Staff Pick

Anyone who loves mythology, fairytales, or even Star Wars has likely stumbled at some point across Joseph Campbell’s seminal Hero with 1,000 Faces, but for readers less than satisfied with Campbell’s male-centric theory of heroism, Tatar offers another route. Not so much a rebuttal as an expansion, Heroine with 1,001 Faces unthreads the many different ways in which female characters throughout the long history of storytelling have gone against the traditional tropes of what it means to be “heroic.” Using as foundational texts everything from Ovid to The Hunger Games to Sex and the City, Tatar offers a theory of heroism that includes compassion, empathy, and curiosity, and often prioritizes the fight for justice over the desire for glory. An incredibly fun and erudite reworking of familiar archetypes to create space for new stories and storytellers.  

The Heroine with 1001 Faces Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631498817
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Liveright - September 14th, 2021

Staff Pick

Maylis de Kerangal is truly a singular writer, and Painting Time is a perfect example of her unique sensibilities. Translated from the French, the novel follows a young student at the famous Institut de Peinture in Brussels. De Kerangal describes painting as an intensely physical act: painters' bodies are hardened and strained by their work, and the artists fight constantly against their physical limits to create perfect recreations of the world. Here decorative paintings function not as ephemeral ideas, but as material objects, embodied by their artists’ obsessive attention to detail. Painting Time is hypnotic and obsessive, but also suffused with warmth and a near spirituality, charmingly narrated in de Kerangal’s intimate, strangely whimsical, authorial voice. One of my favorites of the year.  

Painting Time: A Novel Cover Image
By Maylis de Kerangal, Jessica Moore (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780374211929
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - April 20th, 2021

Staff Pick

I am so happy to have stumbled upon Vigdis Hjorth: the author of 20 novels, only three of which have so far been translated into English. Long Live the Post Horn! is the most recently available and it is so delightful and strange that I read it in one sitting. The narrative follows a young PR representative struggling with identity and an increasing sense that everything in her life is meaningless. When a colleague disappears and she inherits his project of representing the Norwegian Post and Communications Union in opposing an EU directive, she becomes so invested in the struggle that she begins to reinvest in her own life. Hjorth’s writing is hypnotic and unsentimental, yet incredibly affecting, as she questions social responsibility and the nature of storytelling. In a year where threats to the postal service have been all too real, this book is refreshingly hopeful about what it looks like when those with the power to control stories choose people over commerce.  

Long Live the Post Horn! Cover Image
By Vigdis Hjorth, Charlotte Barslund (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781788733137
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Verso Fiction - September 15th, 2020