Donn Pearce knew a thing or two about The System.
Donn Pearce’s Cool Hand Luke is a hot book. A hot, sweaty book. A hot, sweaty, stinking book. When you read it, having worked vicariously on a chain gang in a Florida July, you’ll want to take four or five showers—and you’ll give up any thought of a life of crime, especially one south of the Pee Dee and east of the Atchafalaya.
Published in 1965, Cool Hand Luke is a dripping-forehead book about heat, yes. More than that, it ...
Naomi Jackson photographed by Lola Flash.
Novelist Naomi Jackson leads a hyphenated life: Caribbean-American. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised by West Indian parents—mom from Barbados, dad from Antigua, stepmom from Jamaica—in the predominantly West Indian neighborhoods of Flatbush and Crown Heights. And yet, frequent trips to visit the Caribbean were considered “going home.”
“This question of home is one that’s haunted Caribbean people for a long time, since so many have had to seek their fortunes outside of where they first ...
Our survey of books first published overseas that are making their way to America
Jesse Armstrong photographed by Barney Jones.
Sophie and the Sibyl
U.K.: April 9, 2015 | Bloomsbury
U.S.: Aug. 4, 2015 | Bloomsbury USA
George Eliot is old and ugly with wonderful eyes to the slightly hungover Max, the 23-year-old brother of her German publisher, when he meets her in Berlin. Duncker sends them off together to the spa town of Homburg, where Eliot—the sibyl of the title—and Max run into the beautiful, imperious, rich, intelligent Sophie von Hahn, whom Max is to marry. A ...
Emily Mitchell photographed by Britt Olsen-Ecker.
Emily Mitchell is the author of Viral. But who is Emily Mitchell, really?
“Emily Mitchell has worked as a waitress, a receptionist at a bakery/tanning salon, a short-order cook, a snowmobile driver, a crime-scene cleanup technician, an exotic animal trainer, a war correspondent, a phone dispatcher, a secretary, an environmental campaigner, a freelance journalist, a bean counter and a holistic pediatric oncologist,” Mitchell writes in “Biographies.”
“Biographies” isn’t her biography, but one of a dozen delightfully diverse ...
Publishing is still a business forged from personal connections
What’s the point of BookExpo America? Every year the publishing industry’s annual convention seems to get smaller, and half the conversation on the floor seems to be of the “Why am I here?” variety. But as archaic as it may be, publishing is still a business forged out of personal connections, of agents knowing which editor would be right for a particular author and publicists knowing which reviewers will like what books. So much of publishing is still about ...
Don Winslow photographed by Michael Lionstar
Don Winslow listens to the laughter of children out on the edge of America. Today, the crime writer has lent part of his ranch north of San Diego to a local school doing historical recreations of pioneer life, and the kids are excitedly throwing hatchets in the background.
“When you write books like this one, hearing a bunch of kids laugh is a good thing,” he says.
“This one” may very well be the author’s magnum opus. The Cartel ...
Stephen Jarvis photographed by Chris Nevard
With just a glance at Death and Mr. Pickwick, one might presume to know a great deal about the novel’s author, Stephen Jarvis. At more than 800 pages, with a title alluding to the very first of Charles Dicken’s novels, The Pickwick Papers, it would seem a safe bet that the English writer is a lifelong fan of Dickens. He’s not. “I mean, I read Oliver Twist in school,” Jarvis says of his experience prior to taking on this ...
Mia Alvar photographed by Deborah Lopez.
You’d be hard-pressed to guess where Mia Alvar hails from based on her itinerant debut. In the Country’s stories are set in the Philippines, Bahrain, and New York: all places its author has called home.
“I do tend to feel like a sort of observer, at a remove, in any one of those places,” says Alvar, who resists claiming full “New Yorker” status, despite living on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. “That was part of the attraction for ...