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Habibi by Craig Thompson (Pantheon) Habibi is a fable of exploitation and the cruelty of the strong toward the weak. It is a love story, though the the kind of love it celebrates--maternal, platonic, erotic--remains elusive throughout. It is also a sermon complete with hell-fire and brimstone and strident pleading about the dangers of the sin of waste. Most of all it is prophecy dressed in poetry's clothing--an artful shriek announcing of the end of the world.

The story is finally an allegory of the soul as woman, and black child, as sexually exploited, enslaved and environmentally raped set in a mythically ensnared fable of extreme industrial development and oriental despotic capital wanton waste. This fable juxtaposes traditional Qur'anic folklore with its modernistic isolation of a child adoptive mother and their unconventional love and resolution. The introduction of magic squares and calligraphic symbolism offers in the end a sustained cosmological twist and depth to the tale. More

Mockingbird Passing: Closeted Traditions and Sexual Curiosities in Harper Lee's Novel by Holly Virginia Blackford (The University of Tennessee Press) How often does a novel earn its author both the Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded to Harper Lee by George W. Bush in 2007, and a spot on a list of  '100 best gay and lesbian novels'? Clearly, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning tale of race relations and coming of age in Depression-era Alabama, means many things to many people. In Mockingbird Passing, Holly Blackford invites readers to view Lee’s beloved novel in parallel with works by other iconic American writers – from Emerson, Whitman, Stowe, and Twain to James, Wharton, McCullers, Capote, and others. In the process, she locates the book amid contesting literary traditions while simultaneously exploring the rich ambiguities that define its characters. More 

Land (3 vols.) by Pak Kyung-Ni and translated with Introduction and glossary by Agnita Tennant (Global Oriental: Brill) Acclaimed as the most powerful and important piece of Modern Korean writing, the epic sweep of Land is breathtaking in its conception and execution. Set against the background of the struggle between conservative and modernizing forces at the turn of the twentieth century, it follows the fortunes of several generations of Korean villagers during a time of unsurpassed turbulence and change. To Korean readers, upon whose imagination Land has an unparalleled hold, and for whom the characters and village have a palpable reality, it is the great national novel — the work that embodies—the many elements that make up Korea and the Koreans of today.
Beginning with the village's celebration of the Harvest Moon Festival in 1897, the plot takes place over a ten-year period and revolves around the household of Ch'oe Chisu, a rich landowner, who, though envied by many for his wealth, is embittered by the fact that his wife has not borne him a son. Characters emerge upon whom the rest of the story devolves — including the Lady Yun with her prophetic wisdom; the wilful Sohui, daughter of Ch'oe Chisu; and the tender-hearted Wolson, accepting as her due the ignominy of life as a shaman's daughter.
An enthralling saga and panorama of Korean village life in the early 20th century (roughly 1895-1925) by that country's most highly acclaimed living novelist. The story, which possesses both the formal dimensions and the high seriousness of epic, is set in a period during which Japan held strong sway over Korea, regulating its business and industry and making arbitrary land grants to Japanese settlers. At the heart of the novel is a series of conflicts between Korean conservatives too enervated to oppose Japan's acquisitive energies and radical native insurgents. Their resistance culminated in the Dong Hak rebellion, a watershed historical event that casts long shadows over the intricately interwoven fates of Kyong-Ni's vividly drawn characters--most especially Choi Chisoo, an arrogant, wealthy landowner, hated and envied by his neighbors and servants, and at continual odds with his embittered wife, whose ``failure'' to bear him a son provokes Choi's bitter displeasure and sets in motion a chain of events leading to his downfall. The author employs a kind of Upstairs, Downstairs structure, in which nondescript villagers and assorted second-class citizens observe, comment on, and in some ways parallel the lives of their ``betters.'' Among the most memorable are Pyongsan, an impoverished landowner waiting patiently through half a lifetime to be revenged on the avaricious Choi; the handsome villager Yongi; and the scheming Guinyo, the ambitious housemaid whose plan to rise above her station precipitates chaos, losses, and death, and drives the story to its stunning, tragic conclusion. The energy of melodrama surges through this big novel, yet as a portrait of a culture and a knowing psychological tale of the social and personal consequences of rigidly enforced class differences, it's a work of high literary distinction as well. A much-beloved work in Korea (where it was made into an equally popular television series) that should find many grateful admirers in America as well. More

Warming the Stone Child: Myths and Stories about Abandonment and the Unmothered Child by Clarissa Pinkola Ests, audiobook, 2 CDs, unabridged, running time 1 hours (Jungian Storyteller Series: Sounds True)
The pain of abandonment, both real and metaphorical, can cast a shadow over a persons entire adult experience. Warming the Stone Child investigates the abandoned child archetype in world myths and cultures to find clues about the process of healing the unmothered child within us all. Spiced with Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Ests' storytelling, Warming the Stone Child is a unique listening experience with a practical edge.
On 2 CDs, Ests leads listeners past the gates of the conscious mind to discover the unmothered child within. Along the way, this gifted storyteller and Jungian psychoanalyst instructs them about the psychology of abandonment in childhood, how it affects them in later life, and its curiously special gifts and powers. Drawing from many world cultures, Ests has gathered a collection of deep myths, fables, and fairy tales with adult listeners in mind. Her storytelling creates a compelling picture of the orphan figure through the ages, while helping listeners understand the meaning of preadolescent abandonment in their own lives. More

Deep Waters: The Textual Continuum in American Indian Literature by Christopher B. Teuton (University of Nebraska Press) Weaving connections between indigenous modes of oral storytelling, visual depiction, and contemporary American Indian literature, Deep Waters demonstrates the continuing relationship between traditional and contemporary Native American systems of creative representation and signification. Christopher B. Teuton, associate professor of English at the University of Denver, begins with a study of Mesoamerican writings, Din sand paintings, and Haudenosaunee wampum belts. He proposes a theory of how and why indigenous oral and graphic means of recording thought are interdependent, their functions and purposes determined by social, political, and cultural contexts. More 

Elizabeth Bishop: Poems, Prose and Letters by Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Giroux, and Lloyd Schwartz (Library of America) On the occasion this month of the 100th birthday of one of America's greatest modem poets, The Library of America wants to remind you of its recently published collection: Elizabeth Bishop: Poems, Prose and Letters. With this landmark volume, Elizabeth Bishop joins the short list of American poets whose work has been collected and preserved in The Library of America: Poe, Whitman, Longfellow, Pound, Crane, Frost, and Stevens.
This carefully edited book collects much of Bishop's poetry and prose--fiction, memoir, reportage, reviews--between two covers for the first time. This edition is the first to contain all the poetry that Bishop published in her lifetime - including the classic volumes North & South, A Cold Spring, Questions of Travel, and Geography III - and an extensive selection of unpublished poems and drafts of poems, as well as all of her published poetic translations. The volume also brings together most of her published prose writings, including fiction, reminiscences, travel writing about the places (Nova Scotia, Florida, Brazil) that so profoundly marked her poetry, and literary essays, including a number of pieces not previously collected. The book is rounded out with a selection of 49 letters written between 1933 and 1979, to such correspondents as Robert Lowell, Marianne Moore, and Randall Jarrell. The result is a single edition that offers a full-scale presentation of a writer of startling range and originality, the perfect introduction for readers new to Bishop's work, and the ultimate collector's edition for her many devoted fans. More

Windows to the Mind: Metaphor, Metonymy and Conceptual Blending  by Sandra Handl and Hans-Jorg Schmid (Cognitive Linguistic Research; De Gruyter Mouton) Focusing on a wide range of linguistic structures, the articles in this volume explore the explanatory potential of two of the most influential cognitive-linguistic theories, conceptual metaphor and metonymy theory and conceptual blending theory. Whether enthusiastic or critical in their stance, the contributors seek to enhance our understanding of how conventional as well as creative ways of thinking influence our language and vice versa. More

 Is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How It Shapes the Way We See the World by James Geary (Harper) "It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!" This is one of Shakespeare's most famous lines and one of the most well-known metaphors in literature. But metaphor is much more than a mere literary device employed by love-struck poets when they refer to their girlfriends as interstellar masses of incandescent gas. It is also intensely yet inconspicuously present in everything from ordinary conversation and commercial messaging to news reports and political speeches. Metaphor is at work in all fields of human endeavor, including economics, business, science, and psychology.

In I Is an Other, James Geary takes readers from Aristotle's investigation of metaphor right up to the latest neuroscientific insights into how metaphor works in the brain. Along the way, he demonstrates how metaphor affects financial decision making, how metaphor lurks behind effective advertisements, how metaphor inspires learning and discovery, and how metaphor can be used as a tool to achieve emotional insight and psychological change. Geary also explores how a life without metaphor, as experienced by some people with autism spectrum disorders, significantly changes the way a person interacts with the world. As Geary demonstrates, metaphor has leaped off the page and landed with a mighty splash right in the middle of our stream of consciousness. More  

The Survival of Myth: Innovation, Singularity and Alterity Revised edition by Paul Hardwick and David Kennedy (Cambridge Scholars Publishing) What are myths and what are they for? Myths are stories that both tell us how to live and remind us the inescapability and pull of the collective past. The Survival of Myth: Innovation, Singularity and Alterity explores the continuing power of primal stories to inhabit our thinking. An international range of contributors examine a range of texts and figures from the Bible to Cormac McCarthy and from Thor to the Virgin Mary to focus on the way that ancient stories both give access to the unconscious and offer individuals and communities personae or masks. Myths translated and recreated become, in this sense, very public acts about very private thoughts and feelings. The subtitle of the book, Innovation, Singularity and Alterity, reflects the way in which the history of cultures in all genres is a history of innovation, of a search for new modes of expression which, paradoxically, often entails recourse to myth precisely because it offers narratives of singularity and otherness which may be readily appropriated. The individual contributors offer testament to the continuing significance of myth through its own constant metamorphosis, as it both reflects and transforms the societies in which it is (re)produced. More

The Rise and Reason of Comics and Graphic Literature: Critical Essays on the Form by Joyce Goggin and Dan Hassler-Forest (McFarland) These 15 essays investigate comic books and graphic novels, beginning with the early development of these media. The essays also place the work in a cultural context, addressing theory and terminology, adaptations of comic books, the superhero genre, and comic books and graphic novels that deal with history and nonfiction. By addressing the topic from a wide range of perspectives, the book offers readers a nuanced and comprehensive picture of current scholarship in the subject area. More

The Dangerous Old Woman: Myths and Stories of the Wise Woman Archetype [6 audio CDs, running time 7 hours] by Clarissa Pinkola Ests (Sounds True)
Did you know, you were born as the first, and the last and the best and the only one of your kind, and that eccentricity is the first sign of giftedness? These are two of the crone truths I have to offer you. from the audio CD
If readers have any doubt, come to the fireside of The Dangerous Old Woman for the soul-healing wisdom that will ignite creativity and support readers highest calling in life. Three decades in the writing, The Dangerous Old Woman presents part one of Clarissa Pinkola Ests' masterwork. In six inspire 'til you're on fire sessions, Ests animates the archetypal patterns of the Wise Woman through her original stories, poetry, and blessings. More

A Comparative History of Literatures in the Iberian Peninsula: Volume I edited by Cabo Aseguinolaza (Comparative History of Literatures in European Languages: John Benjamins) is the second comparative history of a new subseries with a regional focus, published by the Coordinating Committee of the International Comparative Literature Association. As its predecessor for East-Central Europe, this two-volume history distances itself from traditional histories built around periods and movements, and explores, from a comparative viewpoint, a space considered to be a powerful symbol of inter-literary relations. Both the geographical pertinence and its symbolic condition are obviously discussed, when not even contested.
In June of 2004 the Coordinating Committee for a Comparative History of Literatures in European Languages (International Comparative Literature Association) definitively approved the design for a Comparative History of the Literatures in the Iberian Peninsula, the first volume of which now comes to light. This proposal, first put forward through the efforts of Dario Villanueva, was later backed by the concession, and development, of various research projects led by Fernando Cabo Aseguinolaza at the Area of Literary Theory and Comparative Literature at the University of Santiago de Compostela. More 

Phillis Wheatley and the Romantics by John C. Shields (The University of Tennessee Press) Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784?) was the first African American to publish a book. Born in Gambia in 1753, she came to America aboard a slave ship, the Phillis. From an early age, Wheatley exhibited a profound gift for verse, publishing her first poem in 1767 her tribute to a famed pastor "On the Death of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield" followed in 1770, catapulting her into the international spotlight, and publication of her 1773 Poems on Various Subjects Religious and Moral in London made her a literary phenomenon. More 

Transparency and Dissimulation: Configurations of Neoplatonism in Early Modern English Literature by Verena Olejniczak Lobsien(Transformationen Der Antike: Walter de Gruyter) Transparency and Dissimulation analyses the configurations of ancient Neoplatonism in early modern English texts. In looking closely at poems and prose writings by authors as diverse as Thomas Wyatt, Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, John Donne, Edward Herbert, Andrew Marvell, Thomas Traherne, Thomas Browne and, last not least, Aphra Behn, this study attempts to map the outlines of a Neoplatonic aesthetics in literary practice as well as to chart its transformative potential in the shifting contexts of cultural turbulency and denominational conflict in 16th- and 17th-century England. What emerges is a versatile poetics of excess and enigma that shows surprising effects above all in the way it helps to resist the easy answers - in religion, science, or the fashions of libertine love. More

The Longman Anthology of British Literature, Volume I: The Middle Ages through The Eighteenth Century Fourth Edition, edited by David Damrosch and Kevin J. H. Dettmar (Pearson Education)

Longman Anthology of British Literature, Volume II, The Romantics to the 20th Century and Beyond Fourth Edition, edited by David Damrosch, Kevin J. H. Dettmar, Christopher Baswell, and Clare Carroll (Pearson Education) With its first edition, The Longman Anthology of British Literature created a new paradigm for anthologies. Responding to major shifts in literary studies over the past thirty years, it became the first collection to pay detailed attention to the contexts within which these classic works of British literature were created and to highlight the full cultural diversity of the British isles. For the first time, canonical authors mingled with newly visible writers; English accents were heard next to Anglo-Norman, Welsh, and Scottish ones; female and male voices were set in dialogue; literature from the British Isles was integrated with post-colonial writing; and major works were complemented with shorter pieces and "perspectives" groupings that brought literary, social, cultural, and historical issues vividly to life. More

Poetry and Language Writing: Objective and Surreal by David Arnold (Liverpool University Press) It has been variously labelled 'Language poetry', 'Language writing', `L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E writing' (after the magazine that ran from 1978 to 1981) and `Language-centred writing'. It has been variously defined as non-referential or of diminished reference, as textual poetry or a critique of expressivism, as a reaction against the 'workshop' poetry enshrined in creative writing departments across the United States. It has been variously described as non-academic, theory conscious, avant-garde, postmodern and oppositional. It has been placed according to its geographical positions, on east or west coasts of the United States; its venues in small magazines, independent presses and performance spaces; and its descent from historical precursors, be they the Objectivists, the composers-by-field of the Black Mountain school, the Russian Constructivists or American modernism a la William Carlos Williams and Gertrude Stein. Indeed, one of the few statements that can be made about it with little qualification is that 'it' has both fostered and endured a crisis in representation more or less since it first became visible in the 1970s.In this timely volume, David Arnold not only provides a means for coming to terms with this influential mode of writing and its ongoing crisis of representation but also reassesses the complex relationship between language poetry and surrealism, through discussion of some of late twentieth-century’s most innovative poets, including Charles Bernstein, Susan Howe, Michael Palmer, and Barrett Watten More

William Blake and Religion: A New Critical View by Magnus Ankarsjö (McFarland) Over the last ten years the field of Blake studies has profited from new discoveries about Blake's life and work. This book examines the effect that Blake's mother's recently discovered Moravianism has had on our understanding of his poetry, and gives special attention to Moravianism and Swedenborgianism and their relation to his sexual politics. This is accomplished by a close reading of Blake's poetry, which examines in detail the subjects of religion, sex, and the attempted colonization of Africa by a Swedenborgian utopian group. More

Blake’s Margins: An Interpretive Study of the Annotations by Hazard Adam (McFarland) Known for his prophetic and imaginative works of poetry, painting, and printmaking, William Blake was also a prolific reader and annotator of other writers' works. This is the first work of criticism to consider Blake's annotations in their entirety, and it covers such topics as art, poetry, theology, madness and philosophy, as well as the authors Lavater, Swedenborg, Bacon, Spurzheim, Berkeley, and Wordsworth, among others. More

The Narrative Secret of Flannery O'Connor: The Trickster as Interpreter by Ruthann Knechel Johansen (University Alabama Press) "Johansen... goes a long way toward unlocking the diverse strategies employed by O'Connor. Her thoroughgoing knowledge of O'Connor's work is always impressive. It's a lively time for O'Conner criticism, and Johansen is certainly one of O'Connor's more lively readers." - South Atlantic Review "I recommend the book to readers interested in the trickster, and those who know and love O'Connor's fiction enough to relish new insights.... Johansen has earned her place in the ranks of those who continue to delight in O'Connor's fiction, to delight in attempts to explain its power over us, and to take pleasure in the certainty that her fiction will continue to elude our explanations." - Text and Performance Quarterly
Examines the structural elements and narrative methods Flannery O'Connor employs "to create her fictional landscape." Focuses on her use of the archetypal trickster as "a likely guide through [her] landscape and interpreter of her narrative secret."  More

Poetry, consciousness and community by Christopher (Kit) Kelen (Consciousness, Literature & the Arts: Rodopi) The process of poetry has importantly intuitive aspects and poetry embodies an ambivalence towards consciousness and towards those activities of thought in which it is constituted. It was ability to favour doubt over the productions of the rational mind that led Keats to associate poetry with his 'negative capability'. Consciousness is - like poetry - a floating signifier, a term of wide reference, and with a range of implications in the various disciplinary contexts in which it finds currency. Poetry, consciousness and community is about these abstractions, about their reflexive relationships in process, and about how these relationships matter to the world today and to worlds to come.
This book is interested in the nature of poetic, as opposed to other, thought; it is interested in the critical application of these forms of thought to each others' productions, and in how poetic thought
might or might not be subject to its own regime. Poetry - as practice of testing the limits of language - entails a reflexive goal: that of understanding the journey in words made possible for, and by, the poem. Poetic meaning and truth are revealed between languages (likewise between genres, between texts, between subjects); it is in this inter-subjective and inter-cultural space that the limits of language (and so of conceivable worlds) are found. More 

Posthumous Keats: A Personal Biography by Stanley Plumly (paper) (WW Norton), National Book Award finalist Stanley Plumly traces the period in Keats' life referred to by the poet himself in a heart-rending letter as his "posthumous existence" —from 1818, and the long walking tour in the cold Northern British isles with Charles Armitage Brown that led both to Keats' meeting with the woman to whom he became secretly engaged, Fanny Brawne, and to the first outward manifestation of Keats' terminal illness (a prolonged sore throat), to the poet's death in 1821, after a desperate six months hoping for recovery in the more hospitable climate of Rome, sharing a room there with his comrade and de facto nurse cum biographer, the painter Joseph Severn.

In addition to chronicling Keats' final days, Plumly pays particular attention to how remembrance of Keats has gradually evolved and the tortured arguments among his posthumous supporters about how to appropriately memorialize him. He gives due attention to the familiar tragedies of Keats' late life — a lingering sense that has family had some genetic curse after both his mother and brother Tom died of consumption; the jarringly negative reviews of Keats' major debut poem Endymion in establishment journals like the Quarterly Review; Keats' secret, forever unconsummated engagement to Fanny Brawne; the increasingly sporadic support of most of his friends as his condition worsened; the mismanagement of his inheritance by family members and the tight purse strings of a controlling trustee; and the persistent, exacerbating misdiagnoses of Keats' illness by six successive physicians. More 

A History of the Book in America: Volume 5: The Enduring Book: Print Culture in Postwar America edited by David Paul Nord, Joan Shelley Rubin, MIchael Schudson, David D. Hall (The University of North Carolina Press) 

The fifth volume of A History of the Book in America addresses the economic, social, and cultural shifts affecting print culture from World War II to the present. During this period factors such as the expansion of government, the growth of higher education, the climate of the Cold War, globalization, and the development of multimedia and digital technologies influenced the patterns of consolidation and diversification established earlier.

The thirty-three contributors to the volume explore the evolution of the publishing industry and the business of bookselling. The histories of government publishing, law and policy, the periodical press, literary criticism, and reading--in settings such as schools, libraries, book clubs, self-help programs, and collectors' societies--receive imaginative scrutiny as well. The Enduring Book demonstrates that the corporate consolidations of the last half-century have left space for the independent publisher, that multiplicity continues to define American print culture, and that even in the digital age, the book endures.

David Paul Nord is professor of journalism and adjunct professor of history at Indiana University. He is author of Faith in Reading: Religious Publishing and the Birth of Mass Media in America. Joan Shelley Rubin is professor of history at the University of Rochester. She is author of Songs of Ourselves: The Uses of Poetry in America. Michael Schudson is professor of communication at the University of California, San Diego and at the Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University. He is author of Why Democracies Need an Unlovable Press.  More 

The Greatest Dictionary ever Produced in America, easily a rival of the OED.

Century Dictionary and Cyclopaedia edited by William Dwight Whitney and Benjamin Smith (Gorgias Historical Dictionaries 1: Gorgias Press) 12 volumes From the 1889–1910 edition: 978-1-59333-375-1 comprises twelve volumes, including over 500,000 defined terms, and two volumes of concise encyclopedic entries. The Century Dictionary contains full, accurate, and clear definitions, and its many supporting quotations are chosen to illustrate, where helpful, the typical uses of a word or its specific sense. Whitney, who is still regarded as the greatest American linguist of his time, gathered together a remarkable staff of general and specialist editors, which included many luminaries of American scholarship, to compile this beautiful dictionary. More

Remember when reading a story to your children at night was a comforting settling-in ritual for child and parent? The practice continued in our household, well-beyond the childhood years into early adolescence and even as part of regular holiday gatherings of adults by introducing more complex serial tales from world literature such as The Journey to the West, a Chinese Buddhist romance about the fantastical adventures of monk Tripitaka to India to bring back Buddhist scriptures. He is accompanied by trickster Monkey and others who both help and hinder the monk on his pilgrimage (See the one volume abridged edition entitled The Monkey and the Monk: An Abridgment of The Journey to the West by Anthony C. Yu.) Likewise The Thousand and One Nights in one of its less shortened versions, as in Robert Burton’s burlesque language also can be useful as a bridge into adult literature of great depth and linguistic versatility such as James Joyce’s Ulysses or The Man without Qualities by the Austrian novelist and essayist Robert Musil. With the addition of poetry, our family has become open to reading aloud and appreciative listening, an impromptu auditory performing cast where each in turn as was their wont to share snippets of literature aloud, with lively discussion ensuing about the nuance of narrative art and the power of spoken language to evoke thought and sway feelings.

We are happy to introduce a new resource  for the informed imagination the unabridged translation from the Urdu of the Islamic epic of fantasy, romance and war:

The Adventures of Amir Hamza (Dastan-e Amir Hamza)–compiled and written down in Urdu by Ghalib Lakhnavi, enlarged and augmented in Urdu by Abdullah Bilgrami, introduction by Hamid Dabashi, translated by Musharraf Farooqi (Modern Library) In the tradition of such beloved classics as The Thousand and One Nights and the Persian Shahnameh, here is the first unabridged English translation of a major Indo-Persian epic, The Adventures of Amir Hamza–a panoramic tale of magic and passion, and a classic hero’s odyssey that has captivated much of the world.

This Islamic saga dates back hundreds of years, perhaps to as early as the seventh century, when oral narratives of the deeds of the prophet Muhammad’s uncle Amir Hamza spread through Arabia, Persia, and the Indian subcontinent, expanding into a marvelous chronicle of warriors, kings, tricksters, fairies, courtesans, and magical creatures. The definitive one-volume Urdu text by Ghalib Lakhnavi and Abdullah Bilgrami appeared toward the end of the nineteenth century, but English translations of this text have always been censored and abridged–until now.

In Musharraf Ali Farooqi’s faithful rendition, The Adventures of Amir Hamza is captured with all its colorful action, ribaldry, and fantastic elements intact. Here is the spellbinding story of Amir Hamza, the adventurer who loves Mehr-Nigar, the daughter of the Persian emperor, Naushervan. Traveling to exotic lands in the service of his emperor, Amir Hamza defeats many enemies, loves many women, and converts hundreds of infidels to the True Faith of Islam before finding his way back to his first love. Guided by a Merlin-like clairvoyant called Buzurjmehr, protected by legendary prophets, and accompanied by his loyal friend, the ingenious trickster Amar Ayyar, Amir Hamza rides his devoted winged demon-steed, Ashqar, into combat against a marvelous array of opponents, from the deadly demon, Sufaid Dev, to his own rebellious sons.

Appreciated as the seminal Islamic epic or enjoyed as a sweeping tale as rich and inventive as Homer’s epic sagas, The Adventures of Amir Hamza is an extraordinary creation and a true literary treasure.

“The Indo-Islamic Dastan-e Amir Hamza is a rip-roaring, bawdy, magical journey into the fantastic life and exploits of Amir Hamza, the paternal uncle of the prophet Muhammad....the story is reminiscent of the tales of Homer and King Arthur and The Arabian Nights. Farooqi's unexpurgated and unabridged English translation from the Urdu is masterful….Destined to become a classic.” – Library Journal More

Circumference of Darkness by Jack Henderson (Bantam) In 1993, a legendary hacker known only as 'phr33k" outlined a far-fetched plan for the ultimate terrorist attack, in a members-only online chat room. Eight years later, he awoke on September 11, 2001 to see the World Trade Center in flames and his casual brainstorm materializing into a murderous reality.  More

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski (Pantheon) (Paperback)  Debut novel written is an epigraphic style, similar to text-messaging without the cute spelling. The page is set up as a text visual space and`coherence of message with text is supplied by the reader and not in the sub-narrative conventions. All told it message is the medium book that presupposes hypertextuality and even manual manuplition of the book page and continuity. If I left you agast and wondering what is so interestion about this novel and its follow up, then I’ve got your attention.
Mark Z. Danielewski stunned readers with his debut, House of Leaves  a bizarre down-the-rabbit-hole tale of madness, surreality and a house where space is unending.  More

Only Revolutions: A Novel (Pantheon) is the newest creation from the incredible mind of Mark Z. Danielewski, the man responsible for driving readers crazy with House of Leaves. You have to give Danielewski credit when it comes to this new work because he obliterates any notions people may have had about his copying the format of the previous work. The only manner in which the two books are similar is that they are so far removed from any way you have ever experienced books.

Trying to describe Only Revolutions: A Novel is not easy. Trying to explain its story is even more difficult. The easiest way to give an indication of the story is to merely explain that you have two characters, Sam and Hailey, and we follow them through the course of history. From November 22, 1863 until January 19, 2063, we move through history with Sam and Hailey, and all along this incredible journey they are forever 16. Life and the changes in the fabric of time are viewed through eyes of green and gold, always on the cusp of adulthood but never those of a child. More

Ode To Kirihito by Osamu Tezuka and Camellia Nieh (Vertical) if you are new to manga, this classic tale by the godfather of the genre will wean you from any notions of its being a childish medium.  This story has a compelling complexity of adult themes that explores ambition, heroism, political corruption, the nature of science, medicine, love, sexual politics, mental illness, being outcast, cultural strictures, and the nature of truth and appearance. The story makes a compelling read and takes surreal turns, while never abandoning its essential social realism. More

Latin American Shakespeares edited by Bernice W. Kliman, Rick J. Santos (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press) The subjects of the essays in Latin American Shakespeares range from the nineteenth century through the present; from high- to middle- to low-brow stories, plays, films, and poems; from Mexico to Argentina, Chile, Cuba, the U.S. barrio, and diverse sections of Brazil; from artists deservedly famous to artists undeservedly obscure. Shakespeare in Latin America is often implicated in struggles for power—tangentially or directly--and therefore swells the story of world wide political Shakespeare. For Latin American artists, the Shakespearean legacy is available for co-optation not only through parody, adaptation, and both reverent and irreverent (re)creation but also through absorp­tion into unique indigenous genres. More

Letter And The Spirit Of Nineteenth-Century American Literature: Justice, Politics, Theology by Thomas Loebel (McGill-Queen's University Press) moving back to the trial of Anne Hutchinson in Puritan Massachusetts and the captivity narrative of Mary Rowlandson in order to analyse theo-political signification, this study, provides a new context for examining the politically performative function of language in such texts as The Scarlet Letter, Uncle Tom's Cabin, and Waiting for the Verdict. Thomas Loebel also argues, however, that a specific theo-logic manifests itself in the political rhetoric of the nation, such that the afterlife of the "New Jerusalem" resonates not just in the "Blessings of Liberty" enshrined in the Constitution but also in the shift from a religious understanding of union with Jesus to that of the Union of States as a nation. Loebe] compares unionist and confederate discourse, opening up new ways of theorizing representation as a political, theological, legal, and literary issue that has continued currency both in twentieth-century literature and in the political discourse of America's global vision, such as the "axis of evil" and the "new world order." More

Theological Milton: Deity, Discourse And Heresy in the Miltonic Canon by Michael Lieb (Medieval & Renaissance Literary Studies Duquesne University Press) In lively, forceful, and at times witty language, Michael Lieb has written an illuminating study of the figure of God as a literary character in the writings of John Milton. Milton's God has always been a provocative and controversial figure, and Lieb offers a fresh way to look at the relationship between the language of theology and the language of poetry in Milton's works. He draws into the discussion previous authors on the subjectPatrides, Hunter, Kelley, Empson, Danielson, Rumrich and others—resulting in a dynamic debate about Milton's multifarious God. By stressing God's multivalent qualities, Theological Milton offers an innovative perspective on the darker side of the divinity. Lieb allows us to see a Miltonic God of hate as well as a God of love, a God who is a destroyer as well as a creator. Lieb directly confronts the more troubling faces of God in a manner richly informed by Milton's own theology. Against the theoretical framework for the idea of addressing God as a distinctly literary figure, Lieb presents Milton in the historical milieu prior to and contemporaneous with his works. More

Secrets of the Zona Rosa: How Writing (and Sisterhood) Can Change Women's Lives by Rosemary Daniell (Henry Holt and Co) for many years feminist writing workshops have become common among women writers. Daniell’s workshop bristles with good humor and empowering constructive criticism for writers at all stages of development.  She is southern, unabashedly so, up bubbling with emotional honesty and empathy for the paradoxes of the heart. Secrets of the Zona Rosa is not only an advertisement for her many workshops but also a useful primer on how to integrate living with effective writing. Daniell’s book not only succeeds as a how-to but also works as an inspiring read.  If you ever get gloomy about needing help to continue writing then these pages are a place to go for some happy time out and renewal. More

The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst (Little Brown & Company) Unabridged Audio Cassette (Time Warner AudioBooks) a smart novel about coming to terms with an unexpected death that takes a few perverse turns along the way through the seasons of grief. Paul Iverson’s life changes in an instant. He returns home one day to find that his wife Lexy has died under strange circumstances. The only witness was their dog, Lorelei, whose anguished barking brought help to the scene—but too late. More

The Continuum Encyclopedia of American Literature edited by Steven R. Serafin, Alfred Bendixen (Continuum) The history of American literature is what Van Wyck Brooks terms the story of its "makers and finders," those responsible for creating an "American" literature and those who provide meaning and understanding to the creative process. It is the story of a literature coming of age in search of definition and affirmation, extending many centuries from Native American oral and pictorial tradition to the literary expression of a new millennium. It is both reflection and representation of past and present: from exploration and discovery to settlement and colonization; from rebellion and independence to growth and maturity; from slavery and abolitionism to civil war and restoration; from expansion and industrial­ization to immigration and naturalization; from world war and recovery to nuclear capabil­ity and global diplomacy. Most importantly, it is the story of the American author shaping the scope and perception of American presence, purpose, and identity. More

Lord Byron's Religion: A Journey into Despair by Paul D. Barton (Mellen Studies in Literature: Romantic Reassessment: The Edwin Mellen Press) From the Preface: Lord Byron's Religion illuminates the biographical, historical and theological circumstances that produced George Gordon Lord Byron’s vision quest. Paul Barton, [professor of literature and composition at the Regional University in the Western Pacific,] gives scholarship the voice of Byron in the pleasant guise of letters, biography and criticism.

Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature, Fiftieth-Anniversary edition by Erich Auerbach, translated by Willard R. Trask, special introduction by Edward W. Said (Princeton University Press) Fifty years later, at the at the beginning of a new century, Auerbach's masterwork has lost little of its luster or even its immediacy. Whatever the criteria--translations of books into English, books in print, paperback editions readily available, sales, symposia, or conference sessions devoted to him, books and articles written about him--it would appear that, in America, as a foreign-language critic Auerbach stands second only to Roland Barthes in terms of continuing presence. Many would say that Mimesis remains the most important single work of criticism in the modern age and, therefore, that Auerbach deserves a place among the handful of supreme literary scholars and critics. More

MURDER ON GOOD FRIDAY A LORD GODWIN NOVEL by Sara Conway (Cumberland House) As a first novel Conway offers us a good plot and good characters that are well-grounded picture of thirteenth-­century life. The sleuth Godwin is likely to be favored by many readers. Personally I hope we see further forensic excursions by the Lord and his author in the future. More

Moby-Dick, Second Edition by Herman Melville, edited by Harrison Hayford and Hershel Parker (Norton Critical Editions: W.W. Norton) No other series of classic texts equals the caliber of the Norton Critical Editions. Each volume combines the most authoritative text available with the comprehensive pedagogical apparatus necessary to appreciate the work fully. More

Literary adaptations occupy a privileged position in the work of Guido Crepax, an artist who plunders classics of erotic fiction to bring us masterful visual explorations of sexual submission. Justine and the Story of O and Emmanuelle, Bianca and Venus in Furs illustrated by Guido Crepax, introduction by Gunter Krenn ( TASCHEN America) is the definitive collection of Guido Crepax's erotic comics. The Marquis de Sade's celebrated Justine and Pauline Reage's The Story of O are packaged together in one erotically charged book of provocative, graphic narratives. More

The COSMIC TRIGGER trilogy deals with a process of deliberately induced brain change that is called ‘initiation’ or ‘vision quest’ in many traditional societies and is hazardous variety of self-psychotherapy offered as psychedelic satire. It is in many ways the best sort of occult self-parody that take large doses of the forbidden and mixes liberally with popular science and history, adding just a dash of paranoia to produce a fantasy that many may feel offers a close look at the underpinnings of the reality we pretend is different. The main thing we learn is that ‘reality’ is always plural and mutable. More