Literary Biographies, Essays & Criticism
ents the first volume of a groundbreaking
new biography, tracing the poet from his
St. Louis childhood to the publication of
his revolutionary poem “The Waste Land.”
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Tartan Noir by Len Wanner (July 1,
paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-910449-08-0).
Celebrated for his incisive interviews,
acclaimed crime fiction critic Wanner
delivers a fascinating, scholarly, yet highly
accessible, study of Scotland’s Tartan Noir
movement, profiling such bestselling writers
as Stuart McBride, Ian Rankin, and Louise
Welsh. A fascinating companion for crime
lovers and students of literature alike.
Letter to a Future Lover: Marginalia,
Errata, Secrets, Inscriptions, and Other
Ephemera Found in Libraries by Ander
Monson (Feb. 3, hardcover, $22, ISBN
978-1-55597-706-1). Inspired by ephemera found in library books, National Book
Critics Circle Award finalist Monson offers
what PW called a “highly quirky” essay
collection that touches on the nature of
reading, libraries, and the self.
Ongoingness: The End of a Diary by
Sarah Manguso (Mar. 3, hardcover, $20,
ISBN 978-1-55597-703-0). For 25 years,
Manguso meticulously kept a diary,
attempting to stop or capture time. Then
she had a baby, and everything changed. A
brilliant practitioner of the new essay presents a dazzling philosophical investigation
of the challenge of living in the present.
The Other Serious: Essays for the
New American Generation by Christy
Wampole (July 7, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN
978-0-06-232035-3). In an original collection of cultural criticism, both whimsical
and personal, a Gen-X Princeton professor
and New York Times contributor suggests
how to live a considered, joyful existence in
our era of fiber optics and hipster irony.
25,000-copy announced first printing.
The Ocean, the Bird, and the Scholar:
Essays on Poets and Poetry
by Helen Vendler (Apr. 20,
hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-
0-674-73656-6) gathers two
decades’ worth of essays,
reviews, and occasional
prose—including the 2004
Jefferson Lecture—from a
leading commentator on
poetry; this collection serves as
an eloquent plea for the form’s
continued centrality to cul-
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The P.G. Wodehouse Miscellany by
N. T.P. Murphy (May 1, hardcover, $18.95,
ISBN 978-0-7509-5964-3). Exploring
the life and works of the famed humorist,
Murphy shows that Wodehouse’s wonderful
creations were often based on real places and
people, and demonstrates why his admirers
included Bertrand Russell, Bertolt Brecht,
George Orwell, and Rudyard Kipling.
The Great Detective: The Amazing
Rise and Immortal Life of Sherlock
Holmes by Zach Dundas (June 2, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-544-21404-0).
Addressed to both longtime Conan Doyle
fans and newcomers, this is a lively journey
through the birth, life, and afterlives of
popular culture’s favorite sleuth. 25,000-
copy announced first printing.
Follies of God: Tennessee Williams
and the Women of the Fog by James
Grissom (Mar. 3, hardcover, $30, ISBN
978-0-307-26569-2). At age 20, Grissom’s
letter to Tennessee Williams unexpectedly
began a friendship. At Williams’s request,
Grissom undertook a journey to gauge
Williams’s effect on the men and, mostly,
women who mattered most to him: Maureen Stapleton, Jessica Tandy, and others.
I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a
Timid Son by Kent Russell (Mar. 10, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-385-35230-7).
Russell’s debut is an essay collection that
interrogates a particular para-
digm of American masculin-
ity, capturing with discom-
forting intimacy and precision
the landscape of the misfit.
James Merrill: Life and
Art by Langdon Hammer
(Apr. 14, hardcover, $40,
In the first biography of one
of the most important poets
of the later 20th century, the
Yale English Department
chair tells the story of Merrill (1926–1995)
struggling to escape his powerful parents’
legacy, find his sexual identity, and test the
redemptive potential of his art.
The Life of Saul Bellow: To Fame and
Fortune, 1915–1964 by Zachary Leader
(May 5, hardcover, $40, ISBN 978-0-307-
26883-9). Marking the centenary of
Bellow’s birth and 10th anniversary of his
death, the first volume of this biography
from literary historian Leader traces Bellow
from birth up to the publication of Herzog
and draws on extensive interviews and
unprecedented access to the novelist’s
Ten Windows: How Great Poems
Transform the World by Jane Hirshfield
(Mar. 17, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-
385-35105-8). “Poetry,” Hirshfield has
said, “is language that foments revolutions
of being.” In 10 eloquent essays, she
unfolds how this is done. Published in conjunction with a new book of poems from
Hirshfield, The Beauty.
My Journey with Maya by Tavis Smiley,
with David Ritz (Apr. 7, hardcover, $24,
ISBN 978-0-316-34175-2). Smiley
recounts the story of his friendship with
Maya Angelou, which began in 1986, when
he was 21 and she was 58. He depicts Angelou as having been like a mother to him:
generous, challenging, and inspirational.
75,000-copy announced first printing.
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The World Is on Fire: Scrap, Trea-
sure, and Songs of Apocalypse by Joni