Staff Pick

This meticulously researched, brave and intelligent book demonstrates that the mass incarceration of civilians during war has been practiced around the world for more than a century. Andrea Pitzer traces the evolution of concentration camps from 1890’s Cuba up through the Boer War, Russian Revolution and Holocaust, and she finishes with Guantanamo, where, she writes, “we have detainees in indefinite detention.” One Long Night  is no easy read. But it is surely a book for the times, as we come to grips with the chilling implication that yes, it can happen here.

One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780316303590
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Little Brown and Company - September 19th, 2017

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Staff Pick

It’s been years since Bernard MacLaverty came out with a new novel, but it’s been well worth the wait. In Midwinter Break (W.W. Norton, $24.95) MacLaverty gives us an elderly Irish couple living in Scotland, who take a brief winter trip to Amsterdam. Over their forty-year marriage, Gerry and Stella have forged a deep understanding of each other, along with a mutual fondness and regard. They share habits, anecdotes, and history and have a son now living in Canada with his wife and child. But the book’s title hints at another, more serious, midwinter break: that of their marriage. Gerry is a retired architect with a serious drinking problem. Though he’s been trying to hide the full extent of it, Stella has had enough. Unbeknownst to Gerry, she’s arranged to visit a Dutch Beguinage, a house of lay religious women, where she imagines she might start a new chapter of her life, one filled with contemplation and purpose. With heartrending insight, MacLaverty explores how the intimacies in a long marriage can sometimes obscure its deep fault lines; in this case, the initial flaws go back to a personal trauma the couple experienced during the Troubles. MacLaverty’s writing is pitch perfect. He is one of Ireland’s greatest living writers and he’s at the top of his game in this novel.

Midwinter Break Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780393609622
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 22nd, 2017

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Staff Pick

Karl Ove Knausgaard’s six-volume epic, My Struggle, astonished us with its brutal candor and self- awareness. It primarily centered on the author’s painful relationship with his father. By contrast, Autumn (Penguin Press, $27) is a slender book with beautiful illustrations by Norwegian artist Vanessa Baird. It is the first in a projected quartet, and gives us Knausgaard as a tender father speaking to his unborn daughter about everyday objects. His descriptions run about two-and-a-half pages in length, and flow in a seemingly random cascade, on subjects as diverse as doors, porpoises, vomit, and labia; buttons, apples, and chewing gum. “It is primarily for my own sake that I am doing this,” he writes, “showing you the world, little one, makes my life worth living.” In one piece he writes of a family photograph where everything about the lives has been stripped away so that what remains is “what we ourselves don’t see… that our lives are written in our faces and our bodies, but in a language so foreign we don’t even know it is a language.”  Knausgaard’s perspective is compelling and razor sharp, and as in My Struggle, he makes the ordinary feel vivid again, and strange.

Autumn Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780399563300
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Press - August 22nd, 2017

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