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Lily Brett
Counterpoint (editor Jack Shoemaker), September 2013

Sold to: Penguin (Australia); Suhrkamp (Germany); La Grande Ourse (France); E/O (Italy)

2014 Prix Médicis winner

For Lily Brett, born in Germany in 1946 to two Auschwitz survivors, the aftermath of the Holocaust continues to play an important role in her fiction. In the audacious LOLA BENSKY, she takes a bold new step in visiting material from her life as a young Australian journalist, who at 19 worked for Australia’s most renowned music magazine and in 1967 was employed to interview rock stars in London, New York and California. In her path to self- discovery, the fictional Lola Bensky, herself a child of survivors and a fledgling magazine interviewer, incongruously finds herself eye- to- eye with none other than Mick Jagger, Jimi Hendrix, and Mama Cass. In her unlikely pairing of the psychological residue of the Holocaust with the violence of rock and roll, Lily Brett achieves a brilliant balance of comedy and poignancy.

LOLA BENSKY, an immediate and long- selling bestseller in Germany, and also in her native Australia, is one of Lily Brett’s most popular books.  She is the author of numerous bestselling novels, as well as works of nonfiction and poetry, including the critically- lauded Too Many Men—‘a high wire act spanning the tragedy of the past and the comedy of everyday events’ (The News, Austria), ‘at once haunting, riotously funny and deeply touching…’ (Publishers Weekly, boxed starred review).  Too Many Men and its sequel You Gotta Have Balls (in Germany titled Chuzpe), was published in the US by William Morrow, in Australia by Macmillan Picador, and in Germany by Suhrkamp, who have published the entire body of her work—fiction, nonfiction and poetry. The well- known German documentary filmmaker Hanna Laura Klar has made a film about Lily’s life.  Chuzpe, the theatrical production, was directed by the illustrious Otto Schenk (who also played the lead role) premiered at the Josefstadt Theatre in Vienna, and traveled throughout Germany; Chuzpe was also recently released as a tv movie in Germany. Too Many Men has recently been optioned as a feature film by Kings & Queens Productions. Lily is now at work on a new novel set in China, already under contract with Suhrkamp.


Domnica Radulescu
Twelve (editor Deb Futter), April 2016
Ms available
Film rights handled by Jody Hotchkiss & Associates

The author of the internationally acclaimed Train to Trieste brings us a novel of fierce friendship between two women – one Bosnian, the other Serbian.  Their lyrical girlhood friendship - the stuff of Hollywood dreams - begins under the Tito regime.  The two women part ways with the arrival of Milosevic and the outbreak of war, when Lara moves to Washington, DC with her new American husband, and Lara remains in Sarajevo, where she takes on the full danger of war as a journalist.  While Lara becomes embroiled in a bitter divorce and raises in daughter in America, Marija’s family is decimated and she herself survives irreparable violence under the Serbs. The essential passion between the two female friends resurfaces when they encounter each other again in sunny Los Angeles, and then launch into a journey across America to an epic conclusion.

Born in Romania, Domnica Radulescu emigrated to the US as a political refugee in 1983 during the Ceausescu regime.  She is professor of French and Italian literature at Washington & Lee University, where she is also chair of the Women’s and Gender Studies department.  She is the author of Train to Trieste and Black Sea Twilight, as well as numerous plays and academic works on exile, drama, gender, and humor.  Her previous titles have been published in the UK (Black Swan/Transworld), France (Belfond), The Netherlands (Sijthoff), Germany (Hoffmann und Campe), Italy (Frasinelli), Serbia (Laguna), Israel (Kineret), Greece (Oceanida), and elsewhere. 



Stephen Batchelor
THE FAITH TO DOUBT: Glimpses of Buddhist Uncertainty
Counterpoint Books (editor Jack Shoemaker), Spring 2015

Stephen Batchelor’s spiritual and meditative memoir reflecting on his three- year stay in a Korean Zen monastery, is now being reissued in a revised 25th anniversary edition.  Immersed in study of Burmese meditation tradition in Korea, Batchelor considers the eight years of his prior training and ordainment as a Tibetan monk, and comes to doubt the Tibetan claims.  In keeping with Kierkegaard’s words, ‘in Doubt can Faith Begin,’ Batchelor’s reflections on mindfulness and of mystical illumination become the basis for doubt, questioning, and for reflection on Buddhist text and traditional teachings. Later he came to write classics, such as Buddhism Without Beliefs and Confession of a Buddhist Atheist and others.

Stephen Batchelor, internationally known author, teacher, and scholar of Buddhism, lives in Southwestern France. 


Tara Brach
TRUE REFUGE: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart
Ballantine Books (editor Marnie Cochran), February 2013; pb Spring 2016

Sold to: Kosmos (The Netherlands); Alfaomega (Spanish); Hay House (UK);
Eurasian Press (Taiwan); Huaxia (Mainland China); Bulkwang (Korea); Koha (Germany); Grup Media Litera (Romania)

An immediate bestseller from the author of the award- winning, bestselling book RADICAL ACCEPTANCE, Tara Brach speaks of how to cope with the reality of life- threatening illness, family conflict, overwhelming emotion and inevitable loss. Brach leads the reader to a profound awareness, a stillness or ‘true refuge’ that ultimately can bring limitless love. True Refuge shows us not only how to heal our suffering, but also to cultivate our capacity for genuine happiness.  Through spiritual teachings, guided meditations and inspirational stories of people who have discovered loving presence after great struggle, Brach takes us more deeply into our own inner life and the world around us.

Tara Brach is a clinical psychologist and the author of the bestselling Radical Acceptance. She is the founder of the Insight Meditation Community in Washington, DC and she conducts workshops, as well as her popular weekly podcasts, across the US and internationally, focusing on ‘True Refuge’ techniques.

“Drawing on the lastest findings in neuroscience as well as 10 more years of personal experience on the path of awakening, Tara Brach’s superb second book brings readers ever more deeply in touch with their true nature…” - Thich Nhat Hanh

“Tara Brach writes from the heart to the heart.  With candor and calmness, she shares her own and others’ struggles to overcome our deep and constant human dilemmas…” – Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia and The Green Boat

“Tara Brach has done it again.  True Refuge inspires the confidence needed to face our deepest, most difficult emotions…”   - Congressman Tim Ryan, author of A Mindful Nation

Tara Brach, Ph.D.
RADICAL ACCEPTANCE: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha
Bantam Books (editor Marnie Cochran), 2003, paperback 2005

Sold to Droemer Knaur (Germany), Kosmos (Holland), Rider (UK), Oak Tree Publishing (complex characters, China);Bright- Discovery Culture (simplified characters, China); Basam Books (Finland); Alfaomega (Spain & Latin America); Bulkwang (Korea); BIS SRL (Italy); Belfond (France); Grup Media Litera SRL (Romania);VEXTA Eood (Bulgaria)

Winner of the Books for a Better Life Award for Best Spiritual Book

Tara Brach, clinical psychologist and meditation teacher, brings Buddhism and Western psychology together in understanding 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.

Tara Brach has been a mental health professional for over 30 years and currently practices in Washington, DC.  A Buddhist lay priest and popular teacher of Buddhist mindfulness, she is the founder and guiding teacher of the Insight Meditation Community, where her weekly meditation classes are attended regularly by more than 120 students.  She completed her Insight Meditation training under the guidance of Jack Kornfield, who wrote the introduction to this book.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

John Carlin
KNOWING MANDELA: A Personal Portrait
HarperCollins (editor David Hirshey), December 2013

Sold to: Atlantic (UK); Le Seuil (France); Sperling (Italy); Debate/Random Mondadori (Spanish); La Campana (Catalan); La Presença (Portugal); Greece (Pedio); Japan (Ushio)

John Carlin, author of Playing the Enemy, which inspired the film Invictus, and one of a small handful of the outstanding journalists who covered Mandela’s life work, has written a short book (50,000 words) recalling his experiences with Mandela. Beginning with Mandela’s release from prison, when John began his tenure as London Independent Bureau Chief in South Africa, and ending with the last time he saw Mandela face- to- face, each of the eight chapters revolves around a personal experience with Mandela or a personal reaction to an event during the decades of Mandela’s profound leadership of South Africa. 

John Carlin’s work as a journalist has been publicly acknowledged by Mandela: “the way in which you carried out your task in this country was absolutely magnificent…saying things, which other journalists would never say.”



Mark Epstein
ADVICE NOT GIVEN: Notes of a Buddhist Psychiatrist
Penguin Press (editor Ann Godoff), 2017
ms. due February 2017; proposal available

Even though Mark Epstein MD has become known as a ‘Buddhist psychiatrist’ who is profoundly affected by Buddhist principles both personally and in his medical career, he has been reluctant to share this knowledge with the patients who see him in his office.  He has generally subscribed to the tradition of psychoanalysts who veer away from giving direct advice to his patients, many of whom are not Buddhist. Taking his lead from ABC journalist and Nightline host Dan Harris, who wrote in his book 10% Happier that his life had been helped significantly by Epstein’s discussion of Buddhism and meditation, in ADVICE NOT GIVEN Epstein imparts his wisdom of Buddhism and how it may help people navigate their lives. His most accessible book to date, based in personal anecdotes as well as stories about his patients as seen through his 30 years of clinical practice and 40 years of Buddhist practice, the book’s template is Mark Epstein’s interpretation of the Buddha’s Eightfold Path - Right View, Right Motivation, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration.

A portion of the chapter Right View – ‘The Trauma of Being Alive’ - appeared in the Sunday New York Times

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
Penguin Press (editor Ann Godoff), 2013

Sold to: Albin Michel (France); Vallardi/Gems Group (Italy); Hay House (UK); Bulkwang (Korea); Charaketry (Poland); Emitos SPOL (Czech Republic); YOL/Yayinlari (Turkey)

Renowned psychiatrist and author of Thoughts Without a Thinker, Mark Epstein uncovers the transformational potential of trauma, revealing how it can be used for the mind’s own development.  Trauma does not just happen to a few unlucky people, it is the bedrock of our psychology.  Death and illness affect us all, but even the everyday sufferings of loneliness and fear can bring trauma into everyday life. 

Beginning with the legendary early loss of the Buddha’s mother, Epstein reflects on the Buddha's path and teachings.  From here, Epstein looks into his own experience, that of his patients and the many fellow sojourners and teachers he encounters as a psychiatrist and Buddhist.  Epstein finds that in working through trauma, if it doesn’t destroy us, it awakens us to our minds’ own capacity, and to the suffering of others. It can be our greatest teacher, our freedom itself. 

 “As always, Mark Epstein meditates on experience—his own and that of others—with exemplary intelligence, sensitivity and tact.  It is hard to imagine a book this year with more lucid and bracing wisdom.”
- Pankaj Mishra, author of An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World

 “Mark Epstein is one of the very few writers who has been able to make the connections between psychoanalysis and Buddhism seem not merely interesting, but somehow riveting and useful…this inspired and illuminating book clarifies a lot of our presuppositions about trauma and, indeed, about everyday life.”
- Adam Phillips, author of Missing Out and Winnicott

“Mark Epstein's book is a rare and remarkable achievement.  It fuses deep scholarship with deep tenderness—in the spirit of the greatest Buddhist teachers—to investigate the nature and psychic repercussions of trauma… This is a wise and important book.”
 - Siddhartha Muhkerjee, The Emperor of All Maladies

“This daring psychobiography of the Buddha divines in tales of his life the sources of his early emotional pain, and finds in the Buddha’s methods a balm for the human psyche…The Trauma of Everyday Life reads like a gripping mystery—one told by your warm and reassuring, but utterly candid analyst.”
 - Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence


Liel Leibovitz
A BROKEN HALLELUJAH: Rock and Roll, Redemption, and the Life of Leonard Cohen
W.W. Norton (editor Amy Cherry), April 2014, pb 2015

Sold to: Sandstone (UK); SC Publica (Romania); Dereta (Serbia); Vysehrad (Czech); Allia (France)

Publishers Weekly Choice of Top 10 Music Books of 2014; excerpts in The New Republic, Salon, and Tablet

In this philosophical biography, Liel Leibovitz looks at what it is that makes musician/philosopher/poet Leonard Cohen an enduring international figure in the cultural imagination.  Born into a Canadian religious Jewish family, for years a reclusive lyricist on the Greek island of Hydra, known for his bold political commentary, his devotion to Buddhist thought and his later despair over contemporary Zionism, Cohen hardly follows the rules of a conventional rock star. Yet the prophetic themes of his music, often filled with pessimism and apocalyptic visions, prove redemptive to an audience that spans generations, from those who listened in the 1960’s to today. As Leonard Cohen requires, this is a passionate and personal evocation of the man who appeals to the inner spirit of his fervent followers.

Liel Leibovitz is the author/co- author of four books including The Chosen Peoples (Simon & Schuster, 2010) with Todd Gitlin, and with Matthew Miller Lili Marlene: The Soldiers’ Song of WWII (Norton, 2009) and Fortunate Sons: The 120 Chinese Boys who Came to America, Went to School, and Revolutionized an Ancient Civilization (Norton, 2011). Leibovitz is Assistant Professor of Communications at New York University and an editor at Tablet.  
‘…a finely etched musical portrait…both highly spiritual and sensual…A sparkling and psychologically insightful perspective on a unique artist.’
Booklist (starred)

‘Leibovitz neatly limns the spiritual quest that underpins most of Cohen's work, from Montreal to Tel Aviv and beyond.  Less about Suzanne than "Suzanne," Leibovitz's book highlights the novelist behind the songwriter, the poet behind the novelist, and the would- be prophet looming over them all.’ 
–Marc Dolan, author of Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock ‘n’ Roll


James Shapiro
THE YEAR OF LEAR: Shakespeare in 1606
Simon & Schuster (editor Bob Bender), Fall 2015

TV Series optioned by Lookout Point Productions

Sold to: Faber (UK); Ediciones Cátedra (Spanish); Hakusuisha (Japan)
Options: Kariera (Russia); Geulhangari (Korea); ARGO Nakladatelstvi. Spol. (Czech Republic)

BBC Radio 4 ‘Book of the Week’; excerpts in The Guardian and The Sunday Times; appearances at Globe Theatre, Cheltenham Festival, Folger Library

A natural next book to follow the award- winning and critically acclaimed 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare (Samuel Johnson Prize, 2005) comes the book that revolves around the year 1606, the year Shapiro views as Shakespeare’s most fruitful year as a mature playwright.  This year that takes in King Lear, Macbeth and Anthony and Cleopatra, is also the year of the Plague and the Gunpowder Plot.  It’s also a time of Shakespeare’s own reflection on his old age and his art.  

James Shapiro is Professor of English at Columbia University, where he teaches Shakespeare.  His earlier book, A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599 (HarperCollins, 2005), received international acclaim, including the Samuel Johnson Prize. Contested Will (Simon & Schuster, 2010) was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and an IndieBound Notable Book.  Shapiro is also the author of Oberammergau: The Troubling Story of the World’s Most Famous Passion Play (Pantheon, 2000), Shakespeare and the Jews (Columbia, 1996) and Rival Playwrights: Marlow, Shakespeare, Jonson (Columbia, 1991) and the Editor of Shakespeare in America (Library of America, 2014). He reviews regularly for The New York Times Book Review, Times Literary Supplement, and other publications.  He is a consultant for The Royal Shakespeare Company, and the Public Theater productions of Shakespeare.  He has been a visiting scholar at the New Globe Theatre in London, and conducts faculty seminars at the Folger Library where he delivered the ‘birthday lecture.’ Shapiro was a collaborator on Jacobean Genius, a series he hosted for the BBC in Spring 2012, and also hosted for the BBC The Mysterious Mr. Webster in Spring 2014, as well as hosting a Disney documentary, Shakespeare in Love in 2014.

- ‘One of the more delightful harbingers of next year’s quatercentenary celebrations of Shakespeare’s death is the appearance of a new book by James Shapiro, the liveliest and most accessible of the Bardologists...[T]he bright light he shines into obscure corners gives us the illusion that we can almost glimpse the dramatist himself…It can only be hoped that Mr. Shapiro might be persuaded to write a book for every year of Shakespeare’s life.
- Simon Callow, Wall Street Journal

- ‘Shapiro’s discoveries of long- lost sources and missed connections make this a fascinating tale.  His well- written, scholarly exploration will stand as an influential work that is a joy to read.’
- Kirkus (starred review)

- ‘In a difficult year for England, Shapiro recognizes a fruitful time for the country’s greatest playright – William Shakespeare.  Indeed, the very difficulties of 1606 incubated in the imaginative vigor manifest in the three masterpieces the Bard completed that year – King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra, and Macbeth…An impressively fine- grained Shakespearean inquiry.’      - Booklist (starred review)

- ‘No one writes about Shakespeare as Jim Shapiro does; it’s so immediate and alive…His passion for Shakespeare, his excitement and pure joy infect everyone he comes in contact with and absolutely come through in each of his books.’  - F. Murray Abraham.

- ‘The Year of Lear is a masterpiece, weaving together brilliant historical insight with acute literary analysis.  James Shapiro is one of our great Shakespearean scholars, but he is also a master storyteller…This book belongs on the very short shelf of required Shakespearean texts.’  - Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director of The Public Theater

- ‘Shapiro's investigation of Shakespeare's professional fortunes is as fascinating as his scrutiny of the plays….[His book] draws on a mountain of reading, yet is persistently original. It takes us onto the streets of Shakespeare's London, and it reminds us of the brutal culture from which his plays sprang.’ – John Carey, The Sunday Times

- ‘1606 was not only the year of Lear, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra, but of plague, witchcraft and explosive politics, all vividly captured in James Shapiro’s latest tour de force… All the world, as this terrifically interesting book shows, really was a stage.’
- Sam Leith, The Spectator

James Shapiro
HarperCollins (editor Hugh Van Dusen), Fall 2005, paperback June 2006
Sold to: Faber (UK); Siruela (Spain); Planeta (Brazil); ARGO Nakladatelstvi. Spol. (Czech Republic)

Winner of The Theatre Book Prize

The year in question is 1599, the year that Shakespeare wrote four plays, including Hamlet, Henry V, As You Like It and Julius Caesar, and the year that he is thought by critics to have burst into his genius.  Prof. Shapiro acknowledges his genius but also credits his phenomenal output that year with financial and personal reasons, as much as anything else.  It was at the beginning of this year that Shakespeare made the unprecedented move of buying into the Globe Theatre, and also it was at the beginning of this year that he watched his colleague Spenser die unknown and penniless.  This book is a literary, cultural and social history of Shakespeare and his work.

 “As a yarn, this is up there with the 'Da Vinci Code' but in '1599' it’s all true!”
—Sir Ian McKellan

“By voracious reading and a sharp eye for detail, Mr. Shapiro helps us hear the plays through a buzz of contemporary voices- religious, loyal, sceptical, iconoclastic, seditious...What strikes him most about Shakespeare is his sensitivity to ‘the epochal, to moments of profound shifts’; tipping points between Catholicism and Protestantism; between religion and secularism; between nobility and the merchant class, the chivalric knights and the bureaucrat, the hero and the sceptic.  This complex and wide- ranging book was a huge critical success when it was published in Britain earlier this year. American readers, for whom the book is now just available, are also likely to enjoy Mr. Shapiro's nose for the crystallising event or quote that makes these pairs of opposing concepts almost palpable.” —The Economist

“An inspired account of Shakespeare’s finest year...Shapiro’s superb book—the product of marathon scholarship, inspired insight, narrative flair, astute surmise, and searching intelligence—brings Shakespeare’s outer and inner worlds, and the interplay between them, alive with such thrilling immediacy. —Peter Kemp, The Sunday Times

"A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare sustains a biographical paradox quite brilliantly. By concentrating its focus on a single year of Shakespeare's life, it gives a whole large picture of his life, times, and achievement. Wonderful."
  —Andrew Motion, England's Poet Laureate

“A bold solution to the principal problem faced by anyone attempting a chronological account of the dramatist’s life...This is one of the few genuinely original biographies of Shakespeare.”—   Jonathan Bate, Sunday Telegraph

Russell Shorto
AMSTERDAM: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City  
Doubleday (editor Bill Thomas), October 2013

Sold to: Ambo Anthos (Holland); Little, Brown (UK); Objetiva (Brazil); Katz (Spanish); AST (Russia); Magnum (Poland); Chaek- se- song (Korea); Yilin Press (Chinese Simplified)

AMSTERDAM: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City is an authoritative, full- bodied narrative sweep of the city’s 2,000 years.  In this effortlessly erudite portrait, Russell Shorto traces the idiosyncratic evolution of Amsterdam, its history bound up in its unique geography making it one of the most fascinating places on earth—the constant battle of its citizens to keep the sea at bay and the democratic philosophy that this enduring struggle fostered. Amsterdam is the font of liberalism, in both of its senses.  Tolerance for free thinking and free love make it a place where, in the words of one its mayors, ‘craziness is a value.’ But the city also fostered the deeper meaning of liberalism, and continues to serve as a global model for liberal thought and ideas. Shorto brings a dramatic past to life in a most humanistic way through colorful characters, bringing the history of liberal society to light at a moment when liberal values (again) face intense examination in today’s world.  

Russell Shorto, the author of the bestselling The Island at the Center of the World (Doubleday, 2004) – soon to be a PBS television series, a historical drama to air in Fall 2016.   He is also the author of Descartes’ Bones (Doubleday, 2008).  He writes regularly for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and many other publications. He resided for six years in his adopted city of Amsterdam, where he was also the director of the John Adams Institute, and has recently returned to the US, where he is researching his next book.

“Most urban histories focus on bricks and mortar; not this one. Shorto writes engagingly about how a city can engender ideas—order, tolerance, comfort, egalitarianism, entrepreneurship—and in turn be shaped by them.  Amsterdam argues convincingly that Western liberalism has been greatly influenced by this small, modest, crazy- yet- conventional place.” 
- Witold Rybczynski, How Architecture Works

“…brilliant, and always enjoyable, investigation of liberalism’s Dutch roots.  Shorto is once again revealed as a passionate and persuasive historian of culture and ideas.”
- Joseph O’Neill, Netherland

“The story of a great city that has shaped the soul of the world.  Masterful reporting, vivid history – the past are present are equally alive in this book.”
- James Gleick, The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood

Russell Shorto
W.W. Norton (editor Maria Guarnaschelli), 2017
Ms. due Fall, 2016

Sold to: Ambo Anthos (Holland)

Russell Shorto, the author of the acclaimed and bestselling Island at the Center of the World, which reoriented the way in which the Dutch founding of New York is now seen, will similarly use a revisionist approach in writing the story of the founding of the American republic.  In a narrative built around deeply researched characters of the time, this will be a layered and human approach to history, the choice of characters likely to including a founding father, diplomats of British and French affiliation, as well as lesser- known figures whose individual lives will intersect directly or incidentally to follow paths of settlement, slavery, and war, all with the sustaining drama of the revolution itself at its center. This will be a telling that dispenses with ideology, a history for our times.

Russell Shorto
W.W. Norton (editor Maria Guarnaschelli), 2019
Ms. due Fall, 2018

Sold to: Ambo Anthos (Holland)

A smalltime American city, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a mining town at its peak, is also the home of a ‘smalltime’ mafia ring – Sicilian immigrants, classic in their time, who were trying to assimilate and make a living in the best way they could.  This wasn’t big boss Mafia, although some of them knew the big bosses, but everyday mafia.  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.

Wolf, Maryanne
LETTERS TO ‘THE GOOD READER’: Deep Reading in a Digital Culture
HarperCollins (editor Gail Winston), Fall 2017
Proposal available; ms. due August 2016

Sold to: Intershift (Japan); Across Publishing (Korea); Doruk Izdusum (Turkey); Vita e Pensiero (Italy)

Options: Levne knihy KMa (Czech Republic); PatakisPublications (Greece); Business Weekly Publications (Complex Chinese); Spektrum (Germany); Cheers Publishing (Simplified Chinese); Abeille & Castor (France)

Cognitive neuroscientist and author of PROUST AND THE SQUID: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain, Maryanne Wolf reflects on where we stand as readers and as a society in this moment of great change in the digitization of our culture. In the seven years since the publication of PROUST AND THE SQUID, Wolf has continued to chart the course of ‘deep reading,’ and the public has continued to become wary of how our culture will be affected by the infiltration of reading devices, and the speed with which we dart from one written format to another.  In April 2014, a front- page Washington Post article interviewed Maryanne Wolf on her opinions about how the brain and society are being affected in our digital age, in enduring ways.  While the research of this reality is still in a fledging state, there is much to anticipate, not only in terms of how children’s brains are currently developing, but also how adult brains have already begun to ‘re- wire.’  A flood of new press ensued in response to The Washington Post interview, including in The New York Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, AARP, Education Week, several national radio programs, as well as the BBC and CBC (Canadian) interviews, a website run by Dr. Oz, and most recently in July an interview in The New Yorker.  In LETTERS TO ‘THE GOOD READER,’ Wolf will pause, in old- fashioned epistolary form, to consider where we are as a society of readers, and what we need to expect and consider for our collective literary future. 

Maryanne Wolf is a professor at Tufts University, where she founded the Center for Reading and Language Research, which she continues to direct, and is professor in the Elliot- Pearson Dept. of Child Development.  She is currently Scientific Advisor to the Global Literacy Project, based at Tufts, MIT, the University of Georgia, and the Dalai Lama Center, for which she develops content for tablets made available to children in African countries, as well as other rural areas.




Jody Shields
Little, Brown (editor Judy Clain), Fall 2017
Ms. due May 2016

The author of THE FIG EATER brings us to Manchuria, to turn- of- the- century Kharbin, the railway junction that is also a crossroads of civilization, where Russians oversee the Chinese working class.  A Russian doctor, married to a young Chinese woman, is determined to solve the mystery that is killing Kharbin’s inhabitants.  In his lifesaving mission in this frigid frontier city, he meets head up against Chinese medical practices and a Chinese doctor who is his direct opposition.  As the plague unfolds, he must identify and treat the victims, in secrecy and cultural suspicion, while also bowing to bureaucratic mandate.

Based on the true story of the Russian doctor who dedicated his life to the city of Kharbin, the spread and treatment of the plague bears uncanny resemblance not only to the present throes of Ebola, but to plagues throughout history.  Jody Shields’s austere and beautiful language transports the reader to this vivid world.  Jody Shields is the author of the bestselling novels THE FIG EATER and THE CRIMSON PORTRAIT.



Stephen Batchelor
AFTER BUDDHISM: Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular Age
Yale University Press (editor Jennifer Banks), Fall 2015
Sold to: HarperCollins (India); Steinrich (Germany); Asoka (The Netherlands)

Internationally known author of Buddhism Without Beliefs and Confession of a Buddhist Atheist, teacher, and scholar of Buddhism, Stephen Batchelor is committed to a secularized version of Buddhist teachings.  The time has come, he feels, to articulate a coherent ethical, contemplative, and philosophical vision of Buddhism for our age.  In After Buddhism, Batchelor examines who the Buddha was and what he was trying to teach.  Combining critical readings of the earliest canonical text and narrative accounts of five of the Buddha’s inner circle, he depicts the Buddha as a pragmatic ethicist rather than a dogmatic metaphysician.  He envisions Buddhism as a constantly evolving culture of awakening, its survival due to its capacity to reinvent itself and interact creatively with the society that it encounters.

“An audacious disquisition on Buddhism, universal dharma, reality, and suffering for the 21st Century. Batchelor posits that for the deep wisdom of Buddhism to serve humanity fully in our time, it may have to transcend itself.”  - Jon Kabat- Zinn, author of Coming to Our Senses

“With exemplary lucidity, Stephen Batchelor demonstrates the relevance of an ancient thought and practice in our own era….[It] illuminates and clarifies—for those acquainted with Buddhism as well as those coming to it for the first time.” – Pankaj Mishra, author of The End of Suffering


“Batchelor makes the dharma come thrillingly alive.  A masterful achievement.”
- Mark Epstein, M.D.  Author of Thoughts Without a Thinker, The Trauma of Everyday Life

“Those looking for a serious, secular examination of Buddhist ethics that acknowledges religiosity will find this book highly intelligent, rigorous, and absorbing” – Publishers Weekly (starred review)


Nathan Kravis, MD
COUCH: The Psychoanalytic Couch as Seen Through the History of Furniture Design (Illustrated) 
MIT Press (editor Roger Conover), 2017

Nathan Kravis, MD and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, traces the history of the psychoanalytic couch over two millennia of design, from the reclining furniture of Greek symposium and Roman convivium to the sofa of the 18th century French court, to the adjustable chaise longue of the18th and 19th century sanatoriums for tuberculosis treatment.  With 100 illustrations and accompanying text, Kravis depicts throughout the ages the cultural and medical trends of the recumbent position in its traditions of healing, luxury, pleasure, eroticism, and recumbent speech as a means to free association – a historic backdrop for Freud’s use of the couch in psychoanalytic treatment. 

Nathan Kravis teaches psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College, and is Associate Director of Cornell Institute for the History of Psychiatry, and has been a practicing psychiatrist since 1987.  One of the leading commentators within American psychoanalysis today, Dr. Kravis has served on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, and is currently on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Psycho- Analysis and the Psychoanalytic Quarterly.  His paper, ‘The Analyst’s Hatred of Analysis’ was one of the most frequently downloaded articles in the Psychoanalytic Quarterly when it was published in 2013.  He has lectures widely on the topic of the history of the couch in psychoanalysis at venues ranging from University College London and Rhode Island School of Design to the New York Academy of Medicine.