on and off. See them?
We’re so high up. I can’t see anything.
Can you see the fishermen?
Yes. I hate them.
Because they catch fish. They’re not at all friendly.
That’s the way fishermen are. They’re not friendly. They’re
superstitious. If they take you out fishing and catch a lot
of fish, they take you out again. Then they want to take
you out all the time.

(Trans. by Karen Van Dyck)

THE DOGS by Stathis Antoniou

A road sign indicated that he was entering an inhabited
region. He wondered how people would choose to settle in
such a repulsive place.

Just before the first house, his headlights lit on a red
cloth caught in branches, a dress that dangled as if the
trees had taken a woman and were now showing their

He lowered his speed.

Wild grasses choked the yards. Teenagers looked at him,
weighing his worth in change. Instead of windows, broken
glass everywhere.

The smell of burnt meat wafted in the emptiness between
the houses. The walls were scrawled with slogans. The
happiest sight: two middle-aged men playing a board game,
sitting on paint cans.

Although there was no garbage, the roads were dirty.
The houses were lit by old lamps that hung like gouged
eyes from the beams.

What sense of beauty could somebody have growing up

Although he was glad that he had seen this place, he felt
relief when the houses began to thin out.

Three dogs started to bark, running beside the wheels
of his car. This had happened many times before, but
something was different now, something in their bark.
While he always had the feeling that stray dogs were after
him, these were demanding what the inhabitants were too
embarrassed to say. They were begging him to stay, to share
their loneliness.

(Translated by Karen Van Dyck)


ASH PERSON by Hiva Pinahi

Dreams come from far away places
The stones, the birds and I take on new forms of life
Dreams have their own road
And we live far away these days, like dreams.

(Trans. by Maria Margaronis)

MY CHILDREN by Stathis Baroutsos

My children live in shacks beneath the filthy planks.
They cannot see the light that burns upon them; they
cannot breathe the broken window air.
My children live like insects, hooded blind in large
green leaves.
Their exit is not safe.
The large green arms do hold them dear beneath the
cage of wood the sun impales.
Within their nests they whisper answers only to
While burning suns attack with beams like knives,
their green embrace
Does hold them safer still beneath the barrack floors
They answer only to Chopin.
And so like this they measure time in nectar’s dark
until the waltz begins.

(Trans. by Karen Van Dyck)


Medusas and coral
live far
from here.
Our Liliputian fate
the last vestiges
of water
in the palm
of our hand.
No boat
passes by here
no white sail, just the slightest
caught in your hair
as you flee.
Medusas and coral
live far
from here. Our dream
crumbling walls.
How many years since
someone knocked?
Our Liliputian fate
leaves room
for the last vestiges
of water.
At night
we dig a well
taking turns
– Muzë muzikë muzg –
we mutter
Always strangers, you say
the medusas and coral
you promised me,
the virgin water,
I’ll never see them.
Oh God, how many years
of bracelets grasping
crumbling walls?
How many years without a single knock?
The curtain closes like myth
That house
I do not belong to
that does not belong to me . . .

(Trans. by Karen Van Dyck)


Not me, not my face
not what’s hiding
under my shirt.
I speak up though I know my voice
will drown in the icebox
where frozen animals

Who cares if it exists or not.

In the racket I raise my hands
to the heavens.
How beautiful the angels are
with their sad eyes watching us.

(Trans. by Karen Van Dyck)

For Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke

her chest
her shadow
her deep hand,

because since childhood
she’s been playing he loves me,
he loves me not
with the feather-down of angels.

She doesn’t do it for the answer,

she does it to keep them near.

(Trans. by Stephanos Papadopoulos)


‘O you dig and I dig
and I dig inside myself towards you’
—Paul Celan

One day as he was digging,
he reached
his mother’s snowy mouth,
the long braids of his ancestors.
Another day he passed
the water’s roots

the stones

the flames

the trials he endured

left him
with a scorched cloud in his gaze,

a trouble with the wind


a manic breathlessness

‘the depth’ he said
‘the depth to the point of exhaustion
is my language
and my country.’

And then he emerged into a place
full of trees and rivers and birds

and he was ecstatic

until a military command was heard:
‘Quick – fall into position,
report to the mess hall’

and the trees
and rivers
and birds disappeared.

Only the Seine remained
looking into his eyes.

(Trans. by Stephanos Papadopoulos)


SELF-WINDING by Yannis Stiggas

There are so many cogs
I’ll never find
how the Spring was bloodied
and so I spit
on my childhood green,
the dream’s last button.

Naked, things
happen faster.
By the time you begin
you can already smell the end.

Springtime is a black litany
kicking me to become

my entire thirst.

(let them say it’s about masquerade)

I don’t want to be called Yannis any more

I want two drams
of blind-white luck
even if it’s only

every Wednesday.

(Trans. by Stephanos Papadopoulos)

LET DOWN THE CHAIN by Glykeria Basdeki

To drag up
the bones

The ropes

Don’t even think
about it darling

No miracles
for you

Even if you’re
the master builder’s

No one’s got
in Bondageville

(Trans. by Karen Van Dyck)


Don’t say you didn’t want peacock wings,
a dress that swept across the waltz floor.
And if your tiara stole the show in a heartbeat
when the boldest of all stared you down
don’t say he was the conqueror;

he was on his knees.

(Trans. by Karen Van Dyck)


No, sir, you are confusing me with someone else
It was not I
in the yellow taxi
nor did I ever sit in the back seat with you
It was not snowing, I am certain about that
and no, flakes did not fall into my hair
On the contrary, I did not have hair
You never kissed me, otherwise I would have
    remembered it
And if you had kissed me, I was, at any rate, not there,
Nor did the driver even once turn back his head
Silently he crossed the lake until the end
and now and then the oar dipped
into the black waters all around

(Translated by A. E. Stallings)

Events for Natalia Ginzburg's 'Family Lexicon' April 25, 2017

This Friday, April 28, at 6pm, a panel on the life and work of Natalia Ginzburg, author of Family Lexicon, will take place at NYU's Casa Italiana (24 W 12th St, New York). The panel will feature Jenny McPhee, translator of the NYRB Classics edition of Family Lexicon, Jhumpa Lahiri, Ann Goldstein, Giovanna Calvino, Lynne Sharon Schwartz, and will be moderated by Ruth Ben-Ghiat. For details, visit the Casa Italiana website or the event page on Facebook

On Tuesday, May 9, at 7pm, a discussion of Family Lexicon will be held at Book Culture (536 W 112th St, New York) with Jenny McPhee, Peg Boyers, and Alexander Stille. For more information, visit Book Culture's website.

'Like Death' reviewed by Nicholas Lezard in 'The Guardian' April 13, 2017

Like Death, written by Guy de Maupassant and translated from the French by Richard Howard, was recently reviewed in The Guardian by Nicholas Lezard. He writes: 

"You can practically hear the rustling of the ladies’ silks, or catch the sobs that are such a feature of the erotic lives of high society...And my God, is it sexy. This is a love in which intellect and emotion are at play at the same time. There is passion and there is calculation...Drink deeply of this intoxicating, heady work."

Like Death is published by NYRB Classics, and a Reading Group Guide for the book is available on our website. View other Classics reading guides here

NYR Comics at MoCCA and a conversation with Blutch March 31, 2017

If you are attending MoCCA in New York this weekend, be sure to stop by the NYR Comics table, F 202. Also, catch Peplum author Blutch in conversation with graphic novelist David Mazzucchelli (Asterios Polyp) at 2 p.m. on April 1, at the Kimpton Ink48 Hotel, 653 11th Ave. 

NYRB Classics finalists for the French-American Foundation and the Florence Gould Foundation's 30th Annual Translation Prize March 20, 2017

We are excited to announce that Paris Vagabond, written by Jean-Paul Clébert and translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith, and In the Café of Lost Youth, written by Patrick Modiano and translated by Chris Clarke, are finalists for the  French-American Foundation and the Florence Gould Foundation's 30th Annual Translation Prize. To learn more about the prize, visit the French-American Foundation's website.

April Events with French cartoonist Blutch March 16, 2017

Join NYR Comics for events this April with Blutch, author of Peplum and a giant of contemporary comics. Blutch will be in conversation with David Mazzucchelli at MoCCA, sign books at Desert Island in Williamsburg, make an appearance at the New York Comics & Picture-story Symposium, and more. Visit our events page for details.

March NYRB Events March 13, 2017

This March, join NYRB for events with Eugene Ostashevsky, author of The Pirate Who Does Not Know the Value of Pi; Karen Van Dyck, translator and editor of Austerity Measures: The New Greek Poetry; Estelle Gilson, translator of Umberto Saba's Ernesto; and for a discussion of Benjamin Fondane during the London Book Fair. 

Events will be held in New York, California, Rhode Island, London, and Paris. Visit our events page to learn more.


NYRB at AWP 2017 February 01, 2017

If you're planning to attend AWP at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., next week (February 9th-11th), stop by our booth #636 for discounted books and free copies of The New York Review of Books

NYRB at MLA 2017 January 06, 2017

If you're attending MLA at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia this week, be sure to stop by our booth (#514) for discounted books and free copies of The New York Review of Books.

The Best of NYRB 2016 December 20, 2016

2016 was a good year for New York Review Books, and we want to thank you, dear readers, for your support. We're thrilled to find our books on 2016's "Best of" lists, and wanted to share the highlights. 

Iza's Ballad by Magda Szabó was included in The New York Times Book Review's "100 Notable Books of 2016."

Mark Lilla's The Shipwrecked Mind: On Political Reaction received a rave review from John Banville in The Guardian, and was one of his picks for The Irish Times's "Our Favourite Books of 2016" list. 

Simon Schama chose Magda Szabó's The Doorone of The New York Times "10 Best Books of 2015"—for Financial Times's "Best Books of 2016."

Patrick Modiano's In the Café of Lost Youth made The Boston Globe's "Best Books of 2016" list. 

For the TLS's Books of the Year, Michael Hofmann chose Alfred Hayes's My Face for the World to See, Leo Robson named Henry Green's Caught, and Adam Thirlwell mentioned Eve Babitz's Slow Days, Fast Company. 

J.H. Prynne's The White Stones, from our NYRB Poets imprint, is on the Chicago Tribune's "Best Poetry Books of 2016" list. 

Peplum by Blutch, from our NYR Comics imprint, was on NPR's Guide to 2016's Greatest Reads and The Globe and Mail's "Globe 100: Best Books of the Year."

Rachel Cooke selected Soft City by Pushwagner and What Am I Doing Here? by Abner Dean for the Observer's (UK) best graphic books of 2016, and The New York Times Book Review also chose Soft City for its list of "The Season's Best New Graphic Novels." 

Agony by Mark Beyer and Peplum by Blutch were included in The A.V. Club's "Best Comics of 2016." The A.V. Club also included Patrick Modiano's In the Café Our Lost Youth on their "Favorite Books of 2016" list. 

The Guardian's Nicholas Lezard chose John Aubrey, My Own Life by Ruth Scurr and Cyclogeography: Journeys of a London Bicycle Courier by Jon Day, from Notting Hill Editions, as two favorites from 2016. John Aubrey was also included on The Believer's "Favorite Books of 2016."

Kirsty Gunn's My Katherine Mansfield Project (Notting Hill Editions) was selected by Deborah Levy and Amit Chaudhuri for The Guardian's "Best Books of 2016." Chaudhuri also selected Cesar Pavese's The Moon and the Bonfires

Paul Giamatti Presents Selected Shorts from NYRB Classics November 21, 2016

On Wednesday, December 7, at 7:30pm, Paul Giamatti will present an evening of short fiction from NYRB Classics at Symphony Space's Selected Shorts. Performers will include Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm in the Middle), Billy Porter (Kinky Boots), and Kathryn Erbe (Law & Order: Criminal Intent). For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit Symphony Space's website.

Essay Panel with Kirsty Gunn, Phillip Lopate, Daniel Mendelsohn, and Michele Filgate November 16, 2016

Join us at the Astoria Bookshop (31-29 31st Street, Astoria) this Thursday, November 17, at 7pm, for a panel on essay writing with Kirsty Gunn, Daniel Mendelsohn, and Phillip Lopate, with Michele Filgate as moderator. The evening will also be a celebration of the US publication of Gunn's book My Katherine Mansfield Project. For more information, visit Astoria Bookshop's website.

Mark Lilla discusses the presidential election and reactionary politics October 18, 2016

Join Mark Lilla, author of The Shipwrecked Mind: On Political Reaction, for these upcoming conversations with special guests about the origins of reactionary politics and the 2016 Presidential Election. Books will be available for sale and to be signed at each of these events.

Wednesday, November 2, 7pm
Community Bookstore
143 7th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Mark Lilla and George Packer discuss the 2016 Presidential Election. Free. More info here.

Thursday, November 3, 7pm
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 5th Ave (at 34th St), New York City
Mark Lilla delivers the 2016 Irving Howe Memorial Lecture. The event will be live-streamed here. Presented with the Center for Humanities. Free. Click here for more info.

Two more chances to hear Ruth Scurr discuss 'John Aubrey, My Own Life' September 22, 2016

If you missed Ruth Scurr's events for her book John Aubrey, My Own Life, in New York and Cambridge, you can still hear her discuss and read from the book at events this week and next. 

Tonight, September 22, at 7 p.m., Scurr will be in conversation with fellow historian Amanda Foreman at Book Culture on Columbus (450 Columbus Ave, New York). Read more about the event here

On Monday, September 26, at 7:30 p.m., Scurr will discuss John Aubrey, My Own Life with Anthony Grafton at the Free Library of Philadelphia (1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia). More information here

NYRB at the Brooklyn Book Festival August 24, 2016

Join NYRB at this year's Brooklyn Book Festival, starting with Children's Day on September 17th and then the main festival on September 18th. 

On Children's Day (9/17) find us at booth 20, in the Metrotech Commons of Downtown Brooklyn, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., where we'll have an assortment of our children's books at discounted prices.

On Sunday, September 18th, stop by booths 309 and 310 at the main Brooklyn Book Festival at 209 Joralemon Street, where we’ll have books at discounted prices, free copies of the latest issue of The New York Review of Books, and more.

At 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, cartoonist and Almost Completely Baxter author Glen Baxter will join cartoonists Ben Katchor (Cheap Novelties) and Emily Flake (Mama Tried) on a panel titled "Hey, Some Comics Are Still Funny!" moderated by "Connie to the Wonnie" web cartoonist Connie Sun. The panel will be held at the Brooklyn Historical Society Auditorium, 128 Pierrepont Street. 

NYRB at the 2016 Small Press Flea July 26, 2016

This Saturday, July 30, come visit us at the 2016 Small Press Flea outside the Brooklyn Public Library at 10 Grand Army Plaza. The Flea is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and we will have giveaways and books at discounted prices.

Praise for Otfried Preussler's 'The Robber Hotzenplotz' July 22, 2016

We were pleased to receive a starred review from School Library Journal for The New York Review Children's Collection edition of Otfried Preussler's The Robber Hotzenplotz: 

"Both wonderfully timeless and quirky, this unconventional adventure will delight its audience and belongs in most collections.” —School Library Journal

The New York Review Children's Collection publishes Preussler's Krabat and the Sorcerer's Mill, The Little Water Sprite, The Little Witch, and The Robber Hotzenplotz. To learn more about Otfried Preussler, one of Germany's most beloved children's authors, visit his author page

Praise for 'The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe' by D.G. Compton July 15, 2016

GQ Magazine recently listed D.G. Compton's dark, futuristic novel, The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe, as a "must read" for the month of July. Kevin Nguyen writes of Compton's book, "Considering Katherine Mortenhoe was originally published in 1974, the book is eerily relevant in a world where we’ve surrendered so much of our personal information to tech giants like Facebook and Google. It also reads like something written today, which is impressive for something written yesterday about tomorrow."

See the entire must-read list here.

Father's Day Books from NYRB June 13, 2016

This Father's Day, share books from NYRB with your dad. We recommend Twenty Days with Julian & Little Bunny by Papa, Nathaniel Hawthorne's tender and funny reflection on three weeks spent with his five-year-old son, with an introduction by Paul Auster. For read alouds, we suggest William McCleery's Wolf Story (with illustrations by Warren Chappell), a book about a father, his son, and a perpetual bedtime (and other times) story about a not-so-canny wolf and his desired dinner, a hen.


Read about Garth Williams, illustrator of The Rescuers, on Page-Turner June 03, 2016

Want to learn more about Garth Williams, who illustrated The Rescuers, Stuart Little, and Charlotte's Web? We recommend Sarah Larson's article on Williams, and the new biography of the illustrator out this month, on the New Yorker's Page-Turner blog

The New York Review Children's Collection publishes The Rescuers in hardcover, and this September we'll publish a paperback edition in our new NYRB Kids series. 

Read 'Young Once' by Patrick Modiano with Shakespeare & Co. NYC's Book Club May 31, 2016

On Tuesday, June 7, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Shakespeare & Co. (93 Lexington Ave, New York) will host a book club conversation about Patrick Modiano's Young Once, published by NYRB Classics. Translator Damion Searls will join the discussion.

To participate, please RSVP to or in the store. Visit Shakespeare & Co.'s website for more information. 


Celebrate the new NYRB Classics section at Book Culture NYC May 03, 2016

On Tuesday, May 17, at 7 p.m., join us at Book Culture (536 W. 112th St, New York) to toast the store's new NYRB Classics section, which will include the complete series—all 430 titles.

Series editor Edwin Frank will give remarks, along with other introducers, authors, and translators of NYRB Classics. We hope to see you there! 

Download Reading Group Guides for NYRB Classics April 25, 2016

We've added new guides to our collection of Reading Group Guides for NYRB Classics. Visit the guide page to download sets of questions, with suggestions for further reading and viewing.

Recent additions include guides for Barbara Comyn's Our Spoons Came from Woolworths, John Ehle's The Land Breakers, and Benito Pérez Galdós's Tristana. Guides for Vicki Baum's Grand Hotel and Patrick Modiano's In the Café of Lost Youth and Young Once are coming soon. 

Elizabeth Willis’s ‘Alive’: A 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry Finalist April 19, 2016

Elizabeth Willis’s collection Alive: New and Selected Poems was selected as one of two finalists for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. In their citation for Alive, the jury wrote “A book worthy of its title in which the poet calls readers to look deep within themselves and regard anew the struggle to live.”



NYRB Classics series editor Edwin Frank interviewed on The Paris Review's Daily blog and Lit Hub April 11, 2016

Last week, Edwin Frank discussed his greatest literary rediscoveries, the history of the Classics series, and the success of John Williams's Stoner and Magda Szabó's The Door, among other topics, with Susannah Hunnewell on The Paris Review's blog. You can read their conversation here

Frank was also interviewed by Yongxi Wu of Lit Hub. Read their discussion about John Williams, Frank's personal connection with Stoner, and American academic life here

Meet Linda Rosenkrantz, author of Talk, at AWP March 31, 2016

On Saturday, April 2, at 2:30 p.m. Linda Rosenkrantz will sign copies of Talk at New York Review Books's AWP booth, #1029, Los Angeles Convention Center. 

Praise for Really the Blues in The Wall Street Journal March 21, 2016

In the March 19-20, 2016, issue of The Wall Street Journal, Martin Riker reviewed the NYRB Classics edition of Mezz Mezzrow and Bernard Wolfe's Really the Blues. Read an excerpt below, and the rest of the Riker's review here

“American counter-culture classic Really the Blues [is] a stylized oral history that anticipates the Beat novel…Really the Blues is part quixotic adventure novel, part inside-scoop…Mezzrow’s voice is funny, impulsive, full of itself and often spectacularly scatological….Listening to “Mezz” is tremendous fun…the book’s true literary inheritance is its style…one of the great, flawed, jubilant, jive-talking characters of American literature.” —Martin Riker, The Wall Street Journal

Margaret Jull Costa commended by Premio Valle Inclán prize judges February 22, 2016

Congratulations to Margaret Jull Costa, who was recently honored with a commendation by the judges of the Premio Valle Inclán prize for translation from the Spanish for her translation of Tristana by Benito Peréz Galdós. The judges wrote: "An excellent, modernising translation of a light, slightly mocking novel - a classic - once filmed by Buñuel."

This is the fourth time that Jull Costa has been commended for her translation work by the Premio Valle Inclán prize panel and she has been awarded the prize three times.

'Hill' Reviewed in 'Publishers Weekly' February 19, 2016

We're pleased to share an excerpt from Publishers Weekly's review of Jean Giono's Hill, which NYRB Classics will reissue in a new translation by Paul Eprile, with an introduction by David Abram, in April 2016:

"In this 1929 classic, an elegiac ode to Provence, Giono tells a simple tale of peasants living in a valley...Giono describes every element of the surrounding French landscape in luscious detail, but it is the hill that physically and spiritually dominates the land. Giono delights in watching his characters interact and go about their business of drinking wine, making up stories, and contemplating normal human unhappiness...The ultimate gift of Giono’s short novel is that it allows the reader to travel back to a distant, almost primitive time in rural France."

Read the rest of the review here

Event with Madeline G. Levine, translator of 'The Memoir of the Warsaw Uprising' February 05, 2016

Madeline G. Levine, who translated the NYRB Classics edition of Miron Białoszewski's A Memoir of the Warsaw Uprising, will be speaking about the art of translation on Thursday, February 11, at 7pm at Fact and Fiction Bookstore in Missoula, Montana. For more information about the evening, visit the Fact and Fiction website here.

'After the Tall Timber' on shortlist for PEN/Diamonstein-Spielgvogel Award for the Art of the Essay February 03, 2016

Renata Adler's collection After the Tall Timber has been shortlisted for the 2016 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. The award is given "for a book of essays...that exemplifies the dignity and esteem that the essay form imparts to literature." The winner will be announced at the 2016 PEN Literary Awards Ceremony on April 11.

Helen Macdonald on 'Lolly Willowes' in 'The New York Times Sunday Book Review' February 02, 2016

In the January 28, 2016 issue of The New York Times Sunday Book Review, Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk, named Sylvia Townsend Warner's Lolly Willowes as one of the last great books she has read. Here's Macdonald on the book, published by NYRB Classics:

"It tells the story of a woman who rejects the life that society has fixed for her in favor of freedom and the most unexpected of alliances. It completely blindsided me: Starting as a straightforward, albeit beautifully written family saga, it tips suddenly into extraordinary, lucid wildness." 

Read the rest of Helen Macdonald's "By the Book" interview here

Leonard Gardner interviewed on Radio Open Source February 01, 2016

Last month, Max Larkin interviewed Fat City author Leonard Gardner on Radio Open Source. Their conversation covered the similarities between boxing and writing, what makes a boxer, and more. Of Fat City, Larkin says:

“There’s something special about Fat City… It’s a book about boxing on its surface, but it’s a book that seems to sum up a whole world of American literature before it. Steinbeck’s books of field work—Grapes of Wrath, In Dubious Battle—it seems to capture a little bit of Hemingway, and the Hemingway hero… It’s got a lot of noir to it, a lot of hard-boiled fatalistic California stories, but there's also a little anticipation of Rocky. It’s not about champion boxing, it’s just about boxing as a way to get out the drudgery of Stockton, California. About trying to be somebody."

Listen to the full interview here

Sasha Abramsky's 'The House of Twenty Thousand Books' is on the Longlist of the Jewish Quarterly’s Wingate Prize January 12, 2016

We're pleased to announce that Sasha Abramsky's The House of Twenty Thousand Books has made the Longlist of the Jewish Quarterly’s Wingate Prize. The Wingate Prize is the only UK literary prize to honor a nonfiction or fiction book that "translates the idea of Jewishness to the general reader." The shortlist will be announced in February. For more information, visit the Jewish Quarterly's website

Abramsky's memoir of his extraordinary polymath grandfather also received an honorable mention from the judges of the Sophie Brody Medal, awarded by the Reference and Users Association, a division of the American Library Association. Read more on ALA's website