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A shy manifesto, an impractical handbook, the true story of a fabulist, an entire life in parts and pieces, Manhood for Amateurs is the first sustained work of personal writing from Michael Chabon. In these insightful, provocative, slyly interlinked essays, one…

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I sort of see you surrounded with fine-tooth combs, sandpaper, nail files, pots of varnish, etc.-with heaps of used commas and semicolons handy, and little useless phrases taken out of their contexts and dying all over the floor," Elizabeth Bishop said upon…

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This new selection of Thoreau’s essays traces his trajectory as a writer for the outlets of his day—the periodical press, newspapers, and compendiums—and as a frequent presenter on the local lecture circuit. By arranging the writings…

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In 1950, at the age of twenty-four, William Clark Styron, Jr., wrote to his mentor, Professor William Blackburn of Duke University. The young writer was struggling with his first novel, Lie Down in Darkness, and he was nervous about whether his “strain and…

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A great American writer's confrontation with a great European critic--a personal and intellectual awakening A hundred years ago, the Viennese satirist Karl Kraus was among the most penetrating and farsighted writers in Europe. In his self-published magazine,…

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Following The Broken Estate , The Irresponsible Self , and How Fiction Works -books that established James Wood as the leading critic of his generation- The Fun Stuff c onfirms Wood's preeminence, not only as a discerning judge but also as an appreciator of the…

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From the author of A Book of One’s Own and Stolen Words comes a delightful and wide-ranging investigation of the art of letter writing. Yours Ever explores the offhand masterpieces dispatched through the ages by messenger, postal service, and BlackBerry.…

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What’s a novelist supposed to do with contemporary culture? And what’s contemporary culture sup­posed to do with novelists? In The Ecstasy of Influence , Jonathan Lethem, tangling with what he calls the “white elephant” role of the…

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Brilliant, dazzling, never-before-collected nonfiction writings by "one of America's most daring and talented writers." ( Los Angeles Times Book Review ). Both Flesh and Not gathers fifteen of Wallace's seminal essays, all published in book form for the…

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New York Times bestselling author Nicholson Baker, “who writes like no one else in America” ( Newsweek ), has assembled his best nonfiction writing over the last fifteen years, a trove of original and provocative pieces. Nicholson Baker, who…

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In May 1913, Rupert Brooke embarked on a year-long expedition of North America, visiting the United States, Canada, and finally the South Seas. He sent his impressions home in a series of letters, written for publication in the Westminster Gazette , describing…

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In this wickedly sharp collection of essays, the eminent wit and perennially popular Jerome K. Jerome muses on various subjects vital to successful living, among them "The Inadvisability of Following Advice" and "The Disadvantage of Not Getting What One…