Poetry: Mister I ThinkBy James O'Connor
Herbert, who won the T.S. Eliot Prize in 1995, is a titan of not only Polish poetry, but of twentieth-century European poetry. His celebrated alter ego, Mr. Cogito, ranks as the one of the most original characters in modern poetry.
Fiction: Clap TrapBy Alexander Zaitchik
Brook, who is in his mid-20s, paints a picture of his generation in which the defining dichotomy is the sad choice between toil in saintly penury and pulling six-figures at some corporate monster.
Nonfiction: The Poetics of SociabilityBy Ben Tripp
Don’t Ever Get Famous follows the publication of Daniel Kane’s earlier book of essays, All Poets Welcome: The Lower East Side Poetry Scene in the 1960’s with a further analysis of the second-generation ‘New York School’ in avant-garde poetry.
Fiction: Honeymoon HumiliationBy John G. Rodwan Jr.
While Ian McEwan puts two characters, newlyweds Edward Mayhew and Florence Ponting, at the center of On Chesil Beach, their times concern him as much as their individual experiences.
Nonfiction: East of ClassicBy Naomi Karavani
The recovery of the Epic of Gilgamesh in the mid-nineteenth century could best be described as disorienting.
Nonfiction: The Taxonomy of MelancholyBy Ben Gore
Horowitz and Wakefield trace the diagnosis of depression, and its distinction from sadness, back as far as Hippocrates, through Robert Burton, and on to the modern day.
Fiction: Lyrics of the PastBy Jim Feast
Two recent books, Night by Joanna Gunderson and The Company I Keep by Jordan Zinovich, share a peculiar affinity. They both feature lyrical dramas that evoke valued figures from the past, bringing them to life powerfully but in obliterated form.
Scenes from the End of the WorldBy Laura Stokes
This has been a good year for the literary-minded eschatologist.
Jon Savage with Karen Rester
Savage, a well-known music critic in the UK and author of Englands Dreaming, a definitive history of British punk, offers strong theories about how the concept of adolescence emerged after WWII as a stage independent of childhood.
To Live in a CultureBy Nora Griffin
A portrait emerges from a collage of one-liners and innuendoes of the author as a young intellectual with bohemian leanings.