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Annie's Staff Picks

DRY HEART

DRY HEART

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The Dry Heart begins and ends with the matter-of-fact pronouncement: "I shot him between the eyes." As the tale--a plunge into the chilly waters of loneliness, desperation, and bitterness--proceeds, the narrator's murder of her flighty husband takes on a certain logical inevitability. Stripped of any preciousness or sentimentality, Natalia Ginzburg's writing here is white-hot, tempered by rage. She transforms the unhappy tale of an ordinary dull marriage into a rich psychological thriller that seems to beg the question: why don't more wives kill their husbands?
EDNA WEBSTER COLLECTION OF UND

EDNA WEBSTER COLLECTION OF UND

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Published 15 years after his suicide, this all-new, youthful work by Brautigan, was written a decade before he found sudden fame with "Trout Fishing in America".
GHOST WALL

GHOST WALL

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A Southern Living Best New Book of Winter 2019; A Refinery29 Best Book of January 2019; A Most Anticipated Book of 2019 at The Week, Huffington Post, Nylon, and Lit Hub; An Indie Next Pick for January 2019

"Ghost Wall has subtlety, wit, and the force of a rock to the head: an instant classic."
--Emma Donoghue, author of Room

A worthy match for 3 a.m. disquiet, a book that evoked existential dread, but contained it, beautifully, like a shipwreck in a bottle."
--Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker

A taut, gripping tale of a young woman and an Iron Age reenactment trip that unearths frightening behavior

The light blinds you; there's a lot you miss by gathering at the fireside.

In the north of England, far from the intrusions of cities but not far from civilization, Silvie and her family are living as if they are ancient Britons, surviving by the tools and knowledge of the Iron Age.

For two weeks, the length of her father's vacation, they join an anthropology course set to reenact life in simpler times. They are surrounded by forests of birch and rowan; they make stew from foraged roots and hunted rabbit. The students are fulfilling their coursework; Silvie's father is fulfilling his lifelong obsession. He has raised her on stories of early man, taken her to witness rare artifacts, recounted time and again their rituals and beliefs--particularly their sacrifices to the bog. Mixing with the students, Silvie begins to see, hear, and imagine another kind of life, one that might include going to university, traveling beyond England, choosing her own clothes and food, speaking her mind.

The ancient Britons built ghost walls to ward off enemy invaders, rude barricades of stakes topped with ancestral skulls. When the group builds one of their own, they find a spiritual connection to the past. What comes next but human sacrifice?

A story at once mythic and strikingly timely, Sarah Moss's Ghost Wall urges us to wonder how far we have come from the "primitive minds" of our ancestors.

LITTLE VIRTUES: ESSAYS

LITTLE VIRTUES: ESSAYS

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In this collection of her finest and best-known short essays, Natalia Ginzburg explores both the mundane details and inescapable catastrophes of personal life with the grace and wit that have assured her rightful place in the pantheon of classic mid-century authors. Whether she writes of the loss of a friend, Cesare Pavese; or what is inexpugnable of World War II; or the Abruzzi, where she and her first husband lived in forced residence under Fascist rule; or the importance of silence in our society; or her vocation as a writer; or even a pair of worn-out shoes, Ginzburg brings to her reflections the wisdom of a survivor and the spare, wry, and poetically resonant style her readers have come to recognize.

A glowing light of modern Italian literature . . . Ginzburg's magic is the utter simplicity of her prose, suddenly illuminated by one word that makes a lightning streak of a plain phrase. . . . As direct and clean as if it were carved in stone, it yet speaks thoughts of the heart.' -- The New York Times Book Review

MRS. CALIBAN

MRS. CALIBAN

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Now back in print, Mrs. Caliban is "totally unforgettable" (The New York Times Book Review) and "something of a miracle" (The New Yorker)
Nives

Nives

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One of the most exciting new voices in Italian literature brings to life a hauntingly beautiful story of undying love, loss, and resilience, and a fierce, unforgettable new heroine

Meet Nives: widow, Tuscan through-and-through, survivor. Nives has recently lost her husband of fifty years. She didn't cry when she found him dead in the pig pen, she didn't cry at the funeral, but now loneliness has set in. When she decides to bring her favorite chicken inside for company, she is shocked, confused, and a little bit guilty to discover that the chicken's company is a more than adequate replacement for her dead husband.

But one day, Giacomina goes stiff in front of the tv. Unable to rouse the paralyzed chicken, Nives has no choice but to call the town veterinarian, Loriano Bottai, an old acquaintance of hers. What follows is a phone call that seems to last a lifetime, a phone call that becomes a novel. Their conversation veers from the chicken to the past--to the life they once shared, the secrets they never had the courage to reveal, wounds that never healed.

Nives reverberates with the kinds of stories we tell ourselves at night when we cannot sleep: stories of love lost, of abandonment, of silent and heart-breaking nostalgia, of joy, laughter, and despair. With delicate yet sharp prose and raw, astonishing honesty, Sacha Naspini bravely explores the core of our shared humanity.

ODES TO COMMON THINGS

ODES TO COMMON THINGS

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A bilingual collection of 25 newly translated odes by the century's greatest Spanish-language poet, each accompanied by a pair of exquisite pencil drawings. From bread and soap to a bed and a box of tea, the -odes to common things- collected here conjure up the essence of their subjects clearly and wondrously. 50 b&w illustrations.
SUPPOSE A SENTENCE

SUPPOSE A SENTENCE

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A captivating meditation on the power of the sentence by the author of Essayism, a 2018 New Yorker book of the year.

In Suppose a Sentence, Brian Dillon, whom John Banville has called "a literary flâneur in the tradition of Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin," has written a sequel of sorts to Essayism, turning his attention to the oblique and complex pleasures of the sentence. A series of essays prompted by a single sentence--from Shakespeare to James Baldwin, John Ruskin to Joan Didion--this new book explores style, voice, and language, along with the subjectivity of reading. Both an exercise in practical criticism and a set of experiments or challenges, Suppose a Sentence is a polemical and personal reflection on the art of the sentence in literature.