Anne Edelstein Literary Agency LLC
800 Riverside Drive #5E, New York, NY 10032, (212) 414- 4923

 

Tara Brach
FEARLESS LOVE: Freeing your Heart with the Practice of RAIN
Viking (editor Carole DeSanti), Fall 2019
Proposal available; ms. due September 2018

Sold to: Rider UK; Droemer Knaur (Germany)

Options: Kosmos (Holland); Eurasian Press (Taiwan); Huaxia (Chinese Simplified); Basam Books (Finland); Alfaomega (Spain & Latin America); Bulkwang (Korea); BIS SRL (Italy); Belfond (France); Grup Media Litera SRL (Romania);VEXTA Eood (Bulgaria); Fontana Esotera (Czech Republic)

One of the most loved and trusted mindfulness teachers in America today, Tara Brach, author of the highly popular Radical Acceptance and True Refuge, offers a lifeline for difficult times.  Through the innovative practice of RAIN, a core piece of her teaching, Tara offers a four-step process that can bring forth key elements of mindfulness and self-compassion on the spot.  This book, to be filled with instances of Tara’s own experience and that of her thousands of students, is a guide to this practice.  The practice of RAIN can change limiting beliefs, uproot old fears, and challenge feelings of unworthiness, allowing for authenticity in ourselves, and in our world.

Tara Brach is the founder of Insight Meditation Center of Washington, DC, one of the largest and most dynamic meditation centers in the US.  Besides being known as the author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge, she is perhaps most famous for her podcasts (for which she receives 1.5 million downloads a month), and was counted by The Wall Street Journal as one of the 10 Best Podcasts for 2016. Her meditation work was featured last year in a special health section of The New York Times, and she has been featured in The Washington Post, Psychology Today, and The Huffington Post. She has been invited to consult on meditation and mindfulness for clients as wide ranging as the US Senate, Harvard Medical School, The Smithsonian Institute, the Kaiser Foundation, and The New York Times staff. Last year she delivered a keynote address at Dreamforce, the world’s largest tech conference. She is currently collaborating with Jack Kornfield on a mindfulness practice for the workplace—a 15-minute a day course, with clients including Starbucks, Facebook, and Ford.

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); Fontana Esotera (Czech Republic)

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.
 

Lily Brett
LOLA BENSKY
Counterpoint (editor Jack Shoemaker), September 2013
Sold to: Penguin (Australia); Suhrkamp (Germany); La Grande Ourse (France); E/O (Italy)

2014 Prix Médicis Étranger

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.

Lily Brett
TOO MANY MEN
Suhrkamp, La Grande Ourse, Penguin Australia
Film: coproduction by Kings & Queens Productions and Lars Van Triers production Co., Zentropa

This backlist title, first published in 1999, continues to thrive.  It has been re-published by both of its original publishers, Suhrkamp and Penguin Australia, and is due to go into film production in 2017.

Ruth Roxwax, a successful and independent New York woman with her own business Roxwax Communications, writing condolence letters, thank-you letters, and even you-were-great-in-bed letters on behalf of those who need them, is also a devoted daughter of Edek, an Auschwitz survivor.  She accompanies Edek back to his home in Poland, where Edek revisits childhood and Ruth finds how entangled she is with what becomes her personal search for memory and meaning, thereby confronting her own humor.  With the classic Lily Brett twist of black humor, as she deeply delves into life’s very definition, it’s understandable that this novel has remained a classic.

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

Option publishers: Albin Michel (France); Bulkwang (Korea); Charaketry (Poland); Emitos SPOL (Czech Republic); YOL/Yayinlari (Turkey)

Renowned psychiatrist and author Dr. Mark Epstein presents a guide to understanding Western psychotherapy in terms of his knowledge of Buddhism, devoted to maximizing the human potential for living a better life. Our ego, and its accompanying sense of nagging self-doubt as we work to be bigger, better, smarter, and more in control, is one affliction we all share. And, while our 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, and both come to the same conclusion: When we give the ego free reign, we suffer; but when it learns to let go, we are free.

Using the Eightfold Path, eight areas of self-reflection that Buddhists believe necessary for enlightenment, as his scaffolding, Epstein looks back productively 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 become something more: a road map for spiritual and psychological growth, a way of dealing with the intractable problem of the ego. Breaking down the wall between East and West, Epstein brings a Buddhist sensibility to therapy and a therapist’s practicality to Buddhism.

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.

Praise for ADVICE NOT GIVEN:

“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

“Extraordinary. Mark Epstein does a remarkable job in bringing together the traditions of Buddhism and psychotherapy into an immensely useful book for our time.”
--Roshi Joan Halifax, Abbot of Upaya Zen Center, and author of Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death
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

Praise for:  THE TRAUMA OF EVERYDAY LIFE

“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

 

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
SHAKESPEARE IN A DIVIDED AMERICA
Penguin Press (editor Ann Godoff), Spring 2020
Proposal available, ms. due August 2019

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

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), in SHAKESPEARE IN A DIVIDED AMERICA, addresses how the plays of Shakespeare and only 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, America’s foremost 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), 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. 

James Shapiro is Professor of English at Columbia University, where he teaches Shakespeare.  His earlier books have received international acclaim, including The Year of Lear: 1606, which won the James Tait Black Prize; A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599, which won the Samuel Johnson Prize; Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?,a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Shapiro is also the author of Oberammergau: The Troubling Story of the World’s Most Famous Passion Play, Shakespeare and the Jews, and Rival Playwrights: Marlowe, Shakespeare, Jonson, and is the Editor of Shakespeare in America (Library of America).  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 is a board member. Shapiro was a collaborator on Jacobean Genius, a series he hosted for the BBC, and also hosted for the BBC The Mysterious Mr. Webster, as well as hosting a Disney documentary, Shakespeare in Love, in 2014.  

Praise for The Year of Lear: 1606:

“Irresistible—a banquet of wisdom.”
-- Jane Smiley, The New York Times Book Review

“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

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

“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

 

Russell Shorto
REVOLUTION SONG: A Story of American Freedom
W.W. Norton (editor Julia Reidhead), November 2017
Galleys available

Sold to: Ambo Anthos (The Netherlands)

In his epic new book, Shorto takes us back to the founding of the American nation, drawing on diaries, letters, and autobiographies to flesh out six lives that cast the era in a fresh new light. They include a black man who freed himself and his family from slavery, a contemplative Iroquois, a rebellious young woman who abandoned her abusive husband to chart her own course, and a certain Mr. Washington, who was admired for his social graces but harshly criticized for his often disastrous military strategy.

Through these lives we understand that the revolution was fought over the meaning of individual freedom, a philosophical idea that became a force for violent change. This powerful narrative makes the case that the American Revolution is still being fought today and that its ideals are worth defending. 

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 co. 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.

“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

“Russell Shorto shows us what a diverse, fascinating, cosmopolitan place this country has been since its founding. The colonial world of Shorto's striving Americans is a marvelous stage for ambition, avarice, and, ever so unevenly, the search for freedom.”
—Charles C. Mann, author of 1491

“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 author of The Witches: Salem, 1692

“[Shorto has] worked his magic again. Through his vigorous language, his mastery of archival sources, and the pleasing interweave of his six carefully chosen characters, [he] has composed a powerful polyphonic story, simultaneously grand and intimate, that makes us hear (and see and feel) the tumult of our nation's founding as never before.”
—Hampton Sides, New York Times best-selling author of Blood and Thunder and In the Kingdom of Ice

“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

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); Gusa (Chinese Complex)

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.  

“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
SMALLTIME
W.W. Norton (editor Julia Reidhead), 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.

 

Maryanne Wolf
LETTERS TO THE GOOD READER: The Impact of Digital Culture on the Reading Brain
HarperCollins (editor Gail Winston), August 2018
Ms. due October 2017

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 since then, including interviews in The New York Times, USA Today, The New Yorker, The Boston Globe, AARP, Education Week, several national radio programs, as well as the BBC and CBC (Canadian). In LETTERS TO THE GOOD READER, Wolf will pause, in classic epistolary form, to consider where we are as a society of readers, providing a cautionary but hopeful perspective on the impact of technology on our brains and our most essential intellectual capacities—and what this means 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.

 

ADDITIONAL TITLES, FOREIGN RIGHTS CONTROLLED BY PUBLISHERS

Nina Barrett
THE LEOPOLD & LOEB FILES: An Intimate Look at One of America’s Most Infamous Crimes
Agate Publishing (editor Doug Seibold), Spring 2018

Known as the ‘crime of the century,’ Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb’s murder of a 14-year old boy on the afternoon of May 21, 1924 in Chicago continues to capture the public imagination 90 years later. The willful murder committed by two highly educated, upper-middle class young men continues to ignite discussion on matters of sanity, sexuality, social entitlement, parental responsibility, and use of the death penalty today. The Leopold & Loeb Files by Nina Barrett is a fresh look at the infamous case, based on an extraordinary collection of documents housed in the special collections of the Northwestern University Library. The documents and artifacts in effect unfold as an ‘oral history’ in the voices and testimonies of Leopold and Loeb, their parents, psychiatrists, newspaper reporting of the time, and transcripts of the brilliant defense by Clarence Darrow, known in this case as the ‘attorney for the damned.’

Nina Barrett, who was a researcher at Northwestern University special collections, is the author of two memoirs, has been the host of National Public Radio cooking show Fear of Frying, and is presently co-owner of a successful Chicago independent bookstore. 

 

Stephen Batchelor
AFTER BUDDHISM: Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular Age
Yale University Press (editor Jennifer Banks), Fall 2015, paperback February 2017
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)

Stephen Batchelor
SECULAR BUDDHISM
Yale University Press (editor Jennifer Banks), February 2017

A collected volume of Stephen Batchelor’s writings, exploring the complex implications of Buddhism’s secularization.  In essays ranging in theme from reincarnation, religious belief, and agnosticism to he role of the arts in Buddhist practice, Batchelor offers a detailed picture of contemporary Buddhism and its attempt to find a voice in the modern world.

 

Nathan Kravis, MD
ON THE COUCH: A Repressed History of the Analytic Couch from Plato to Freud (Illustrated) 
MIT Press (editor Roger Conover), September 2017

Nathan Kravis, himself a practicing psychoanalyst, 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 124 color 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, MD is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and is Associate Director of Cornell Institute for the History of Psychiatry.  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.

“A penetrating commentary on how the eternal truths of psychoanalysis intersect with fashion and happenstance. This psychoanalysis of the couch itself is written with both humor and insight.”
—Andrew Solomon, Far from the Tree

 

Liel Leibovitz
STAN LEE: Four Superheroes in Search of an Author
Yale University Press, Jewish Lives Series (editor Ileene Smith), 2019
Ms. due Fall 2018

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 his 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 – 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
Galleys available

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.

Jody Shields’ stunning language transports the reader to a vivid world, based on the true story of the Russian doctor who dedicated his life to the city of Kharbin and the treatment of the plague. She is also the author of the bestselling novel THE FIG EATER and THE CRIMSON PORTRAIT.

“THE WINTER STATION is a novel set in Russia that to its great credit reads like a Russian novel. Set early in the 20th Century, it is 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