“Talent isn’t enough, she had told us. Writing is work. Anyone can do this, anyone can learn to do this. It’s not rocket science, it’s habits of mind and habits of work. I started with people much more talented than me, she said, and they’re dead or in jail or not writing. The difference between myself and them is that I’m writing.”—
Recent American wars have made the term “redeployment” a household word. Troops are moved around, withdrawn and redistributed in one big seemingly endless war. Phil Klay’s stunningly fine and poignant debut collection of short stories, Redeployment, uses the word “war” both as military language and as the world his characters inhabit. These 18, often brutal stories are told by different narrators who have a variety of jobs and ranks. The tone and style throughout is understated, quiet, reserved—in perfect counterbalance to the horrific events that are being described.
A great primer on Phil Klay via Shelf Awareness - the author will celebrate the Brooklyn book launch of Redeployment with novelist Patrick McGrath in March. To RSVP here, go here.
An excerpt from Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes’ “HRC”
Only two days left til White House correspondents Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes launch their Hillary Clinton bio at our store! This excerpt should be enough to hold you over until then - make sure to RSVP here.
“We’re all getting too smart. Our brains are just getting bigger and bigger, and the world dries up and dies when there’s too much thought and not enough heart.”—Aimee Bender, The Girl in the Flammable Skirt (via vintageanchorbooks)
Wayne’s novel is filled with apt humor, and his ability to write through the eyes of a child is uncanny. “The Love Song of Jonny Valentine” is at once a ridiculous and familiar exploration of modern American pop culture.
Teddy Wayne’s paperback launch for The Love Song of Jonny Valentine is this Thursday - Jesse Eisenberg, Simon Rich, and Dan Kennedy will join Teddy in conversation. You can RSVP here.
“A funny thing about women and machines: the combination made men curious. They seemed to think it had something to do with them.”
― Rachel Kushner, The Flamethrowers
Great photo and quote!
This is a perfect time to reiterate that we’re launching the paperback for Rachel Kushner's National Book Award-nominated book on February 11 - she’ll be joined in conversation by The New Yorker’s James Wood. You can RSVP here.
“If you’re reading to find friends, you’re in deep trouble. We read to find life, in all its possibilities. The relevant question isn’t ‘Is this a potential friend for me?’ but ‘Is this character alive?’”—Claire Messud, who’ll launch the paperback for The Woman Upstairs with her editor Robin Desser on Monday, February 3.
Every year, around the time when mercury rises and the sun starts peeking out, we’re bombarded with countless articles on the best books to read at the beach — because, of course, reading in the sand and sunshine is a great deal more pleasurable than sitting outside with a novel in January. Yet winter, especially a winter like this one, which has already featured bone chilling sub-zero temperatures across the United States, is truly the best season to burrow deep into a great book.