ONE OF THE 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR - THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW A Best Book of the Year: The New Yorker, The Boston Globe, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Vogue.com, Electric Literature, Buzzfeed In the beginning, it was easy to imagine ...
Author: Jenny Offill
Publisher: National Geographic Books
From the acclaimed author of Weather comes a slim, stunning portrait of a marriage--a beguiling rumination on the mysteries of intimacy, trust, faith, knowledge, and the condition of universal shipwreck that unites us all. ONE OF THE 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR - THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW A Best Book of the Year: The New Yorker, The Boston Globe, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Vogue.com, Electric Literature, Buzzfeed In the beginning, it was easy to imagine their future. They were young and giddy, sure of themselves and of their love for each other. “Dept. of Speculation” was their code name for all the thrilling uncertainties that lay ahead. Then they got married, had a child and navigated the familiar calamities of family life—a colicky baby, a faltering relationship, stalled ambitions. When their marriage reaches a sudden breaking point, the wife tries to retrace the steps that have led them to this place, invoking everything from Kafka to the Stoics to doomed Russian cosmonauts as she analyzes what is lost and what remains. In language that shimmers with rage and longing and wit, Offill has created a brilliantly suspenseful love story—a novel to read in one sitting, even as its piercing meditations linger long after the last page.
“Antelopes have x vision, you said”: Jenny Oll, Dept. of Speculation (New York: Vintage Contemporaries, ), . “The Buddhists say there are states of consciousness”: Ibid., . “Women almost never become art monsters”: Ibid., .
Author: Kenneth C. Davis
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
A delightful, entertaining guide to some of the best short novels of all time from a bestselling historian, author, and lifelong reader. Fall back into the joys of literature with an extraordinary book for book lovers: a compulsively readable, deeply engaging list of great short novels. A journey into short fiction designed with our contemporary attention spans in mind, Great Short Books suggests fifty-eight excellent short novels, all easily readable in a week or less—a “baker’s dozen” approach to a fun, fascinating year of reading. From hard-boiled fiction to magical realism, the 18th century to the present day, Great Short Books spans genres, cultures, countries, and time to present an enchanting and diverse selection of acclaimed and canonical novels. From works in translation like Yu Miri’s Tokyo Ueno Station and Marguerite Duras’s The Lover to popular, acclaimed authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Stephen King, this compilation is a celebration of classics from the historic to contemporary—plus a few bestsellers. Each entry includes the novel’s opening lines, a spoiler-free plot summary, a “why you should read it” section, and suggestions for what to read next. Just like browsing in your favorite bookstore, this eclectic collection is a fun and practical book for any passionate reader hoping to broaden their collection—or anyone who wants to find an entertaining and effortless reentry into reading.
Vintage, 2011. James, Henry. Portrait of a Lady. Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1881. Konigsburg, E. L. From the Mixed-Up Files of Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler. Atheneum, 1967. ... Dept. of Speculation. Vintage Contemporaries, 2014.
Author: Jia Tolentino
Publisher: Random House
Category: Literary Collections
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “From The New Yorker’s beloved cultural critic comes a bold, unflinching collection of essays about self-deception, examining everything from scammer culture to reality television.”—Esquire Book Club Pick for Now Read This, from PBS NewsHour and The New York Times • “A whip-smart, challenging book.”—Zadie Smith • “Jia Tolentino could be the Joan Didion of our time.”—Vulture FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE’S JOHN LEONARD PRIZE FOR BEST FIRST BOOK • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY AND HARVARD CRIMSON AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Time • Chicago Tribune • The Washington Post • NPR • Variety • Esquire • Vox • Elle • Glamour • GQ • Good Housekeeping • The Paris Review • Paste • Town & Country • BookPage • Kirkus Reviews • BookRiot • Shelf Awareness Jia Tolentino is a peerless voice of her generation, tackling the conflicts, contradictions, and sea changes that define us and our time. Now, in this dazzling collection of nine entirely original essays, written with a rare combination of give and sharpness, wit and fearlessness, she delves into the forces that warp our vision, demonstrating an unparalleled stylistic potency and critical dexterity. Trick Mirror is an enlightening, unforgettable trip through the river of self-delusion that surges just beneath the surface of our lives. This is a book about the incentives that shape us, and about how hard it is to see ourselves clearly through a culture that revolves around the self. In each essay, Tolentino writes about a cultural prism: the rise of the nightmare social internet; the advent of scamming as the definitive millennial ethos; the literary heroine’s journey from brave to blank to bitter; the punitive dream of optimization, which insists that everything, including our bodies, should become more efficient and beautiful until we die. Gleaming with Tolentino’s sense of humor and capacity to elucidate the impossibly complex in an instant, and marked by her desire to treat the reader with profound honesty, Trick Mirror is an instant classic of the worst decade yet. FINALIST FOR THE PEN/DIAMONSTEIN-SPIELVOGEL AWARD FOR THE ART OF THE ESSAY
Machado, Carmen Maria. Her Body and Other Parties: Stories. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2017. Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. New York: Vintage Books, 1970. Offill, Jenny. Dept. of Speculation. New York: Vintage Contemporaries, 2014.
Author: Katherine Dykstra
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Category: True Crime
A People Best Book of Summer A New York Times Most Anticipated Book of the Summer A riveting investigation into a cold case asks how much control women have over their bodies and the direction of their lives. July 1970. Eighteen-year-old Paula Oberbroeckling left her house in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Four months later, her remains were discovered just beyond the mouth of a culvert overlooking the Cedar River. Her homicide has never been solved. Fifty years cold, Paula’s case had been mostly forgotten when journalist Katherine Dykstra began looking for answers. A woman was dead. Why had no one been held responsible? How could the powers that be, how could a community, have given up? Tracing Paula’s final days, Dykstra uncovers a girl whose exultant personality was at odds with the Midwest norms of the late 1960s. A girl who was caught between independence and youthful naivete, between a love that defied racially segregated Cedar Rapids and her complicated but enduring love for her mother, and between a possible pregnancy and the freedoms that had been promised by the women’s liberation movement but that still had little practical bearing on actual lives. The more Dykstra learned about the circumstances of Paula’s life, the more parallels she saw in the lives of the women who knew Paula and the women in Paula’s family, in the lives of the women in Dykstra’s own family, and even in her own life. Captivating and expertly crafted from interviews with Paula’s family and friends, police reports, and on-the-scene investigation, What Happened to Paula is part true crime story, part memoir, a timely and powerful look at gender, autonomy, and the cost of being a woman.
Dept. of Speculation. New York, NY: Vintage Contemporaries, 2014. Print. Sawer, Patrick. “Judi Dench: 'There's Nothing Good About Being 80 —Bugger the Wealth of Knowledge.'” The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited, 7 March 2015.
Author: Mary D. Esselman
Publisher: Hachette UK
From the bestselling authors of The Hell with Love, a fierce, funny, touching collection that takes the sting out of "aging while female."
Jenny Offill. Also BY JENNY OFFILL Dept. of Speculation Last Things A NOVEL Jenny Offill Vintage Contemporaries Vintage Books.
Author: Jenny Offill
Grace's father believes in science and builds his daughter a dollhouse with lights that really work. Grace's mother takes her skinny-dipping in the lake and teaches her about African hyena men who devour their wives in their sleep. Grace's world, of fact and fiction, marvels and madness, is slowly unraveling because her family is coming apart before her eyes. Now eight-year-old Grace must choose between her two very different, very flawed parents, a choice that will take her on a dizzying journey, away from her home in Vermont to the boozy, flooded streets of New Orleans--and into the equally wondrous and frightening realm of her own imagination. With eloquence and compassion, Jenny Offill weaves a luminous story of a wounded family and of a young girl yearning to understand the difference between fiction, fact, and hope. A novel of vibrant imagination and searing intelligence, Last Things is a stunning literary achievement.
A marvelous feat of compression, a mix of great feeling and wry humor, Weather is an electrifying encounter with one of the most gifted writers at work today.
Author: Jenny Offill
Publisher: National Geographic Books
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the beloved author of the nationwide best seller Dept. of Speculation comes a “darkly funny and urgent” (NPR) tour de force about a family, and a nation, in crisis. Lizzie works in the library of a university where she was once a promising graduate student. Her side hustle is answering the letters that come in to Hell and High Water, the doom-laden podcast hosted by her former mentor. At first it suits her, this chance to practice her other calling as an unofficial shrink—she has always played this role to her divorced mother and brother recovering from addiction—but soon Lizzie finds herself struggling to strike the obligatory note of hope in her responses. The reassuring rhythms of her life as a wife and mother begin to falter as her obsession with disaster psychology and people preparing for the end of the world grows. A marvelous feat of compression, a mix of great feeling and wry humor, Weather is an electrifying encounter with one of the most gifted writers at work today.
To eight-year-old Grace Davitt, the world is full of strange wonders.
Author: Jenny Offill
To eight-year-old Grace Davitt, the world is full of strange wonders. Through the eyes of her mother, Anna—an ornithologist who speaks five languages—their small lakeside town in Vermont becomes a glittering mystery filled with secret tongues, monsters in the lake, and birthday parties for the Earth. Anna’s untamed spirit stands in sharp contrast to that of Grace’s father, a chemistry teacher who examines his surroundings through the lens of rationalism and order. As Grace’s family begins to fall apart and she finds that she must choose between her parents, her conflicting loyalties take her on a remarkable journey that spans all corners of the country—and of her own boundless imagination.
54 The range of contemporary writing addressing motherhood , that play out as durational projects and that have influenced this work could include Jenny Offil's Dept. of Speculation ( New York : Vintage , 2014 ) ; Maggie Nelson's The ...
Author: Joanna Walsh
Publisher: Verso Books
Category: Social Science
What happens when a woman goes online? She becomes a girl. The unwritten contract of the internet, that a user is what is used, extends from the well-examined issue of data privacy and consent to the very selves women are encouraged to create in order to appear. Invited to self-construct as “girls online,” vloggers, bloggers and influencers sign a devil’s bargain: a platform on the condition they commodify themselves, eternally youthful, cute and responsibility-free, hiding offline domestic, professional and emotional labour while paying for their online presence with “accounts” of personal “experience.” Told via the arresting personal narrative of one woman negotiating the (cyber)space between her identities as girl, mother, writer, and commodified online persona, Girl Online is written in a plethora of the online styles, from programming language to the blog/diary, from tweets to lyric prose, taking in selfies, social media, celebrity and Cyberfeminism.
Crisis, Rupture and Anxiety: An Interdisciplinary Examination of Contemporary and Historical Human Challenges, edited by Bob Jeffery et al. Cambridge Scholars, 2011, pp. 1–13. ... “Re: An Academic Inquiry Regarding Dept. of Speculation.
Author: Wojciech Drag
Category: Literary Criticism
Collage in Twenty-First-Century Literature in English: Art of Crisis considers the phenomenon of the continued relevance of collage, a form established over a hundred years ago, to contemporary literature. It argues that collage is a perfect artistic vehicle to represent the crisis-ridden reality of the twenty-first-century. Being a mixture of fragmentary incompatible voices, collage embodies the chaos of the media-dominated world. Examining the artistic, sociopolitical and personal crises addressed in contemporary collage literature, the book argues that the 21st Century has brought a revival of collage-like novels and essays.