View your shopping cart.

Banner Message

Please note that online availability does not reflect stock in store!

Please check your SPAM folder for communications from us- for some reason our messages are being sent there more than usual :(

Nonfiction

Writers Map: An Atlas of Imaginary Lands

Writers Map: An Atlas of Imaginary Lands

$45.00
More Info
It's one of the first things we discover as children, reading and drawing: Maps have a unique power to transport us to distant lands on wondrous travels. Put a map at the start of a book, and we know an adventure is going to follow. Displaying this truth with beautiful full-color illustrations, The Writer's Map is an atlas of the journeys that our most creative storytellers have made throughout their lives. This magnificent collection encompasses not only the maps that appear in their books but also the many maps that have inspired them, the sketches that they used while writing, and others that simply sparked their curiosity.

Philip Pullman recounts the experience of drawing a map as he set out on one of his early novels, The Tin Princess. Miraphora Mina recalls the creative challenge of drawing up "The Marauder's Map" for the Harry Potter films. David Mitchell leads us to the Mappa Mundi by way of Cloud Atlas and his own sketch maps. Robert Macfarlane reflects on the cartophilia that has informed his evocative nature writing, which was set off by Robert Louis Stevenson and his map of Treasure Island. Joanne Harris tells of her fascination with Norse maps of the universe. Reif Larsen writes about our dependence on GPS and the impulse to map our experience. Daniel Reeve describes drawing maps and charts for The Hobbit film trilogy. This exquisitely crafted and illustrated atlas explores these and so many more of the maps writers create and are inspired by--some real, some imagined--in both words and images.

Amid a cornucopia of 167 full-color images, we find here maps of the world as envisaged in medieval times, as well as maps of adventure, sci-fi and fantasy, nursery rhymes, literary classics, and collectible comics. An enchanting visual and verbal journey, The Writer's Map will be irresistible for lovers of maps, literature, and memories--and anyone prone to flights of the imagination.

Writers on the Air: Conversations about Books

Writers on the Air: Conversations about Books

$24.95
More Info

"Writers on the Air "brings to print for the first time Donna Seaman's vibrant author interviews from her Chicago-based radio program, Open Books. In these conversations, authors discuss their inspirations, their favorite books, their working and research habits. Seaman also connects the author's books with other writing, creating "constellations" of related books and ideas to introduce readers to wonderful writing they might not discover on their own.

Seaman created her radio show Open Books in 1994, and has been co-producer and host ever since, conducting interviews with dozens of fiction writers, poets, essayists, memoirists, and nature writers.

Writers on the Air includes interviews with Diane Ackerman, Margaret Atwood, Lynda Barry, Madison Smartt Bell, Dennis Bock, T. C. Boyle, Peter Carey, Sandra Cisneros, Wade Davis, Chitra Divakaruni, Stuart Dybek, Julia Glass, Lee Gutkind, Aleksandar Hemon, Edward Hirsch, Edward P. Jones, Ward Just, Jamaica Kincaid, Alex Kotlowitz, Chang-rae Lee, Alan Lightman, Phillip Lopate, Barry Lopez, Alice McDermott, Anchee Min, Sy Montgomery, Kate Moses, Joyce Carol Oates, Alex Shakar, Paul West, Colson Whitehead, and Terry Tempest Williams.

Writers Under Surveillance: The FBI Files

Writers Under Surveillance: The FBI Files

$24.95
More Info
FBI files on writers with dangerous ideas, including Hannah Arendt, Allen Ginsberg, Ernest Hemingway, Susan Sontag, and James Baldwin.

Writers are dangerous. They have ideas. The proclivity of writers for ideas drove the FBI to investigate many of them--to watch them, follow them, start files on them. Writers under Surveillance gathers some of these files, giving readers a surveillance-state perspective on writers including Hannah Arendt, Allen Ginsberg, Ernest Hemingway, Susan Sontag, and Hunter S. Thompson.

Obtained with Freedom of Information Act requests by MuckRock, a nonprofit dedicated to freeing American history from the locked filing cabinets of government agencies, the files on these authors are surprisingly wide ranging; the investigations were as broad and varied as the authors' own works. James Baldwin, for example, was so openly antagonistic to the state's security apparatus that investigators followed his every move. Ray Bradbury, on the other hand, was likely unaware that the Bureau had any interest in his work. (Bradbury was a target because an informant warned that science fiction was a Soviet plot to weaken American resolve.) Ernest Hemingway, true to form, drunkenly called the FBI Nazis and sissies. The files have been edited for length and clarity, but beyond that everything in the book is pulled directly from investigatory files. Some investigations lasted for years, others just a few days. Some are thrilling narratives. Others never really go anywhere. Some are funny, others quite harrowing. Despite the federal government's periodic admission of past wrongdoing, investigations like these will probably continue to happen. Like all that seems best forgotten, the Bureau's investigation of writers should be remembered. We owe it to ourselves.

Writers
Hannah Arendt, James Baldwin, Ray Bradbury, Truman Capote, Tom Clancy, W. E. B. Du Bois, Allen Ginsberg, Ernest Hemingway, Aldous Huxley, Ken Kesey, Norman Mailer, Ayn Rand, Susan Sontag, Terry Southern, Hunter S. Thompson, Gore Vidal

Writing Across the Landscape

Writing Across the Landscape

$35.00
More Info

Over the course of an adventured-filled life, now in its tenth decade, Lawrence Ferlinghetti has been many things: a poet, painter, pacifist, publisher, courageous defender of free speech, and owner of San Francisco's legendary City Lights bookstore. Now the man whose A Coney Island of the Mind became a generational classic reveals yet another facet of his manifold talents, presenting here his travel journals, spanning over sixty years. Selected from a vast trove of mostly unpublished, handwritten notebooks, and edited by Giada Diano and Matthew Gleeson, Writing Across the Landscape becomes a transformative work of social, cultural, and literary history.

Beginning with Ferlinghetti's account of serving as a commanding officer on a Navy sub-chaser during D-Day, Writing Across the Landscape dramatically traverses the latter half of the twentieth century. For those only familiar with his poetry, these pages present a Lawrence Ferlinghetti never before encountered, an elegant prose stylist and tireless political activist who was warning against the pernicious sins of our ever-expansive corporate culture long before such thoughts ever seeped into mainstream consciousness.

Yet first and foremost we see an inquisitive wanderer whose firsthand accounts of people and places are filled with pungent descriptions that animate the landscapes and cultures he encounters. Evoking each journey with a mixture of travelogue and poetry as well as his own hand-drawn sketches, Ferlinghetti adopts the role of an American bard, providing panoramic views of the Cuban Revolution in Havana, 1960, and a trip through Haiti, where voodoo and Catholicism clash in cathedrals filled with ulcerous children's feet running from Baron Hunger. Reminding us that poverty is not only to be found abroad, Ferlinghetti narrates a Steinbeck-like trip through California's Salton Sea, a sad yet exquisitely melodic odyssey from motel to motel, experiencing the life between cocktails, between filling stations, between buses, trains, towns, restaurants, movies, highways leading over horizons to another Rest Stop...Sad hope of all their journeys to Nowhere and back in dark Eternity.

Particularly memorable is his journey across the Trans-Siberian Railway in 1957, which turns into a Kafkaesque nightmare in which he, lacking a proper visa, is removed from a Japan-bound freighter and forced back across the Russian steppe to Moscow, encountering a countryside more Tolstoy than Khrushchev, while nearly dying in the process. Readers are also treated to glimpses of Ezra Pound, looking like an old Chinese sage, whom Ferlinghetti espies in Italy, as well as fellow Beat legends Allen Ginsberg and a dyspeptic William S. Burroughs, immured with his cats in a grotto-like apartment in London.

Embedded with facsimile manuscript pages and an array of poems, many never before published, Writing Across the Landscape revives an era when political activism coursed through the land and refashions Lawrence Ferlinghetti, not only as a seminal poet but as an historic and singular American voice.

Writing Life

Writing Life

$14.99
More Info

For nonwriters, it is a glimpse into the trials and satisfactions of a life spent with words. For writers, it is a warm, rambling, conversation with a stimulating and extraordinarily talented colleague. -- Chicago Tribune

From Pulitzer Prize-winning Annie Dillard, a collection that illuminates the dedication and daring that characterizes a writer's life.

In these short essays, Annie Dillard--the author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and An American Childhood--illuminates the dedication, absurdity, and daring that characterize the existence of a writer. A moving account of Dillard's own experiences while writing her works, The Writing Life offers deep insight into one of the most mysterious professions.

Writing of the Disaster

Writing of the Disaster

$20.00
More Info
Modern history is haunted by the disasters of the century--world wars, concentration camps, Hiroshima, and the Holocaust--grief, anger, terror, and loss beyond words, but still close, still impending. How can we write or think about disaster when by its very nature it defies speech and compels silence, burns books and shatters meaning? The Writing of the Disaster reflects upon efforts to abide in disaster's infinite threat. First published in French in 1980, it takes up the most serious tasks of writing: to describe, explain, and redeem when possible, and to admit what is not possible. Neither offers consolation. Maurice Blanchot has been praised on both sides of the Atlantic for his fiction and criticism. The philosopher Emmanuel Levinas once remarked that Blanchot's writing is a language of pure transcendence, without correlative. Literary theorist and critic Geoffrey Hartman remarked that Blanchot's influence on contemporary writers cannot be overestimated.
Writing on the Edge: Great Contemporary Writers on the Front Line of Crisis

Writing on the Edge: Great Contemporary Writers on the Front Line of Crisis

$29.95
More Info
Powerful essays by such luminaries and literary giants as Daniel Day-Lewis and Martin Amis offer a compassionate look at the crises that most affect our world today.

An important book for anyone interested in global issues, Writing on the Edge features twelve essays that take the reader to countries in crisis. Award-winning writer Martin Amis experienced firsthand the problems of gang violence in Colombia, South America; New York Times bestselling author Tracy Chevalier focuses on the abuse of women in Burundi, East Africa; Oscar-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis writes of meeting children raised in war-torn Palestine; Booker Prize-winning author DBC Pierre addresses the unusually high incidence of mental health issues in Armenia. Award-winning photographer Tom Craig was commissioned by the humanitarian charity Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders to document the writers in these places in trouble. His striking photographs amplify the sense of compassion required while also demonstrating that beautiful humanity is the victim of tragedy.

Writing on the Wall

Writing on the Wall

$16.00
More Info

From the bestselling author of A History of the World in 6 Glasses, the story of social media from ancient Rome to the Arab Spring and beyond.

Social media is anything but a new phenomenon. From the papyrus letters that Cicero and other Roman statesmen used to exchange news, to the hand-printed tracts of the Reformation and the pamphlets that spread propaganda during the American and French revolutions, the ways people shared information with their peers in the past are echoed in the present.

Standage reminds us how historical social networks have much in common with modern social media. The Catholic Church's dilemmas in responding to Martin Luther's attacks are similar to those of today's large institutions in responding to criticism on the Internet, for example, and seventeenth-century complaints about the distractions of coffeehouses mirror modern concerns about social media. Invoking figures from Thomas Paine to Vinton Cerf, co-inventor of the Internet, Standage explores themes that have long been debated, from the tension between freedom of expression and censorship to social media's role in spurring innovation and fomenting revolution. Writing on the Wall draws on history to cast provocative new light on today's social media and encourages debate and discussion about how we'll communicate in the future.

Writing on the Wall

Writing on the Wall

$26.00
More Info

Papyrus rolls and Twitter have much in common, as each was their generation's signature means of "instant" communication. Indeed, as Tom Standage reveals in his scintillating new book, social media is anything but a new phenomenon.

From the papyrus letters that Roman statesmen used to exchange news across the Empire to the advent of hand-printed tracts of the Reformation to the pamphlets that spread propaganda during the American and French revolutions, Standage chronicles the increasingly sophisticated ways people shared information with each other, spontaneously and organically, down the centuries. With the rise of newspapers in the nineteenth century, then radio and television, "mass media" consolidated control of information in the hands of a few moguls. However, the Internet has brought information sharing full circle, and the spreading of news along social networks has reemerged in powerful new ways.

A fresh, provocative exploration of social media over two millennia, Writing on the Wall reminds us how modern behavior echoes that of prior centuries-the Catholic Church, for example, faced similar dilemmas in deciding whether or how to respond to Martin Luther's attacks in the early sixteenth century to those that large institutions confront today in responding to public criticism on the Internet. Invoking the likes of Thomas Paine and Vinton Cerf, co-inventor of the Internet, Standage explores themes that have long been debated: the tension between freedom of expression and censorship; whether social media trivializes, coarsens or enhances public discourse; and its role in spurring innovation, enabling self-promotion, and fomenting revolution. As engaging as it is visionary, Writing on the Wall draws on history to cast new light on today's social media and encourages debate and discussion about how we'll communicate in the future.

Writing with Intent

Writing with Intent

$26.00
More Info
From one of the world's most passionately engaged literary citizens comes Writing with Intent, the largest collection to date of Margaret Atwood's nonfiction, ranging from 1983 to 2005. Composed of autobiographical essays, cultural commentary, book reviews, and introductory pieces written for great works of literature, this is the award-winning author's first book-length nonfiction publication in twenty years. Arranged chronologically, these writings display the development of Atwood's worldview as the world around her changes. Included are the Booker Prize-winning author's reviews of books by John Updike, Italo Calvino, Toni Morrison, and others, as well as essays in which she remembers herself reading Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse at age nineteen, and discusses the influence of George Orwell's 1984 on the writing of The Handmaid's Tale. Atwood's New York Times Book Review piece that helped make Orhan Pamuk's Snow a bestseller can be found here, as well as a look back on a family trip to Afghanistan just before the Soviet invasion, and her "Letter to America," written after September 11, 2001. The insightful and memorable pieces in this book serve as a testament to Atwood's career, reminding readers why she is one of the most esteemed writers of our time.
Writing with intent essays, reviews, personal prose 1983-2005

Writing with intent essays, reviews, personal prose 1983-2005

$16.95
More Info
From one of the world's most passionately engaged and acclaimed literary citizens comes Writing with Intent, the largest collection to date of Margaret Atwood's nonfiction, ranging from 1983 to 2005. Composed of autobiographical essays, cultural commentary, book reviews, and introductory pieces to great works of literature, this is the award-winning author's first book-length nonfiction publication in twenty years. Arranged chronologically, these writings display the development of Atwood's worldview as the world around her changes. Included are the Booker Prize -- winning author's reviews of books by John Updike, Italo Calvino, Toni Morrison, and others, as well as essays in which she remembers herself reading Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse at age nineteen, and discusses the influence of George Orwell's 1984 on the writing of The Handmaid's Tale. Atwood's New York Times Book Review piece that helped make Orhan Pamuk's Snow a bestseller can be found here, as well as a look back on a family trip to Afghanistan just before the Soviet invasion, and her Letter to America, written after September 11, 2001. The insightful and memorable pieces in this book serve as a testament to Atwood's career, reminding readers why she is one of the most esteemed writers of our time.
Writing Workshop Notebook Notes on Creating and Workshopping

Writing Workshop Notebook Notes on Creating and Workshopping

$14.95
More Info
The Writing Workshop Notebook is devoted to making, remaking, and remarking on writing. Ziegler's text is animated by a concern about how we relate to our own and others' writing and by a desire to have a suitable effect on the reader's experience with writing and critiquing. The book is supported by the author's experience from decades of leading writing workshops.
Writings of Emma Goldman

Writings of Emma Goldman

$14.99
More Info
A collection of essays by America's most prominent anarchist, feminist, and critic of both capitalism and communism, who was imprisoned and deported for opposing the First World War. Includes "Anarchy Defended by Anarchists," "The Tragedy of Women's Emancipation," "Anarchism: What It Really Stands For," "The Psychology of Political Violence," "Patriotism: A Menace to Liberty," "Speech Against Conscription And War," "There Is No Communism In Russia," and "The Individual, Society, And The State."
Written Lives

Written Lives

$14.95
More Info
In addition to his own busy career as one of Europe's most intriguing contemporary writers (TLS), Javier Marías is also the translator into Spanish of works by Hardy, Stevenson, Conrad, Faulkner, Nabokov, and Laurence Sterne. His love for these authors is the touchstone of Written Lives. Collected here are twenty pieces recounting great writers' lives, or, more precisely, snippets of writers' lives. Thomas Mann, Rilke, Arthur Conan Doyle, Turgenev, Djuna Barnes, Emily Brontë, Malcolm Lowry, and Kipling appear (all fairly disastrous individuals), and almost nothing in his stories is invented.

Like Isak Dinesen (who claimed to have poor sight, yet could spot a four-leaf clover in a field from a remarkable distance away), Marías has a sharp eye. Nabokov is here, making the highly improbable assertion that he is 'as American as April in Arizona, ' as is Oscar Wilde, who, in debt on his deathbed, ordered up champagne, remarking cheerfully, 'I am dying beyond my means.' Faulkner, we find, when fired from his post office job, explained that he was not prepared to be beholden to any son-of-a-bitch who had two cents to buy a stamp. Affection glows in the pages of Written Lives, evidence, as Marías remarks, that although I have enjoyed writing all my books, this was the one with which I had the most fun.
Wrong About Japan

Wrong About Japan

$12.00
More Info
When Peter Carey offered to take his son to Japan, 12-year-old Charley stipulated no temples or museums. He wanted to see manga, anime, and cool, weird stuff. His father said yes. Out of that bargain comes this enchanting tour of the mansion of Japanese culture, as entered through its garish, brightly lit back door. Guided-and at times judged-by an ineffably strange boy named Takashi, the Careys meet manga artists and anime directors, the meticulous impersonators called "visualists," and solitary, nerdish otaku. Throughout, the Booker Prize-winning novelist makes observations that are intriguing even when-as his hosts keep politely reminding him-they turn out to be wrong. Funny, surprising, distinguished by its wonderfully nuanced portrait of a father and son thousands of miles from home, Wrong About Japan is a delight.
Wrong About Japan

Wrong About Japan

$17.95
More Info
The recipient of two Booker Prizes, Peter Carey expands his extraordinary achievement with each new novel-and now gives us something entirely different.
When famously shy Charley becomes obsessed with Japanese manga and anime, Peter is not only delighted for his son but also entranced himself. Thus begins a journey, with a father sharing his twelve-year-old's exotic comic books, that ultimately leads them to Tokyo, where a strange Japanese boy will become both their guide and judge. Quickly the visitors plunge deep into the lanes of Shitimachi-into the "weird stuff" of modern Japan-meeting manga artists and anime directors; painstaking impersonators called "visualists," who adopt a remarkable variety of personae; and solitary "otakus," whose existence is thoroughly computerized. What emerges from these encounters is a far-ranging study of history and of culture both high and low-from samurai to salaryman, from Kabuki theater to the postwar robot craze. Peter Carey's observations are always provocative, even when his hosts point out, politely, that he is once again wrong about Japan. And his adventures with Charley are at once comic, surprising, and deeply moving, as father and son cope with and learn from each other in a strange place far from home.
This is, in the end, a remarkable portrait of a culture-whether Japan or adolescence-that looks eerily familiar but remains tantalizingly closed to outsiders.
Wrong War

Wrong War

$28.00
More Info
America cannot afford to lose the war in Afghanistan, and yet Americans cannot win it. In this definitive account of the conflict, acclaimed war correspondent and bestselling author Bing West provides a practical way out. Drawing on his expertise as both a combat-hardened Marine and a former assistant secretary of defense, West has written a tour de force narrative that shows the consequences when strategic theory meets tactical reality.
Having embedded with dozens of frontline units over the past two years, he takes the reader on a battlefield journey from the mountains in the north to the opium fields in the south. West--dubbed "the grunt's Homer"--shows why the Taliban fear the ferocity of our soldiers. Each chapter, rich with vivid characters and gritty combat, illustrates a key component of dogged campaigns that go on for years.
These never-ending battles show why idealistic theories about counterinsurgency have bogged us down for a decade. The official rhetoric denies reality. Instead of turning the population against the Taliban, our lavish aid has created a culture of entitlement and selfishness. Our senior commanders are risk-averse, while our troops know the enemy respects only the brave.
A fighter who understands strategy, West builds the case for changing course. As long as we do most of the fighting, the Afghans will hold back. Yet the Afghan military will crumble without our combat troops. His conclusion is sure to provoke debate: remove most of the troops from Afghanistan, stop spending billions on the dream of a modern democracy, transition to a tough adviser corps, and insist the Afghans fight their own battles. Amid debate about this maddening war, Bing West's book is a page-turner about brave men and cunning enemies that examines our realistic choices as a nation.
Wrong Way to Save Your Life

Wrong Way to Save Your Life

$15.99
More Info

From an important new American writer comes this powerful collection of personal essays on fear, creativity, art, faith, academia, the Internet, and justice.

In this poignant and inciting collection of literary essays, Megan Stielstra tells stories to ward off fears both personal and universal as she grapples toward a better way to live. In her titular piece "The Wrong Way To Save Your Life," she answers the question of what has value in our lives--a question no longer rhetorical when the apartment above her family's goes up in flames. "Here is My Heart" sheds light on Megan's close relationship with her father, whose continued insistence on climbing mountains despite a series of heart attacks leads the author to dissect deer hearts in a poetic attempt to interrogate her own feelings about mortality.

Whether she's imagining the implications of open-carry laws on college campuses, recounting the story of going underwater on the mortgage of her first home, or revealing the unexpected pains and joys of marriage and motherhood, Stielstra's work informs, impels, enlightens, and embraces us all. The result is something beautiful--this story, her courage, and, potentially, our own.

Intellectually fierce and viscerally intimate, Megan Stielstra's voice is witty, wise, warm, and above all, achingly human.

"Stielstra is a masterful essayist."--Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist and Hunger