Forty years of elephants in flight

We're an eclectic independent publisher located in Soho. We publish a little bit of everything—and a lot of interesting fiction, mysteries, history, politics, biography, art, design, & more. Welcome to our perspective on books and beyond.

melvillehouse:


Faulker House Books by Danielle Bauer on Flickr

When you send books to the owner of Faulkner House he sends handwritten letters back. Best store.

melvillehouse:

Faulker House Books by Danielle Bauer on Flickr

When you send books to the owner of Faulkner House he sends handwritten letters back. Best store.

(via openbookstore)


“What have you done when you have bested a fool?”
—True Grit, Charles Portis

“What have you done when you have bested a fool?”

True GritCharles Portis



Events Events Events!

Peter Daniels, author of Selected Poems of Vladislav Khodasevitch, at the Mayanayunk-Roxborough Arts Center

Wednesday, 23 April, 2014 at 06:00 PM
Maynayunk-Roxborough Arts Center
419 Green Lane
PhiladelphiaPA 19128 
Peter Quinn, author of Banished Children of Eve, at the Manny Cantor Center
Wednesday, 23 April, 2014 at 07:00 PM
Manny Cantor Center
197 East Broadway
New YorkNY 10002 
kamigarcia:

“Books: The only thing you can buy that makes you richer.” #reading

kamigarcia:

“Books: The only thing you can buy that makes you richer.” #reading

(via simonbooks)

Counting down the days until we get finished copies of these bad boys in the office, at least we have candy to keep us going! WAITING FOR THE ELECTRICITY coming soon! 

wordbookstores:

Which Hedwig is your favorite?

"I had just been dismissed from university after delivering a brilliant lecture on the aggressive influence of German philosophy on rock and roll entitled You, Kant, Always Get What You Want" 
Guess who we’re voting for… 

wordbookstores:

Which Hedwig is your favorite?

"I had just been dismissed from university after delivering a brilliant lecture on the aggressive influence of German philosophy on rock and roll entitled You, Kant, Always Get What You Want" 

Guess who we’re voting for… 

We are deeply saddened to hear that Gabriel García Márquez  has passed away today. Widely considered one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, García Márquez is treasured throughout the Spanish speaking world and beyond. Winner of the 1982 Nobel Prize, the Colombian author had called Latin America a “source of insatiable creativity, full of sorrow and beauty, of which this roving and nostalgic Colombian is but one cipher more, singled out by fortune.” The work of this incredible “inventor of tales” will endure for many generations to come.  

In honor of National Poetry Month here’s a poem from one of the greatest undiscovered poets of the twentieth century, Vladislav Khodasevich, “Look For Me”

Look for me in the spring’s transparent air. 

I flit like vanishing wings, no heavier than

a sound, a breath, a sunray on the floor;

I’m lighter than that ray - it’s there: I’m gone. 

 

But we are friends for ever, undivided!

Listen: I’m here. Your hands can feel the way

to reach me with their living touch, extended

trembling into the restless flame of day. 

 

Happen to close your eyelids, while you linger…

Make me one final effort, and you might

find at the nerve-ends of each quivering finger

brushes of secret fire as I ignite. 

 

20 December 1917 - 3 January 1918

Translated from the Russian by Peter Daniels

Source:  VLADISLAV KHODASEVICH: Selected Poems 

“He had the look of one who had drunk the cup of life and found a dead beetle at the bottom.”

—   P.G. Wodehouse

“Good fun and deliciously entertaining” Wesley Stace’s WONDERKID reviewed in the WSJ

WSJ Book Review: ‘Wonderkid’ by Wesley Stace

Imagine the Doors by way of Lewis Carroll: Rock swagger and nonsense verse and live shows and PB&J-consuming audiences.

There’s an amusing moment in the TV series “Portlandia” when a group of yuppie-hipster parents decide to make “good” music for their kids. “Who’s to say that a kid can’t appreciate the guitar solo in a Dinosaur Jr. song?” one of the moms asks, referring to the alt-rock pioneers. A similar spirit of satire animates Wesley Stace’s “Wonderkid.” “YOUR CHILD’S FIRST ROCK BAND” screams the slogan pitched to the Wonderkids by their label. Previously known as the Wunderkinds—”people don’t like a word they’re not totally confident they can pronounce,” one record exec explains to the band—the rechristened Brits head Stateside just as arena rock is waning and grunge is getting ready to take the stage. Anchored by brothers Blake and Jack, the Wonderkids are presented as the forebears of bands like They Might Be Giants and Barenaked Ladies in their kid-rock phases. Imagine the Doors by way of Lewis Carroll: Rock swagger and nonsense verse and live shows and PB&J-consuming (and -covered) audiences. Blake is very adamant about their style, very sure of what kids want. “In a few years time, all they’re going to be getting is songs about the environment going to hell and how there aren’t any more animals,” he reckons. “Let other people be teachers.” The Wonderkids just want to be “punk for kids.”

The novel follows the band’s rise and fall and rebirth: early days playing for a few young ones and their folks; near-riots as their fame increases; the decadent excess that every great band succumbs to; and, finally, a shot at redemption. Their journey is brightened by some of Mr. Stace’s own insights into the music business, as well as humorous asides about its inherent absurdities. (In addition to writing novels, the author has long recorded under the name John Wesley Harding.) Of special note in “Wonderkid” is the band’s first manager, Greg. Desperate to get out of the job—life on the road doesn’t suit him half as nice as a pint at the pub—the malapropism-prone Greg can’t help marveling at the way the band’s American label nudges him aside. “He’d heard of acts wooed away from their management while they were on the road, when someone had a chance to work on them away from home, but he’d never seen it done in such brazen fashion before. He was overjoyed,” the narrator tells us, dry British wit crackling underfoot.

That narration is a bit of a problem: The story unfolds from the point of view of Blake’s adopted son, whom we don’t meet until more than 50 pages into the book. Indeed, one would be forgiven for forgetting in the early going that the book is written in the first person at all. But this is a minor complaint. Overall, “Wonderkid” is good fun and deliciously entertaining, a light-hearted story about a band that never was—but I kind of wish had been. —Sonny Bunch