Staff Pick

Growing up in 1950s Rome with a renowned American painter as your father gives you a skewed perspective of the world. But times change, and tastes change and maybe no one likes or understands your father’s art anymore, at least not in the way you once knew everyone should. And what is your life’s work in comparison? (And that’s not to mention your mother and her pottery -- what about her?) That’s Pinch Bavinsky’s struggle. The sad truth of The Italian Teacher’s world is that “relatives are judged relatively,” a truth no one buys into more than the relatives themselves. It’s devastating to witness Pinch’s decades-long scramble to free himself from his father’s achievement, with Tom Rachman using each jump forward in time to gently insert new layers of unsteady emotion.

The Italian Teacher Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735222694
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Viking - March 20th, 2018

Staff Pick

Mrs. Caliban has got a little bit of everything: a Frankenstein-ian parable of scientific missteps and empathetic oddities on one hand, and on the other a lived-in, naturalistic portrait of a woman at a crisis point in her marriage. And the elements fit together so neatly! In and out in one-hundred pages, no faulty pieces, and numerous thoughts and emotions to untangle once the story reaches its end. Few books can feel so cozily familiar and so bracingly idiosyncratic in the same breath.

Mrs. Caliban Cover Image
By Rachel Ingalls, Rivka Galchen (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780811226691
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - November 28th, 2017

Staff Pick

We all could use a good wake-up jolt now and then, and Belladonna has at least one on every page. It’s got some of the most pressing subject matter you can think of — Europe cozying back up to a fascism it never wholly forsook (and how coziness itself  is crucial to fascism) — and like Andreas Ban, the mournful lead character, it never refrains from tackling the issue head-on. But you never know quite how it’s going to launch its attack: through grainy photo documentation here, through journalistic accounts of Nazis’ remorseful progeny  there, and a few pages later through music notes scrawled on the page or studies of animal psychology. Belladonna is unique and urgent and, once all the pieces have been added together, impossible to shake.

Belladonna Cover Image
By Dasa Drndic, Celia Hawkesworth (Translator)
ISBN: 9780811227216
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - October 31st, 2017