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Aaran's Staff Picks

CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (REVISED

CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (REVISED

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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof first heated up Broadway in 1955 with its gothic American story of brothers vying for their dying father's inheritance amid a whirlwind of sexuality, untethered in the person of Maggie the Cat. The play also daringly showcased the burden of sexuality repressed in the agony of her husband, Brick Pollitt. In spite of the public controversy Cat stirred up, it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the Drama Critics Circle Award for that year. Williams, as he so often did with his plays, rewrote Cat on a Hot Tin Roof for many years--the present version was originally produced at the American Shakespeare Festival in 1974 with all the changes that made Williams finally declare the text to be definitive, and was most recently produced on Broadway in the 2003-04 season. This definitive edition also includes Williams' essay "Person-to-Person," Williams' notes on the various endings, and a short chronology of the author's life. One of America's greatest living playwrights, as well as a friend and colleague of Williams, Edward Albee has written a concise introduction to the play from a playwright's perspective, examining the candor, sensuality, power, and impact of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof then and now.
CITIZEN

CITIZEN

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* Finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry *
* Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry * Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism * Winner of the NAACP Image Award * Winner of the L.A. Times Book Prize * Winner of the PEN Open Book Award *

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR:

The New Yorker, Boston Globe, The Atlantic, BuzzFeed, NPR. Los Angeles Times, Publishers Weekly, Slate, Time Out New York, Vulture, Refinery 29, and many more . . .

A provocative meditation on race, Claudia Rankine's long-awaited follow up to her groundbreaking book Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric.

Claudia Rankine's bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person's ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named post-race society.

DON'T LET ME BE LONELY: AN AME

DON'T LET ME BE LONELY: AN AME

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In this powerful sequence of TV images and essay, Claudia Rankine explores the personal and political unrest of our volatile new century

I forget things too. It makes me sad. Or it makes
me the saddest. The sadness is not really about
George W. or our American optimism; the
sadness lives in the recognition that a life can
not matter.

The award-winning poet Claudia Rankine, well known for her experimental multigenre writing, fuses the lyric, the essay, and the visual in this politically and morally fierce examination of solitude in the rapacious and media-driven assault on selfhood that is contemporary America. With wit and intelligence, Rankine strives toward an unprecedented clarity-of thought, imagination, and sentence-making-while arguing that recognition of others is the only salvation for ourselves, our art, and our government.

Don't Let Me Be Lonely is an important new confrontation with our culture, with a voice at its heart bewildered by its inadequacy in the face of race riots, terrorist attacks, medicated depression, and the antagonism of the television that won't leave us alone.

GO WENT GONE

GO WENT GONE

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Go, Went, Gone is the masterful new novel by the acclaimed German writer Jenny Erpenbeck, "one of the most significant German-language novelists of her generation" (The Millions). The novel tells the tale of Richard, a retired classics professor who lives in Berlin. His wife has died, and he lives a routine existence until one day he spies some African refugees staging a hunger strike in Alexanderplatz. Curiosity turns to compassion and an inner transformation, as he visits their shelter, interviews them, and becomes embroiled in their harrowing fates. Go, Went, Gone is a scathing indictment of Western policy toward the European refugee crisis, but also a touching portrait of a man who finds he has more in common with the Africans than he realizes. Exquisitely translated by Susan Bernofsky, Go, Went, Gone addresses one of the most pivotal issues of our time, facing it head-on in a voice that is both nostalgic and frightening.
HAM ON RYE

HAM ON RYE

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"Wordsworth, Whitman, William Carlos Williams, and the Beats in their respective generations moved poetry toward a more natural language. Bukowski moved it a little farther." -Los Angeles Times Book Review

In what is widely hailed as the best of his many novels, Charles Bukowski details the long, lonely years of his own hardscrabble youth in the raw voice of alter ego Henry Chinaski. From a harrowingly cheerless childhood in Germany through acne-riddled high school years and his adolescent discoveries of alcohol, woman, and the Los Angeles Public Library's collection of D.H. Lawrence, Ham on Rye offers a crude, brutal, and savagely funny portrait of an outcast's coming-of-age during the desperate days of the Great Depression.

LABYRINTHS

LABYRINTHS

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This new edition of Labyrinths, the classic representative selection of Borges' writing edited by Donald A. Yates and James E. Irby (in translations by themselves and others), includes the text of the original edition (as augmented in 1964) as well as Irby's biographical and critical essay, a poignant tribute by André Maurois, and a chronology of the author's life. Borges enthusiast William Gibson has contributed a new introduction bringing Borges' influence and importance into the twenty-first century.
NIGHTWOOD

NIGHTWOOD

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Nightwood, Djuna Barnes' strange and sinuous tour de force, "belongs to that small class of books that somehow reflect a time or an epoch" (Times Literary Supplement). That time is the period between the two World Wars, and Barnes' novel unfolds in the decadent shadows of Europe's great cities, Paris, Berlin, and Vienna--a world in which the boundaries of class, religion, and sexuality are bold but surprisingly porous.

The outsized characters who inhabit this world are some of the most memorable in all of fiction--there is Guido Volkbein, the Wandering Jew and son of a self-proclaimed baron; Robin Vote, the American expatriate who marries him and then engages in a series of affairs, first with Nora Flood and then with Jenny Petherbridge, driving all of her lovers to distraction with her passion for wandering alone in the night; and there is Dr. Matthew-Mighty-Grain-of-Salt-Dante-O'Connor, a transvestite and ostensible gynecologist, whose digressive speeches brim with fury, keen insights, and surprising allusions. Barnes' depiction of these characters and their relationships (Nora says, "A man is another persona woman is yourself, caught as you turn in panic; on her mouth you kiss your own") has made the novel a landmark of feminist and lesbian literature.

Most striking of all is Barnes' unparalleled stylistic innovation, which led T. S. Eliot to proclaim the book "so good a novel that only sensibilities trained on poetry can wholly appreciate it." Now with a new preface by Jeanette Winterson, Nightwood still crackles with the same electric charge it had on its first publication in 1936.
PROPHET

PROPHET

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"My all-time favorite collection of poems . . . [Gibran's] poetry always roots me in my humanity." --Rupi Kaur, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Milk and Honey and The Sun and Her Flowers

A stunning new hardcover edition--with a full linen case, copper stamping, turquoise gilded edges, and colored endpapers--of one of the world's most beloved and popular spiritual classics, featuring a new foreword by Rupi Kaur

The most famous work of spiritual fiction of the twentieth century, The Prophet is rooted in Kahlil Gibran's own experience as an immigrant and provides inspiration to anyone feeling adrift in a world in flux. As a prophet named Almustafa is about to board a ship to travel back to his homeland after twelve years in exile, he is stopped by a group of people who ask him to share his wisdom before he leaves. In twenty-eight poetic essays, he does so, offering profound and timeless insights on many aspects of life, including love, pain, friendship, family, beauty, religion, joy, sorrow, and death.

An immediate success when first published in 1923, The Prophet is a modern classic, having been translated into more than forty languages and sold more than ten million copies in the United States alone. The message it imparts, of finding divinity through love, made it the bible of 1960s culture and continues to touch hearts and minds across generations and national borders. This edition is illustrated with twelve of Gibran's famous visionary paintings and features a foreword by Rupi Kaur.

In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

SEASON IN HELL & THE DRUNKEN B

SEASON IN HELL & THE DRUNKEN B

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Rimbaud originally distributed A Season In Hell to friends as a self-published booklet, and soon afterward, at the age of nineteen, quit poetry altogether. New Directions's edition was among the first to be published in the U.S., and it quickly became a classic. Rimbaud's famous poem "The Drunken Boat" was subsequently added to the first paperbook printing. Allen Ginsberg proclaimed Arthur Rimbaud as "the first punk" -- a visionary mentor to the Beats for both his recklessness and his fiery poetry.

This new edition proudly dons the original Alvin Lustig-designed cover, and a introduction by another famous rebel -- and now National Book Award-winner -- Patti Smith.