David Wright

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Facial Justice

Equal parts George Orwell and Lewis Carroll, Hartley’s fanciful futurism reflects its author’s aristocratic anxieties, a witty, entertaining, and oddly affecting science fiction outlier.


Along the continuum leading from Richard Hughes’s A High Wind in Jamaica to William Golding’s Lord of the Flies to Lydia Millet’s A Children’s Bible, White’s enigmatic, unnerving parable evokes the uneasy volatility of its own permissive age. Book groups will appreciate Helen Hughes’s (German and film studies, Univ. of Surrey) scholarly afterword, which adds helpful context to White’s engrossing ambiguities.

The Voluble Topsy: 1928–1947

Giddy with arch intensifiers and felicitous malapropisms, Topsy’s ebullient drollery is ferociously amusing; no self-respecting fan of Wodehouse or Waugh should be allowed to remain benighted, beyond the intoxicating glow of her company.

The Book of Paradise

Freely employing American idioms, Peckerar’s energetic translation captures the hilarity and pathos of Manger’s prose and the lyricism of his songs, restoring this delightfully irreverent 1963 Yiddish classic to a contemporary readership.


Although often compared to Gulliver’s Travels, the tale’s playful illogic aligns Akutagawa’s style with the more obscure fabulism of Gogol. A peculiar and plangent farewell from a seminal figure of Japanese modernism.


A bildungsroman like no other, this fecund, funky brew evokes a memorable era of possibility and perplexity, while sounding the obscure depths of love, sacrifice, and selfhood.

Macunaíma: The Hero with No Character

It’s been said that Macunaíma put the magic in magical realism. Whatever its progeny may be, Andrade’s weird and wondrous tour de force is that rarity: a truly original masterpiece, and one deserving a place in any library of world literature.

The Best of Everything

With its moving candor and keen wit, Jaffe’s frank exploration of modern womanhood is an utterly engrossing period piece that still feels painfully timely.

Homeward from Heaven

Part of Columbia University Press’s laudable resurrection of lost Russian voices, Poplavsky’s fiery human document impetuously shoulders its way alongside the works of Rimbaud, Fante, and Bukowski in the cult fiction pantheon.

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