2019 RIGHTS GUIDE

Stephen Batchelor
THE ART OF SOLITUDE
Yale University Press (editor Jennifer Banks), February 2020

Sold to:  Urano (Spanish language)

This is Stephen Batchelor’s quest for the essence of solitude, the elusive state that resides within us.  His journey, told in 32 short chapters, reflects on the experiential, the philosophical, the contemplative, and medical realms.  Batchelor travels the life and journals of Montaigne, the paintings of Vermeer, the deep meditative practice of jhana, ceremonies centered upon peyote and ayahuasca, and a lifelong reflection on the meaning of the Buddhism. Is it possible to achieve solitude by being alone?  Can one actually clear the mind of thoughts to be truly solitary?  Does the act of writing intrude on a solitary state?  Might it be that to be solitary one must be in the company of others?  Inspiration comes from the Buddhist poem Four Eighths, which Batchelor translated, also told in 32 verses. Resting on a lifetime of contemplation and experience, Batchelor began this pursuit of The Art of Solitude at the close of his sixtieth year.

Stephen Batchelor is the author of numerous classical works of Buddhist thought, including The Faith to Doubt, Buddhism Without Beliefs, Living with the Devil, Verses from the Center, Confession of a Buddhist Atheist, A Secular Buddhism, and After Buddhism. He has been ordained as a Buddhist monk, later trained in the Songgwangsa Monastery in South Korea, was co-founder of the Sharpham College for Buddhist Studies and Contemplative Enquiry, and a Guiding Teacher at Gaia House.  He is also a contributing editor to Tricycle Magazine.

“With his long experience of Buddhism, meditation, and teaching it is hard to think of anyone better equipped to write about the art of solitude than Stephen Batchelor.”
—Tim Parks

“In this exquisite contemplation on solitude that is intimate, brave, and wise, Batchelor brings us to the vast center of his life and realization.”
— Joan Halifax, Abbot, Upaya Zen Center

"The Art of Solitude is a marvel. Carefully constructed yet entirely original, it sings with a haunting melody of wistful contemplation. Reading it is a true joy.”
—Mark Epstein, MD

 

Tara Brach
RADICAL COMPASSION: Learning to Love Yourself and Your World with the Practice of RAIN
Viking (editor Laura Tisdel), January 2020
Galleys available

Sold to: Rider (UK); Droemer (Germany); Belfond (France); Bulkwang (Korea); Urano (Spanish); Exmo (Russia)

One of the most loved and trusted mindfulness teachers in America today, Tara Brach, author of the celebrated Radical Acceptance offers a roadmap for systematically awakening compassion when we need it the most – in the thick of daily life, when we’re stressed, anxious, angry, terrified, or numb and cut off from our heart. The key tool is RAIN, an easy to learn four-step meditation that you can start using today.  RAIN (Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture) come to life as Tara shares memorable stories of working with students as the face feelings of overwhelm, loss, and self-aversion, painful relationships, and past trauma.  RAIN nourishes the inner resources that allow you to live true to yourself and to actively care for others.  At a time when so many feel uncertain about the future, threatened by the dividedness, hatred, violence and greed that dominate our daily news, Radical Compassion offers a courageous pathway that can evolve our consciousness, and bring more love into the world. 

Tara Brach, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned teacher of mindfulness, meditation, emotional healing and spiritual awakening.    She is the author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge, and her weekly podcasted talk and meditation is downloaded over a million and a half times, each month.  She is the founder of Insight Meditation Center of Washington, DC, one of the largest and most dynamic meditation centers in the US.

Radical Compassion lays out a path of straightforward, accessible practices grounded in both modern brain science and ancient wisdom - with the soul and depth you’d expect from a world-class meditation teacher and psychologist. A masterpiece.”
--Rick Hanson, Ph.D. author of Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and
       Happiness

“Tara Brach has an uncanny ability to home in precisely on what we need in the moment, so we can meet that need from within.  She teaches a simple but life changing practice to bring presence and compassion to any moment of shame or longing or struggle, transforming our pain into love.  This book is a treasure from one of the most important spiritual teachers of our time.”
-–Kristin Neff, author of Self-Compassion

“In this magnificent synthesis of her important teachings in cultivating compassion in our everyday lives, Tara Brach, offers us a life-changing tool to open our awareness with love and healing. This important book is as practical as it is profound, a deep and lasting gift for us all.”
--Daniel J. Siegel, M.D author of Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence and Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human

RADICAL ACCEPTANCE: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha
Bantam Books (editor Elana Seplow-Jolley), 2003, paperback 2005

Sold to: Droemer (Germany; Belfond (France); Kosmos (Holland): Rider (UK); Oak Tree Publishing (Chinese Complex); Huaxia (Chinese Simplified);Alfaomega (Spain & Latin America); Bulkwang (Korea); BIS SRL/Macro Edizioni (Italy); Basam Books (Finland); Grup Media Litera SRL (Romania); Fontana Esotera (Czech Republic); Exmo (Russia); Vexta (Bulgaria); Ursus Libris (Hungary); Sextante (Brazil)

Tara Brach, clinical psychologist and meditation teacher, brings Buddhism and Western psychology together to uncover how suffering arises from the ‘shadow emotions’ of the psyche. She deals practically and lovingly with the role of compassion in transforming parts of ourselves that we have rejected. Ultimately, this Buddhist approach of embracing the world in all of its emotional messiness, beauty, and mystery is key to pursuing a genuine path of awakening.  This book continues to be a perennial strong seller, steadily increasing in its popularity over the past decade.

 

John Corbett
PICK UP THE PIECES: Excursions in Seventies Music
University of Chicago Press (editor Susan Bielstein), April 2019

Music critic John Corbett, renowned DownBeat magazine columnist, gives us his own curation of the music of the seventies. In this his year-by-year chronicle, Corbett intersperses recollections of early personal high points, with selections that have evolved with the maturation of time. In this astute and passionate assemblage, Corbett witnesses the musical novelty and fusion of a decade, portraying how its music continues to come of age today in terms of race, gender, and class, with ongoing resonance.

John Corbett is the author most recently of Vinyl Freak: Love Letters to a Dying Medium, preceded by A Listener’s Guide to Free Improvisation; Extended Play: Sounding Off from John Cage to Dr. Funkenstein; Microgroove: Forays into Other Music. He is the curator of the Alton Abraham Sun Ra Archive; an excerpt from PICK UP THE PIECES, ‘Sun Ra City,’ appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly.  He is co-owner of Corbett vs. Dempsey art gallery in Chicago. 

 

Mary Cregan
THE SCAR: A Personal History of Depression and Recovery
W.W. Norton (editor Jill Bialosky), March 2019
Sold to: Lilliput (UK); Jihaksa Publishing (Korea)

THE SCAR is a history – personal, social, and literary – of the experience of depression playing out over a life.  The author’s acute illness surfaced in her 20’s, more than 30 years ago, triggered after she gave birth to a child who died of congenital heart failure.  This is an account of facing an illness never spoken of in her Irish Catholic family, the fright of hospitalization, shock treatment, medication, and the imperfection of recovery.  Powerfully and beautifully told, the author considers her story in the context of a larger history, encompassing what has changed in science, treatment, and social recognition of depression, and what still remains after the scar was formed in the navigation of life.  THE SCAR fits into the market established by Andrew Solomon’s Noonday Demon, Peter Kramer’s Listening to Prozac, and Kay Redfield Jamison’s Night Falls Fast

Mary Cregan has taught English literature at Barnard College for over 20 years (specializing in the Modern Victorian Novel, Virginia Woolf, and Irish Literature).  Her writing has appeared in The Chronicle for Higher Education, and The Financial Times

“Written matter-of-factly, without recourse to melodrama or a facile assigning of blame, Mary Cregan explores the roots of her own depression and hospitalization with a candor that is all the more effective because it is set against an informed historical overview of the treatment of mental illness…Cregan offers a story that is both singular and representative of all the sufferers who live with the horror of depression or melancholia… “The Scar will make you think differently about this condition and its debilitating effects, bringing out into the light a disease that has all too often been shrouded in stigma and shame.  
— Daphne Merkin, author of This Close to Happy: A Reckoning with Depression

“What makes [this] book stand out is the sheer clarity of the writing, the personal fragility and the wrestling with demons emerging with a kind of grace, a hard-won heroism.”
— Colm Tóibín

  “Cregan makes an entirely original and invaluable contribution to the literature of this illness [of depression] that has cast its mysterious shadow over so many lives”
— Mary Gordon

  “THE SCAR reaches beyond its immediate subject to provide a cultural and historical context for that most mysterious of afflictions, ‘depression’ – or, in more Romantic terms, ‘melancholia’ – making it particularly valuable at the present time.”
— Joyce Carol Oates

 

Robert Cwiklik
PHIL’S ERRAND: A Union Hero’s Secret Mission Against White Supremacist ‘Banditti’ Militias and the Civil War After the Civil War
HarperCollins (editor Jonathan Jao), 2021
Ms. due June 2020

Robert Cwiklik captures here an unsung story of the Reconstruction Period of US history, the post-Civil War experiment in multi-racial democracy that proved formative for political and racial climates in the US today. In 1874, when Civil War hero General Phil Sheridan swept into the Charles Hotel in New Orleans, it was on a secret mission, calling for the arrest of leaders of the White League, for waging a “banditti” war against former slaves. This intervention was perhaps President Grant’s last resort to maintain order in the tenuous Reconstruction project. What ensued was a failure has become a chapter in US, and one that continues to surface in our current political reality. 

Robert Cwiklik served as an editor at the Wall Street Journal for 16 years, and helped launch Al-Monitor, a website devoted to Middle East news. He is also the author of House Rules: A Freshman Congressman’s Initiation to the Backslapping, Backpedalling, and Backstabbing Ways of Washington (Random House), as well as several books for children.

 

Mark Epstein
ADVICE NOT GIVEN: A Guide to Getting Over Yourself
Penguin Press (editor Ann Godoff), 2018

Sold to: Hay House (UK); Alta (Brazil); Curtea Veche (Romania); Hanmunhwa (Korea); La Llave (Spain)

Renowned psychiatrist and author Mark Epstein, M.D. tells us that our ego, and its accompanying sense of nagging self-doubt as we work to be bigger, better, smarter, and more in control, is an affliction we all share.  While the ego claims to have our best interests at heart in its never-ending pursuit of attention and power, it can sabotage the very goals it sets to achieve. In ADVICE NOT GIVEN, Epstein reveals how Buddhism and Western psychotherapy, two traditions that developed in entirely different times and places and, until recently, had nothing to do with each other, both identify the ego as the limiting factor in our well-being. 

Using the Eightfold Path as his scaffolding, Epstein looks back on his own experience and that of his patients. While the ideas of the Eightfold Path are as old as Buddhism itself, when informed by the sensibility of Western psychotherapy, they here become a road map for spiritual and psychological growth, a way of dealing with the intractable problem of the ego. When we give the ego free reign, we suffer; but when we learn to let it go, we are free. Epstein brings a Buddhist sensibility to Western therapy and a therapist’s practicality to Buddhism.

Mark Epstein, M.D. is a psychiatrist in private practice in New York City and the author of numerous books on the relation between Buddhism and psychotherapy, including The Trauma of Everyday Life, Thoughts Without a Thinker, and Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart.  He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Harvard University and is currently Clinical Assistant Professor in the Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis at New York University.

  “Mark Epstein’s Advice Not Given continues his important, fascinating work of ‘bridging the gap between psychotherapy and Buddhism’ in exceptionally lucid language. It also offers its readers a collection of fables, vignettes, and personal revelations with the true capacity to rearrange one’s perspective, even change one’s life. I suspect many of these offerings will stay with me for the long haul, for which I’m very grateful.”
— Maggie Nelson, author of The Argonauts

“Most people will never find a great psychiatrist or a great Buddhist teacher, but Mark Epstein is both, and the wisdom he imparts in Advice Not Given is an act of generosity and compassion. The book is a tonic for the ailments of our time.”
— Ann Patchett, New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth

Advice Not Given is a beautiful reminder of what matters; intimate, moving, insightful, tender, and tough.  It invites me to a wiser mind and an open heart.”
— Jack Kornfield, author of A Path With Heart

 

Daphne Geismar
INVISIBLE YEARS: A Family in Hiding, 1942-1945
Introduction by Robert Jan van Pelt

David R. Godine, Publisher (editor: David Godine), May 2020
Full design and text available

INVISIBLE YEARS: A Family in Hiding, 1942-1945, created and designed by Daphne Geismar, is based on an extraordinary collection of primary sources – narratives, photographs, remembrances.   Paralleled with historical facts and timeline, this book literally unfolds the underground world of hiding in Nazi-occupied Netherlands, in a multi-generational, extended family portrait.  When Daphne Geismar was a decade ago presented with the contents of her mother’s and aunt’s ‘Holocaust drawers’ – a true wealth of materials detailing their years in hiding, it became clear that she was destined to orchestrate and design this magnificent book. 

With impending Nazi occupation, Chaim and Fifi de Zoete sent their three young daughters, Mirjam, Judith, and Hadassah, age 9, 10, and 11 into separate hiding, while they themselves found hiding beneath the floorboards of a vaulted church ceiling.  All survived, unknowing of each others’ circumstances for those years, and each having recorded their reflections of hiding. This book, is the fabric of their composite story, previously invisible, through a horrific chapter in history.

Daphne Geismar, granddaughter of the de Zoete family of INVISIBLE YEARS is also an award-winning book designer, who has designed and produced books for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and Yale University Press.  She has early interest in the book from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Jewish Museum in New York, and from the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University. An interview of Mirjam and Daphne Geismar was aired in 2015 on ‘The World’ hosted by Marco Werman on Public Radio International.

 

James Shapiro
SHAKESPEARE IN A DIVIDED AMERICA: What His Plays Tell Us about Our Past and Future
Penguin Press (editor Ann Godoff), March 2020
Galleys available

Sold to: Faber (UK)
Options: Cátedra (Spanish); Hakusuisha (Japan); Guanxi Normal (Chinese Simplified)

In Shakespeare in a Divided America, James Shapiro, renowned for A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599 (Samuel Johnson Prize) and The Year of Lear: 1606 (James Tait Black Prize), addresses how the plays of Shakespeare have the capacity to get to the heart of human controversy.  Over the course of American history, as matters of race, gender, and immigration have come to the forefront, legendary performances of Shakespeare’s plays serve as a barometer of our deepest national discord.  Shapiro, a foremost American contemporary authority on Shakespeare, leads us through historic performances that include Othello, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and Twelfth Night, showing Shakespeare’s unique role in reflecting the underpinnings of history.  From Ulysses S. Grant in the role of Desdemona (before he became commander of the Union army and President of the United States), to President John Quincy Adams’ disgust with Desdemona’s interracial marriage to Othello, to Paul Robeson as the first African American in the role of Othello in 1943, to Stephen Bannon’s collaborative film adaptation of Coriolanus set during the Rodney King riots, right up to the culmination of the 2017 production of Julius Caesar in Central Park, in which a Trump-like leader is assassinated.

James Shapiro is Professor of English at Columbia University, where he teaches Shakespeare.  His earlier books have received international acclaim.  Besides The Year of Lear: 1606 A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599, he is the author of Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year), Oberammergau: The Troubling Story of the World’s Most Famous Passion PlayShakespeare and the Jews, and Rival Playwrights: Marlowe, Shakespeare, Jonson, and is the Editor of Shakespeare in America (Library of America).  He reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book ReviewTimes Literary Supplement, the London Review of Books, and other publications.  He is on the board of directors of The Royal Shakespeare Company, and advises productions for the Public Theatre in New York and other companies. Shapiro was a collaborator on Jacobean Genius, a series he hosted for the BBC and also hosted the BBC The Mysterious Mr. Webster. In 2012 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

“In two landmark books, James Shapiro explored the depth of Shakespeare’s engagement in the contested issues of his own time.  Now, in the brilliantly conceived Shakespeare in a Divided America, Shapiro deftly demonstrates the playwright’s intimate presence in the culture and politics of the New World.  From the racist anxieties focused on Othello in the 1830s to the bitter left-right divide focused on Julius Caesar in our own time, Shakespeare’s works have been uncannily central to our national imagination. This richly researched book is a continual revelation both about Shakespeare and about ourselves.”
—Stephen Greenblatt, author of Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare

 

Russell Shorto
REVOLUTION SONG:  The Story of America’s Founding in Six Remarkable Lives
W.W. Norton (editor Julia Reidhead), 2017, paperback November 2018

Sold to: Ambo Anthos (The Netherlands)

In a moment when America’s founding principles of freedom are so fiercely contested, Russell Shorto looks deeply into the world in which they were forged.   In REVOLUTION SONG, Shorto uproots the way in which we are accustomed to seeing America’s history—that is, through the lens of its great, and predominantly white, men.  In choosing to recount the story of America’s founding through the lives of six individuals —a black man who freed himself and his family from slavery, an Iroquois leader, a populist politician and shoemaker, a young woman abandoning an abusive husband, a British aristocrat charged with overseeing the colonies, and George Washington himself — Shorto delivers an original and human account of America’s revolution.  As in his bestselling and groundbreaking The Island at the Center of the world, Shorto gives us a true shift in historical perspective.  Through this seamlessly woven narration, we gain a
new comprehension of the American Revolution as being fought by the people of its time, and an appreciation for how it is still being fought today.

Russell Shorto is the author of the acclaimed Island at the Center of the World (optioned by Ideate and Scott Free as a 6-part TV series; also to be a 2019 musical from the Dutch theatre company New Productions).  He is also the author of Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City, as well as Descartes’ Bones; Saints & Madmen; and Gospel Truth. He writes regularly for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and many other publications.

“An engaging, readable, and surprisingly complete account of the American Revolution. A tour de force.”
— Gordon S. Wood, author of The Radicalism of the American Revolution

“With symphonic sweep, cinematic detail, and compelling, superbly researched real-life characters, Shorto shows how our struggle for freedom began and why it remains so sadly unfinished. If Spielberg wrote history, this is how it would read.”
— Howard Fineman, NBC News Analyst and author of The Thirteen American Arguments

“How did the teenaged daughter of a British officer view the American Revolution, from behind enemy lines in New York?  What did that contest mean to a shrewd, contemplative Iroquois warrior?  Russell Shorto has emerged from the archives with a bold, largely neglected cast.  He has set them free in a rich, prismatic narrative, as intensely vivid as it is seamlessly constructed.”
— Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of The Witches: Salem, 1692

Russell Shorto
SMALLTIME
W.W. Norton (editor Julia Reidhead), 2020
Ms. due January 2020

Sold to: Ambo Anthos (The Netherlands)

A smalltime American city, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a mining town at its peak, was also the home of a ‘smalltime’ mafia ring – Sicilian immigrants, classic in their time, who were trying to assimilate and make a living as best they could.  This wasn’t big boss Mafia, although some of them knew the big bosses; this was everyday local business.  The ‘open secret’ in Russell Shorto’s family was that the local mafia in Johnstown happened to be run by his grandfather (also named Russell Shorto) and his great-uncle, who along with other relatives and cronies become the main characters of this book.  The research will lie in Shorto’s still living relatives and in those who knew them, along with the local police archives, adding up to a chapter in US history, emblematic in its portrait of the growth of a mid-century small city, and in this case also a page-turner.

 

Henry Shukman
ONE BLADE OF GRASS: On the Old Road of the Heart, A Zen memoir
Counterpoint (editor: Jack Shoemaker), October 2019

In this memoir, award-winning poet and novelist Henry Shukman writes of his journey to becoming a teacher of Zen Buddhism—from leaving his childhood, academic home in Oxford, England, to being a nomadic writer, to evolving a contemplative practice, to settling into life in New Mexico, where today he heads the Mountain Cloud Zen Center.  It is a journey that reconciles mind and heart, as well as the physical healing; Shukman’s life changes radically through meditation, bringing him toward recovery from the depression and anxiety and the chronic eczema afflicted him since childhood, integrating into a spiritual awakening.

Henry Shukman, poet (In Dr. No’s Garden; Archangel) and novelist (The Lost City; Mortimer of Maghreb), is the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the Avron Poetry Prize, Jerwood Aldeburgh Prize, and Times Literary Supplement Prize, his work named by the Guardian and The Times (London) as a Book of the Year.  His work has been praised by Peter Mattheissen, Pico Iyer, Natalie Goldberg, and Vikram Seth. Shukman is currently a contributing editor to Tricycle Magazine, as well as Outside, and the Guardian and Observer in the UK.  His dharma talks reach over 4,000 followers in the Mountain Cloud Zen Center weekly podcast. He is also featured on StillnessSpeaks, the website hosting renowned spiritual teachers.

“So beautifully written, the reader immerses along with the author on his stumbling path to wholeness.  In parts hilariously funny, I cannot say enough-- I love this book.”
--Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones and The Great Spring

 “If you’ve ever wondered how a messed up kid like you or me might master the wisdom of Zen, [One Blade of Grass] is the adventure for you. It’s great company—and after reading it, you might recognize that you’re further along than you imagined.”
— David Hinton, author of Hunger Mountain

"... Lovely prose ...This memoir will resonate most with readers wanting to understand the slow, rocky process of practicing Zen." – Publisher’s Weekly

 

Maryanne Wolf
READER, COME HOME: The Reading Brain in a Digital World
HarperCollins (editor Gail Winston), August 2018; paperback September 2019

Sold to: Penguin (Germany); Intershift (Japan); Across Publishing (Korea); Koc University Press (Turkey); Vita e Pensiero (Italy); Contexto (Brazil); CITIC (Chinese Simplified); Business Weekly Publishing (Chinese Complex); Deusto/Planeta (Spanish); Viena Ediciones (Catalan); Naklada Ljevak (Croatia); Host vydavatelství (Czech); Cankarjeva založba (Slovenia)

A decade ago, Maryanne Wolf ’s now seminal work Proust and the Squid unraveled the tangled story of how the human brain learned to read and how reading has transformed our thoughts and emotions as a species. As society becomes increasingly dependent on digital reading, however, fissures are appearing in our most sophisticated cognitive and emotional processes affecting critical analysis, empathy, and contemplation. Many lament that their former capacity to be immersed in reading itself has changed. The evidence for these changes and what they portend for the quality of our thought and the intellectual development of the next generation are the critical, timely subjects of Reader, Come Home.
Will the next generation, adept in rapid multitasking and quick access to multiple sources of knowledge, fail to fully develop their own “slower,” more cognitively demanding, deep reading processes, such as inferential reasoning, perspective-taking, and insight? Inspired by research in neuroscience, literature and philosophy, Wolf engages the reader in a series of letters that depict her concerns about what is happening to the brain as it adapts to digital mediums.  Reader, Come Home presents a clarion call for understanding the complex impact of technology on the reading brain and what this could mean for the future of humankind.

MARYANNE WOLF is the Director of the Center for Dyslexia, Diverse Learners, and Social Justice in the Graduate School of Edu­cation and Information Studies at UCLA, the Chapman University Presidential Fellow, and the former John DiBiaggio Professor of Citi­zenship and Public Service at Tufts University. She is the recipient of multiple research honors, including the highest awards by the Interna­tional Dyslexia Association, the Australian Learning Disabilities Asso­ciation, The Dyslexia Foundation, and the highest teaching awards from the Massachusetts and the American Psychological Associations. She is the author of Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain, Tales of Literacy for the 21st Century, and more than 160 scientific publications. She is one of the founding members of Curious Learning, a global literacy initiative that helps teach children to read, particularly in remote regions of the world.

“In this profound and well-researched study of our changing reading patterns, Wolf presents lucid arguments for teaching our brain to become all-embracing in the age of electronic technology. If you call yourself a reader and want to keep on being one, this extraordinary book is for you.”
— Alberto Manguel, author of A History of Reading and A Reader on Reading

“Wolf is sober, realistic, and hopeful, an impressive trifecta. Her core message: We can’t take reading too seriously. And for us, today, how seriously we take it, will mark of the measure of our lives.” 
— Sherry Turkle, author of Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age; Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science, MIT

 “A love song to the written word, a brilliant introduction to the science of the reading brain and a powerful call to action. With each page, Wolf brilliantly shows us why we must preserve deep reading for ourselves and sow desire for it within our kids.  Otherwise we risk losing the critical benefits for humanity that come with reading deeply to understand our world.”
— Lisa Geurnsey, coauthor Tap, Click, Read: Growing Readers in a World of Screens

 

ADDITIONAL TITLES, FOREIGN RIGHTS CONTROLLED BY PUBLISHERS

 

Liel Leibovitz
STAN LEE: Four Superheroes in Search of an Author
Yale University Press, Jewish Lives Series (editor Ileene Smith), 2020
Ms. available

Few artists have had as much impact on American popular culture as Stan Lee.  His creation of Marvel Comics has grown from a tiny one-man operation to a Disney owned behemoth.  Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Doctor Strange, and the X-Men wholly occupy Hollywood’s imagination and stir billions of dollars of ticket sales, alongside a bounty of comic books, television shows, video games, digital applications, and more.  With all of Lee’s fame and success, however, to date remarkably little is known of his life and ideas.  Liel Leibovitz’s new biography will present the artist Stan Lee, who witnessed his father’s fortune robbed during The Great Depression, who was refused adoption of a baby based on his interfaith marriage – he a Jew married to his Episcopal wife Joan – and whose emotional and spiritual themes of divine election, free will, power, and dissent are the threads into understanding his work.  Organized around Leibovitz’s own lifelong heroes, the Fantastic Four, the Silver Surfer, Spider-Man, and finally Magneto of the X-Men, this work will unfold Stan Lee, the man behind the legend. 

Liel Leibovitz is most recently the author of the Leonard Cohen biography, A Broken Hallelujah, and some of his other works include Lili Marlene: The Soldier’s Song of WW II and God in the Machine: Video Games as Spiritual Pursuit. He is a founding editor of Tablet Magazine, for which he writes a weekly column, and contributes regularly to The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere.

 

Jody Shields
THE WINTER STATION
Little, Brown (editor Judy Clain), January 2018; paperback 2019

Set in turn-of-the-century Manchuria, in the frigid frontier railway junction of the city of Kharbin, a Russian doctor seeks to solve the mystery behind the plague that is killing the city’s inhabitants.  At this crossroads of civilizations, it is the Chinese workers who seem to be dying, while the Russian bureaucrats oversee the city. Already an outlier, the Russian doctor, an aristocratic Baron, is married to a young Chinese woman.  As the plague victims fall, the Baron must balance his honor of Chinese medical practice with orders from the Russian general who oversees the government, his mission further tested when faced with the unlikely adversary of a modern Chinese doctor introduced by the Chinese.  Fighting for his own principles, and upholding protection of his wife, the Baron’s treatment of the plague victims is steeped in secrecy and cultural suspicion. In the cold and austere winter of the plague, the Baron finds his few allies in a fellow doctor, a black market trader, and a Chinese dwarf, who engages with the wealthy in an exclusive department store.  His solace is in the study of calligraphy, taught to him by a Chinese master. Based on the true story of the Russian doctor who dedicated his life to the city of Kharbin and the treatment of the plague, Shields transports the reader to a vivid world.

Jody Shields is also the author of the bestselling novel The Fig Eater and The Crimson Portrait. She is formerly design editor of the New York Times Magazine, and contributing editor to American Vogue and House & Garden, is also screenwriter, and a collected artist.

“THE WINTER STATION … reads like a Russian novel… a story of courage, love, resilience, loyalty during a season of absolute terror. Jody Shields is a fearless writer, with the integrity of a worthy creator, and this novel won't be easily forgotten.”
— Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter’s Bone and The Maid’s Version

 

Phyllis Vine
FINISHING THE REVOLUTION: The People and Politics of Mental Health
Beacon (editor Amy Caldwell), 2020
Ms. due January 2020

FINISHING THE REVOLUTION is a history of mental health reform, centering on grassroots activism led by patients and their families, and great leaps in brain science and research in the past half century. Phyllis Vine’s involvement in the story stems from her own personal encounter with the treatment of mental illness, in her brother’s diagnosis with and treatment for schizophrenia. Vine’s sensitivity and focus on the human beings that drive this book make it a “people’s history” of mental health reform, in the spirit of Howard Zinn.

Phyllis Vine is a founding member of NAMI-New York State and MIWatch.org, an aggregate of information on mental illness, and has served on the Carter Center’s annual Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Symposium. She was awarded the 2017 Logan Fellowship from the Carey Institute for Global Good for her work on FINISHING THE REVOLUTION. Vine was previously a professor of American History at Sarah Lawrence College. She is the author of One Man’s Castle: Clarence Darrow in Defense of The American Dream (HarperCollins, 2004) and Families in Pain (Pantheon, 1982).