From one of the most important chroniclers of our time, come two extended excerpts from her never-before-seen notebooks - writings that offer an illuminating glimpse into the mind and process of a legendary writer. Joan Didion has always kept notebooks: of overheard dialogue, observations, interviews, drafts of essays and articles Here is one such draft that traces a road trip she took with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, in June 1970, through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. She interviews prominent local figures, describes motels, diners, a deserted reptile farm, a visit with Walker Percy, a ladies'' brunch at the Mississippi Broadcasters'' Convention. She writes about the stifling heat, the almost viscous pace of life, the sulfurous light, and the preoccupation with race, class, and heritage she finds in the small towns they pass through. And from a different notebook: the "California Notes" that began as an assignment from Rolling Stone on the Patty Hearst trial of 1976. Though Didion never wrote the piece, watching the trial and being in San Francisco triggered thoughts about the city, its social hierarchy, the Hearsts, and her own upbringing in Sacramento. Here, too, is the beginning of her thinking about the West, its landscape, the western women who were heroic for her, and her own lineage.
Michael Chabon, author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay , Manhood for Amateurs and Moonglow , returns with a collection of heartfelt, humorous and insightful essays on the meaning of fatherhood. You are born into a family and those are your people, and they know you and they love you and if you are lucky they even, on occasion, manage to understand you. And that ought to be enough. But it is never enough What are you allowed to talk about with your children? When to step in with advice, when to let them make their own mistakes? It''s more complicated than you think. Somehow you muddle through. In this heartfelt, humorous and wise book, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon attempts to weigh in on difficult conversations with his children, on everything from texting girls to death. But it is when he hangs back that he catches them transforming into their own people. What emerges is a father''s deep respect for his children''s passions and for their bravery in the face of conformity. Whether you know the joy and struggles of being a father, or were shaped by one, you will find a home in these stunning essays.
''Joan Didion at a startup'' Rebecca Solnit ''Impossibly pleasurable'' Jia Tolentino ''This is essential reading'' Stylist At twenty-five years old, Anna Wiener was beginning to tire of her assistant job in New York publishing. There was no room to grow, and the voyeuristic thrill of answering someone else''s phone had worn thin. Within a year she had moved to Silicon Valley to take up a job at a data analytics startup in San Francisco. Leaving her business casual skirts and shirts in the wardrobe, she began working in company-branded T-shirts. She had a healthy income for the first time in her life. She felt like part of the future. But a tide was beginning to turn. People were speaking of tech startups as surveillance companies. Out of sixty employees, only eight of her colleagues were women. Casual sexism was rife. Sexual harassment cases were proliferating. And soon, like everyone else, she was addicted to the internet, refreshing the news, refreshing social media, scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. Slowly, she began to realise that her blind faith in ambitious, arrogant young men from America''s soft suburbs wasn''t just her own personal pathology. It had become a global affliction. Uncanny Valley is a coming of age story set against the backdrop of our generation''s very own gold rush. It''s a story about the tension between old and new, between art and tech, between the quest for money and the quest for meaning - about how our world is changing forever.
For readers of Nora Ephron, Tina Fey, and David Sedaris, this hilarious, poignant, and extremely frank collection of personal essays confirms Lena Dunham - the acclaimed creator, producer, and star of HBO''s ''Girls'' - as one of the brightest and most original writers working today. ''If I could take what I''ve learned and make one menial job easier for you, or prevent you from having the kind of sex where you feel you must keep your sneakers on in case you want to run away during the act, then every misstep of mine was worthwhile. I''m already predicting my future shame at thinking I had anything to offer you, but also my future glory in having stopped you from trying an expensive juice cleanse or thinking that it was your fault when the person you are dating suddenly backs away, intimidated by the clarity of your personal mission here on earth. No, I am not a sexpert, a psychologist, or a dietician. I am not a mother of three or the owner of a successful hosiery franchise. But I am a girl with a keen interest in having it all, and what follows are hopeful dispatches from the frontlines of that struggle.''
In Where the Past Begins, bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club and The Valley of Amazement Amy Tan is at her most intimate in revealing the truths and inspirations that underlie her extraordinary fiction. By delving into vivid memories of her traumatic childhood, confessions of self-doubt in her journals, and heartbreaking letters to and from her mother, she gives evidence to all that made it both unlikely and inevitable that she would become a writer. Through spontaneous storytelling, she shows how a fluid fictional state of mind unleashed near-forgotten memories that became the emotional nucleus of her novels. Tan explores shocking truths uncovered by family memorabilia - the real reason behind an I.Q. test she took at age six, why her parents lied about their education, mysteries surrounding her maternal grandmother - and, for the first time publicly, writes about her complex relationship with her father, who died when she was fifteen. Supplied with candour and characteristic humour, Where the Past Begins takes readers into the idiosyncratic workings of her writer''s mind, a journey that explores memory, imagination, and truth, with fiction serving as both her divining rod and link to meaning.
WINNER OF THE RSL ONDAATJE PRIZE 2019 AN ECONOMIST BOOK OF THE YEAR A CBC BOOK OF THE YEAR The extraordinary story of an indomitable 95-year-old woman - and of the most extraordinary century in Ethiopia''s history. A new Wild Swans A hundred years ago, a girl was born in the northern Ethiopian city of Gondar. Before she was ten years old, Yetemegnu was married to a man two decades her senior, an ambitious poet-priest. Over the next century her world changed beyond recognition. She witnessed Fascist invasion and occupation, Allied bombardment and exile from her city, the ascent and fall of Emperor Haile Selassie, revolution and civil war. She endured all these things alongside parenthood, widowhood and the death of children. The Wife''s Tale is an intimate memoir, both of a life and of a country. In prose steeped in Yetemegnu''s distinctive voice and point of view, Aida Edemariam retells her grandmother''s stories of a childhood surrounded by proud priests and soldiers, of her husband''s imprisonment, of her fight for justice - all of it played out against an ancient cycle of festivals and the rhythms of the seasons. She introduces us to a rich cast of characters - emperors and empresses, scholars and nuns, Marxist revolutionaries and wartime double agents. And through these encounters she takes us deep into the landscape and culture of this many-layered, often mis-characterised country - and the heart of one indomitable woman.
A momentous memoir of childhood and adolescence from one of our finest and most beloved writers, as we''ve never seen her before. In The Lost Landscape, Joyce Carol Oates vividly recreates the early years of her life, powerfully evoking the romance of childhood and the way it colours everything that comes after. With memories ranging from her first friendships to her first experiences with death, this is an arresting account of the ways in which Oates''s life (and her life as a writer) was shaped by early childhood and how her later work was influenced by a hard rural upbringing. Oates renders her memories and emotions with exquisite precision and transports the reader to a bygone place and time - the lost landscape of the writer''s past but also the lost landscapes of our own earliest, and most essential, lives.
'The Year of Magical Thinking' is one of five classic Fourth Estate books to be released as numbered, collectable editions to mark the 25th anniversary. The books will be beautifully produced hardbacks, limited to 2000 copies each, with jackets designed by some of the finest artists at work today.
AN OBSERVER BOOK OF THE YEAR ''A peerless intellectual biography. The Glass Universe shines and twinkles as brightly as the stars themselves'' The Economist #1 New York Times bestselling author Dava Sobel returns with a captivating, little-known true story of women in science Before they even had the right to vote, a group of remarkable women were employed by Harvard College Observatory as ''Human Computers'' to interpret the observations made via telescope by their male counterparts each night. The author of Longitude, Galileo''s Daughter and The Planets shines light on the hidden history of these extraordinary women who changed the burgeoning field of astronomy and our understanding of the stars and our place in the universe.
A hundred years ago, a girl was born in the NORTHERN ETHIOPIAN CITY of Gondar. Before she was TEN YEARS OLD, YETEMEGNU WAS MARRIED TO A MAN TWO DECADES HER SENIOR, AN AMBITIOUS POET-PRIEST. OVER THE NEXT CENTURY HER WORLD CHANGED BEYOND RECOGNITION. SHE WITNESSED FASCIST INVASION AND OCCUPATION, ALLIED BOMBARDMENT AND EXILE FROM HER CITY, THE ASCENT AND FALL OF EMPEROR HAILE SELASSIE, REVOLUTION AND CIVIL WAR. SHE ENDURED ALL THESE THINGS ALONGSIDE PARENTHOOD, WIDOWHOOD AND THE DEATH OF CHILDREN.