Essay/Nonfiction

Art Matters: Because Your Imagination Can Change the World

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$19.99

A stunning and timely creative call-to-arms combining four extraordinary written pieces by Neil Gaiman illustrated with the striking four-color artwork of Chris Riddell.

"The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before."--Neil Gaiman

Drawn from Gaiman's trove of published speeches, poems, and creative manifestos, Art Matters is an embodiment of this remarkable multi-media artist's vision--an exploration of how reading, imagining, and creating can transform the world and our lives.

Art Matters bring together four of Gaiman's most beloved writings on creativity and artistry:

  • "Credo," his remarkably concise and relevant manifesto on free expression, first delivered in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings
  • "Make Good Art," his famous 2012 commencement address delivered at the Philadelphia University of the Arts
  • "Making a Chair," a poem about the joys of creating something, even when words won't come
  • "On Libraries," an impassioned argument for libraries that illuminates their importance to our future and celebrates how they foster readers and daydreamers
  • Featuring original illustrations by Gaiman's longtime illustrator, Chris Riddell, Art Matters is a stirring testament to the freedom of ideas that inspires us to make art in the face of adversity, and dares us to choose to be bold.

    ISBN/SKU: 
    9780062906205
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    Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives

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    $25.00
    Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer Viet Thanh Nguyen called on 17 fellow refugee writers from across the globe to shed light on their experiences, and the result is The Displaced, a powerful dispatch from the individual lives behind current headlines, with proceeds to support the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

    Today the world faces an enormous refugee crisis: 68.5 million people fleeing persecution and conflict from Myanmar to South Sudan and Syria, a figure worse than flight of Jewish and other Europeans during World War II and beyond anything the world has seen in this generation. Yet in the United States, United Kingdom, and other countries with the means to welcome refugees, anti-immigration politics and fear seem poised to shut the door. Even for readers seeking to help, the sheer scale of the problem renders the experience of refugees hard to comprehend.

    Viet Nguyen, called "one of our great chroniclers of displacement" (Joyce Carol Oates, The New Yorker), brings together writers originally from Mexico, Bosnia, Iran, Afghanistan, Soviet Ukraine, Hungary, Chile, Ethiopia, and others to make their stories heard. They are formidable in their own right--MacArthur Genius grant recipients, National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award finalists, filmmakers, speakers, lawyers, professors, and New Yorker contributors--and they are all refugees, many as children arriving in London and Toronto, Oklahoma and Minnesota, South Africa and Germany. Their 17 contributions are as diverse as their own lives have been, and yet hold just as many themes in common.

    Reyna Grande questions the line between "official" refugee and "illegal" immigrant, chronicling the disintegration of the family forced to leave her behind; Fatima Bhutto visits Alejandro Iñárritu's virtual reality border crossing installation "Flesh and Sand"; Aleksandar Hemon recounts a gay Bosnian's answer to his question, "How did you get here?"; Thi Bui offers two uniquely striking graphic panels; David Bezmozgis writes about uncovering new details about his past and attending a hearing for a new refugee; and Hmong writer Kao Kalia Yang recalls the courage of children in a camp in Thailand.

    These essays reveal moments of uncertainty, resilience in the face of trauma, and a reimagining of identity, forming a compelling look at what it means to be forced to leave home and find a place of refuge. The Displaced is also a commitment: ABRAMS will donate 10 percent of the cover price of this book, a minimum of $25,000 annually, to the International Rescue Committee, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing humanitarian aid, relief, and resettlement to refugees and other victims of oppression or violent conflict.

    List of Contributors:
    Joseph Azam
    David Bezmozgis
    Fatima Bhutto
    Thi Bui
    Ariel Dorfman
    Lev Golinkin
    Reyna Grande
    Meron Hadero
    Aleksandar Hemon
    Joseph Kertes
    Porochista Khakpour
    Marina Lewycka
    Maaza Mengiste
    Dina Nayeri
    Vu Tran
    Novuyo Rosa Tshuma
    Kao Kalia Yang
    ISBN/SKU: 
    9781419729485
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    Feel Free: Essays

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    $18.00
    A New York Times Notable Book

    From Zadie Smith, one of the most beloved authors of her generation, a new collection of essays

    Since she burst spectacularly into view with her debut novel almost two decades ago, Zadie Smith has established herself not just as one of the world's preeminent fiction writers, but also a brilliant and singular essayist. She contributes regularly to The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books on a range of subjects, and each piece of hers is a literary event in its own right.

    Arranged into five sections--In the World, In the Audience, In the Gallery, On the Bookshelf, and Feel Free--this new collection poses questions we immediately recognize. What is The Social Network--and Facebook itself--really about? "It's a cruel portrait of us: 500 million sentient people entrapped in the recent careless thoughts of a Harvard sophomore." Why do we love libraries? "Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay." What will we tell our granddaughters about our collective failure to address global warming? "So I might say to her, look: the thing you have to appreciate is that we'd just been through a century of relativism and deconstruction, in which we were informed that most of our fondest-held principles were either uncertain or simple wishful thinking, and in many areas of our lives we had already been asked to accept that nothing is essential and everything changes--and this had taken the fight out of us somewhat."

    Gathering in one place for the first time previously unpublished work, as well as already classic essays, such as, "Joy," and, "Find Your Beach," Feel Free offers a survey of important recent events in culture and politics, as well as Smith's own life. Equally at home in the world of good books and bad politics, Brooklyn-born rappers and the work of Swiss novelists, she is by turns wry, heartfelt, indignant, and incisive--and never any less than perfect company. This is literary journalism at its zenith.

    ISBN/SKU: 
    9780143110255
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    Geek Feminist Revolution

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    $15.99

    The Geek Feminist Revolution is a collection of essays by double Hugo Award-winning essayist and fantasy novelist Kameron Hurley.

    The book collects dozens of Hurley's essays on feminism, geek culture, and her experiences and insights as a genre writer, including "We Have Always Fought," which won the 2013 Hugo for Best Related Work. The Geek Feminist Revolution will also feature several entirely new essays written specifically for this volume.

    Unapologetically outspoken, Hurley has contributed essays to The Atlantic, Locus, Tor.com, and others on the rise of women in genre, her passion for SF/F, and the diversification of publishing.

    ISBN/SKU: 
    9780765386243
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    Interior States: Essays

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    $16.00
    "Meghan O'Gieblyn's deep and searching essays are written with a precise sort of skepticism and a slight ache in the heart. A first-rate and riveting collection."
    --Lorrie Moore

    A fresh, acute, and even profound collection that centers around two core (and related) issues of American identity: faith, in general and the specific forms Christianity takes in particular; and the challenges of living in the Midwest when culture is felt to be elsewhere.

    What does it mean to be a believing Christian and a Midwesterner in an increasingly secular America where the cultural capital is retreating to both coasts? The critic and essayist Meghan O'Gieblyn was born into an evangelical family, attended the famed Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for a time before she had a crisis of belief, and still lives in the Midwest, aka "Flyover Country." She writes of her "existential dizziness, a sense that the rest of the world is moving while you remain still," and that rich sense of ambivalence and internal division inform the fifteen superbly thoughtful and ironic essays in this collection. The subjects of these essays range from the rebranding (as it were) of Hell in contemporary Christian culture ("Hell"), a theme park devoted to the concept of intelligent design ("Species of Origin"), the paradoxes of Christian Rock ("Sniffing Glue"), Henry Ford's reconstructed pioneer town of Greenfield Village and its mixed messages ("Midwest World"), and the strange convergences of Christian eschatology and the digital so-called Singularity ("Ghosts in the Cloud"). Meghan O'Gieblyn stands in relation to her native Midwest as Joan Didion stands in relation to California - which is to say a whole-hearted lover, albeit one riven with ambivalence at the same time.

    ISBN/SKU: 
    9780525562702
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    Lowcountry Heart: Reflections on a Writing Life

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    $18.00
    Final words and heartfelt remembrances from bestselling author Pat Conroy take center stage in this winning nonfiction collection, supplemented by touching pieces from Conroy's many friends.

    This new volume of Pat Conroy's nonfiction brings together some of the most charming interviews, magazine articles, speeches, and letters from his long literary career, many of them addressed directly to his readers with his habitual greeting, "Hey, out there." Ranging across diverse subjects, such as favorite recent reads, the challenge of staying motivated to exercise, and processing the loss of dear friends, Conroy's eminently memorable pieces offer a unique window into the life of a true titan of Southern writing.

    With a beautiful introduction from his widow, novelist Cassandra King, A Lowcountry Heart also honors Conroy's legacy and the innumerable lives he touched. Finally, the collection turns to remembrances of "The Great Conroy," as he is lovingly titled by friends, and concludes with a eulogy. The inarguable power of Conroy's work resonates throughout A Lowcountry Heart, and his influence promises to endure.

    This moving tribute is sure to be a cherished keepsake for any true Conroy fan and remain a lasting monument to one of the best-loved masters of contemporary American letters.

    Praise for A Lowcountry Heart

    "A fascinating look into the mind of one of the South's greatest authors . . . something to remember him by and cherish for years to come."--The Clarion-Ledger

    "Fans of Conroy . . . will relish the chance to spend more time with him in this glowing valedictory to his life and writing . . . Eloquent, folksy, and sometimes brutally honest."--Publishers Weekly

    "A moving and proper tribute to a true Southern icon."--The Florida Times-Union

    "Elegant essays [that] will not disappoint."--The Washington Post

    "Resplendent . . . As always, his storytelling, word choice and rhythm are gorgeous, almost lyrical."--USA Today

    ISBN/SKU: 
    9780385343534
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    Really Big Lunch: The Roving Gourmand on Food and Life

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    $17.00

    "A Really Big Lunch showcases Harrison's enthusiastic, funny, and uncompromising views on how to eat, drink, and live well . . . His writing is bodily, bawdy, sharp. The more we have of his voice, the better."--Boston Globe

    A national bestseller and an Amazon Best Book of the Month in the Cookbook/Food & Wine category, now in paperback, A Really Big Lunch collects many of New York Times bestselling author Jim Harrison's essays on food for the first time--and taps into his larger-than-life appetite with wit and verve. In these pieces, Harrison muses on the relationship between hunter and prey, interrogates the obscure language of wine reviews, and delivers a manifesto against the bland, mass-produced food of our time, proposing instead what he calls the Vivid Diet. He delights in food from the most outré indulgence (a French lunch that went to thirty-seven courses) to a simple bowl of menudo. Harrison's food writing is a program for living, and A Really Big Lunch is shot through with his pointed aperçus and keen delight in the pleasures of the senses. And between the lines the pieces give glimpses of Harrison's life over the last fifteen years. Lovingly introduced by master chef Mario Batali, A Really Big Lunch is a literary delight that will satisfy every appetite.

    "The collection is chockablock with . . . zingers as well as plenty of half-baked, hilarious theories you can ponder while planning your first summer barbecue."--The Paris Review

    ISBN/SKU: 
    9780802127662
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    Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions

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    $12.95

    "Humane yet often horrifying, Tell Me How It Ends offers a compelling, intimate look at a continuing crisis--and its ongoing cost in an age of increasing urgency." --Jeremy Garber, Powell's Books

    p>>"Valeria Luiselli's extended essay on her volunteer work translating for child immigrants confronts with compassion and honesty the problem of the North American refugee crisis. It's a rare thing: a book everyone should read." --Stephen Sparks, Point Reyes Books

    "Tell Me How It Ends evokes empathy as it educates. It is a vital contribution to the body of post-Trump work being published in early 2017."--Katharine Solheim, Unabridged Bookstore

    "While this essay is brilliant for exactly what it depicts, it helps open larger questions, which we're ever more on the precipice of now, of where all of this will go, how all of this might end. Is this a story, or is this beyond a story? Valeria Luiselli is one of those brave and eloquent enough to help us see."--Rick Simonson, Elliott Bay Book Company

    "Appealing to the language of the United States' fraught immigration policy, Luiselli exposes the cracks in this foundation. Herself an immigrant, she highlights the human cost of its brokenness, as well as the hope that it (rather than walls) might be rebuilt."--Brad Johnson, Diesel Bookstore

    "The bureaucratic labyrinth of immigration, the dangers of searching for a better life, all of this and more is contained in this brief and profound work. Tell Me How It Ends is not just relevant, it's essential."--Mark Haber, Brazos Bookstore

    ISBN/SKU: 
    9781566894951
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    Two Countries: Us Daughters & Sons of Immigrant Parents

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    $18.95
    The newest addition to Red Hen's Anthology Series, Two-Countries: U.S. Daughters and Sons of Immigrant Parents is an anthology of flash memoir, personal essays and poetry edited by the adult child of an immigrant born and raised in the US. The collection contains contributions from sixty-five writers who were either born and/or raised in the US by one or more immigrant parent. Their work describes the many contradictions, discoveries and life lessons one experiences when one is neither seen as fully American nor fully foreign. Contributors include Richard Blanco, Tina Chang, Joseph Lagaspi, Li-Young Lee, Timothy Liu, Naomi Shihab Nye, Oliver de la Paz, Ira Sukrungruang, Ocean Vuong and many other talented writers from throughout the US.
    ISBN/SKU: 
    9781597096065
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    Up Up, Down Down: Essays

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    $16.00
    In the tradition of John Jeremiah Sullivan and David Foster Wallace, Cheston Knapp's Up Up, Down Down "is an always smart, often hilarious, and ultimately transcendent essay collection" (Anthony Doerr, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of All the Light We Cannot See) that brilliantly explores authenticity and the nature of identity.

    Daring and wise, hilarious and tender, Cheston Knapp's "glittering" (Leslie Jamison) collection of seven linked essays tackles the Big Questions through seemingly unlikely avenues. In his dexterous hands, an examination of a local professional wrestling promotion becomes a meditation on pain and his relationship with his father. A profile of UFO enthusiasts ends up probing his history in the church and, more broadly, the nature and limits of faith itself. Attending an adult skateboarding camp launches him into a virtuosic analysis of nostalgia. And the shocking murder of a neighbor expands into an interrogation of our culture's prevailing ideas about community. Even more remarkable, perhaps, is the way he manages to find humanity in a damp basement full of frat boys.

    Taken together, the essays in Up Up, Down Down amount to a chronicle of Knapp's coming-of-age, a young man's journey into adulthood, late-onset as it might appear. He presents us with formative experiences from his childhood to marriage that echo throughout the collection, and ultimately tilts at what may be the Biggest Q of them all: what are the hazards of becoming who you are?

    With "a firmly tongue-in-cheek approach to the existential crises of male maturity for the millennial generation...Knapp's intelligent take on coming-of-age deserves to be widely read" (Publishers Weekly). "Compelling...Precise and laugh-inducing" (The New York Times Book Review), Up Up, Down Down signals the arrival of a truly one-of-a-kind voice.

    ISBN/SKU: 
    9781501161032
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