The Transcriptionist - Amy Rowland

The Transcriptionist is the story of Lena, a young woman about to become a relic in the world journalism. It’s the early 2000s and Lena works in the bowels of the world famous New York City newspaper “The Record,” diligently transcribing stories left on a machine, phoned in by reporters from across the globe or across the hall. When a report crosses her path of a woman committing suicide by throwing herself to the lions at the zoo, Lena recognizes the Jane Doe. She and this woman, a blind court stenographer, share a bus route. Lena becomes consumed with a quest to unearth why this seemingly kind, calm woman chose such a violent death. As Lena begins to interact with the the world she’s been watching from a safe distance, she becomes starkly aware of the dangers of “what we let in” and finds herself critiquing for the first time the complacency of “The Record” and its speed-crazed reporters. She sees the unsettling familiarities between herself and transcriptionists in other walks of life, from modern copyists to the scribes who once transcribed Chaucer.

What follows is a questioning of the role of the witness, the record keepers, and the reporters. (The latter of whom seem to Lena to have transformed from watch-dogs into horn-dogs.) As Lena slowly unearths the secrets at the center of “The Record,” she raises issues often neglected in an age of crazed immediacy. The Transcriptionist packs a lot of questions, assessing our short attention spans, what we obsess over and what we neglect, our fear of the Other, and our surface connections. Alien and exciting, Rowland’s prose resembles a cat creeping around a door frame, staring at you for just one beat longer than you feel you can bear before it breaks its gaze. Rowland’s book is slim, piercing, and provides us with a race, real woman you won’t soon forget. Let this book in.

The Transcriptionist: A Novel By Amy Rowland Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616202545
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Algonquin Books - May 13th, 2014

The Transcriptionist: A Novel By Amy Rowland Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616204501
Availability: Backordered
Published: Algonquin Books - January 20th, 2015

Dissident Gardens - Jonathan Lethem

Jonathan Lethem has long used his love of language and his acute sense of history to convey what’s best about the human aptitude for folly. Dissident Gardens (Doubleday, $27.95), his latest novel, spans three generations and their diverse cultural touchstones and political movements. From the Communism of the 1930s to the civil rights era to the post-idealism of the 1970s, this novel juggles shifts of hope and disillusionment, youthful idealism and jaded maturity. Lethem is particularly focused on the far left here, and we get the political scene through colorful family dynamics as the characters saw their way through time and each other’s lives.

Dissident Gardens (Vintage Contemporaries) By Jonathan Lethem Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307744494
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Vintage - June 3rd, 2014

Vanity Fair 100 Years: From the Jazz Age to Our Age - Graydon Carter


The power and grace of Vanity Fair is that it celebrates the iconic beauty and intelligence of the moment while priming us for the next cultural wave to look out for. From jazz-juiced America to a land mourning Camelot, from the first moments of hip hop to the social-media era, Vanity Fair has mapped every trend, personality, and moment of significance in the last century. Combining witty, well crafted narrative and the sweeping, gorgeous images the magazine is known for, editor Graydon Carter has given us a time capsule in book form with Vanity Fair 100 Years (Abrams, $65). Fans of the magazine will delight in the detail of the creative process behind the scenes, while more casual observers will marvel at the scope and depth of what Vanity Fair has captured. Here’s to another century of visual dynamism and fascinating stories.

Vanity Fair 100 Years: From the Jazz Age to Our Age By Graydon Carter Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419708633
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Abrams - October 15th, 2013