Narrative Non-fiction

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INFINITE CITIES: A Trilogy

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"The maps themselves are things of beauty."
--The New York Times


Explore the hidden histories of San Francisco, New Orleans, and New York with this brilliant reinvention of the traditional atlas. From Rebecca Solnit, Rebecca Snedeker, and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro.

In the past decade, Rebecca Solnit--aided by local writers, artists, historians, urbanists, ethnographers, and cartographers--has compiled three stunning atlases that have radically changed the way we think about place. Each atlas provides a vivid, complex look at the multi-faceted nature of a city as experienced by its different inhabitants, replete with the celebrations and contradictions that make up urban life.

This three-volume paperback set contains:
  • The original, gorgeously designed atlases--Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas; Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas; and Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas
  • Three new and updated, full-color, fold-out posters for each city, including the popular "City of Women" map
  • A new and thoughtful essay by Rebecca Solnit reflecting on the project ten years after the publication of the first atlas

  • A stunning collection, this boxed set is a perfect treasury of imagination and insight, a rich people's history of these infinite cities.
    Insomniac City

    Insomniac City

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    Amazon's Best Biographies and Memoirs of 2017 List

    "This touching memoir of the late neurologist Oliver Sacks, by a photographer and writer with whom he fell in love near the end of his life, turns a story of death into a celebration." --The New Yorker


    A beautifully written once-in-a-lifetime book, about love, about life, soul, and the wonderful loving genius Oliver Sacks, and New York, and laughter and all of creation.
    --Anne Lamott

    Bill Hayes came to New York City in 2009 with a one-way ticket and only the vaguest idea of how he would get by. But, at forty-eight years old, having spent decades in San Francisco, he craved change. Grieving over the death of his partner, he quickly discovered the profound consolations of the city's incessant rhythms, the sight of the Empire State Building against the night sky, and New Yorkers themselves, kindred souls that Hayes, a lifelong insomniac, encountered on late-night strolls with his camera.

    And he unexpectedly fell in love again, with his friend and neighbor, the writer and neurologist Oliver Sacks, whose exuberance--I don't so much fear death as I do wasting life, he tells Hayes early on--is captured in funny and touching vignettes throughout. What emerges is a portrait of Sacks at his most personal and endearing, from falling in love for the first time at age seventy-five to facing illness and death (Sacks died of cancer in August 2015). Insomniac City is both a meditation on grief and a celebration of life. Filled with Hayes's distinctive street photos of everyday New Yorkers, the book is a love song to the city and to all who have felt the particular magic and solace it offers.

    Intimations

    Intimations

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    "[Smith's] slim collection of essays captures this peculiar moment with startling clarity. . . . The personal and political intermingle for a powerful indictment of America's social systems." --TIME, The 100 Must-Read Books of 2020

    "While quarantined amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Smith penned six dazzling, trenchant essays burrowing deep into our contemporary culture of disease and upheaval and reflecting on what was 'once necessary' that now 'appears inessential . . .'" --O, The Oprah Magazine, Best Books of 2020

    "Smith does more than illuminate what we're going through right now. She offers a model of how to think ourselves through a fraught historical moment without getting hysterical or sanctimonious, without losing our compassion or our appreciation for what's good in other people. She teaches us how to be better at being human." --John Powers, Fresh Air


    Deeply personal and powerfully moving, a short and timely series of reflective essays by one of the most clear-sighted and essential writers of our time.

    Written during the early months of lockdown, Intimations explores ideas and questions prompted by an unprecedented situation. What does it mean to submit to a new reality--or to resist it? How do we compare relative sufferings? What is the relationship between time and work? In our isolation, what do other people mean to us? How do we think about them? What is the ratio of contempt to compassion in a crisis? When an unfamiliar world arrives, what does it reveal about the world that came before it?

    Suffused with a profound intimacy and tenderness in response to these extraordinary times, Intimations is a slim, suggestive volume with a wide scope, in which Zadie Smith clears a generous space for thought, open enough for each reader to reflect on what has happened--and what should come next.

    The author will donate her royalties from the sale of Intimations to charity.

    Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883 (USED)

    Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883 (USED)

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    The bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman and The Map That Changed the World examines the enduring and world-changing effects of the catastrophic eruption off the coast of Java of the earth's most dangerous volcano -- Krakatoa.

    The legendary annihilation in 1883 of the volcano-island of Krakatoa -- the name has since become a byword for a cataclysmic disaster -- was followed by an immense tsunami that killed nearly forty thousand people. Beyond the purely physical horrors of an event that has only very recently been properly understood, the eruption changed the world in more ways than could possibly be imagined. Dust swirled round die planet for years, causing temperatures to plummet and sunsets to turn vivid with lurid and unsettling displays of light. The effects of the immense waves were felt as far away as France. Barometers in Bogotá and Washington, D.C., went haywire. Bodies were washed up in Zanzibar. The sound of the island's destruction was heard in Australia and India and on islands thousands of miles away. Most significant of all -- in view of today's new political climate -- the eruption helped to trigger in Java a wave of murderous anti-Western militancy among fundamentalist Muslims: one of the first outbreaks of Islamic-inspired killings anywhere.

    Simon Winchester's long experience in the world wandering as well as his knowledge of history and geology give us an entirely new perspective on this fascinating and iconic event as he brings it telling back to life.

    Let Me Tell You What I Mean

    Let Me Tell You What I Mean

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    NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER - From one of our most iconic and influential writers, the award-winning author of The Year of Magical Thinking a timeless collection of mostly early pieces that reveal what would become Joan Didion's subjects, including the press, politics, California robber barons, women, and her own self-doubt.

    These twelve pieces from 1968 to 2000, never before gathered together, offer an illuminating glimpse into the mind and process of a legendary figure. They showcase Joan Didion's incisive reporting, her empathetic gaze, and her role as an articulate witness to the most stubborn and intractable truths of our time (The New York Times Book Review).

    Here, Didion touches on topics ranging from newspapers (the problem is not so much whether one trusts the news as to whether one finds it), to the fantasy of San Simeon, to not getting into Stanford. In Why I Write, Didion ponders the act of writing: I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. From her admiration for Hemingway's sentences to her acknowledgment that Martha Stewart's story is one that has historically encouraged women in this country, even as it has threatened men, these essays are acutely and brilliantly observed. Each piece is classic Didion: incisive, bemused, and stunningly prescient.

    Men Explain Things to Me

    Men Explain Things to Me

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    This slim book--seven essays, punctuated by enigmatic, haunting paintings by Ana Teresa Fernandez--hums with power and wit.--Boston Globe

    The antidote to mansplaining.--The Stranger

    Feminist, frequently funny, unflinchingly honest and often scathing in its conclusions.--Salon

    Solnit tackles big themes of gender and power in these accessible essays. Honest and full of wit, this is an integral read that furthers the conversation on feminism and contemporary society.--San Francisco Chronicle Top Shelf

    Solnit [is] the perfect writer to tackle the subject: her prose style is so clear and cool.--The New Republic

    The terrain has always felt familiar, but Men Explain Things To Me is a tool that we all need in order to find something that was almost lost.--National Post

    In her comic, scathing essay, Men Explain Things to Me, Rebecca Solnit took on what often goes wrong in conversations between men and women. She wrote about men who wrongly assume they know things and wrongly assume women don't, about why this arises, and how this aspect of the gender wars works, airing some of her own hilariously awful encounters.

    This updated edition with two new essays of this national bestseller book features that now-classic essay as well as #YesAllWomen, an essay written in response to 2014 Isla Vista killings and the grassroots movement that arose with it to end violence against women and misogyny, and the essay Cassandra Syndrome. This book is also available in hardcover.

    Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of eighteen or so books on feminism, western and indigenous history, popular power, social change and insurrection, wandering and walking, hope and disaster, including the books Men Explain Things to Me and Hope in the Dark, both also with Haymarket; a trilogy of atlases of American cities; The Faraway Nearby; A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster; A Field Guide to Getting Lost; Wanderlust: A History of Walking; and River of Shadows, Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West (for which she received a Guggenheim, the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, and the Lannan Literary Award). A product of the California public education system from kindergarten to graduate school, she is a columnist at Harper's and a regular contributor to the Guardian.

    Our House Is on Fire

    Our House Is on Fire

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    A must-read ecological message of hope . . . Everyone with an interest in the future of this planet should read this book. --David Mitchell, The Guardian

    When climate activist Greta Thunberg was eleven, her parents Malena and Svante, and her little sister Beata, were facing a crisis in their own home. Greta had stopped eating and speaking, and her mother and father had reconfigured their lives to care for her. Desperate and searching for answers, her parents discovered what was at the heart of Greta's distress: her imperiled future on a rapidly heating planet.

    Steered by Greta's determination to understand the truth and generate change, they began to see the deep connections between their own suffering and the planet's. Written by a remarkable family and told through the voice of an iconoclastic mother, Our House Is on Fire is the story of how they fought their problems at home by taking global action. And it is the story of how Greta decided to go on strike from school, igniting a worldwide rebellion.

    Professor and the Madman : A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary

    Professor and the Madman : A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary

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    The compilation of the OxfordEnglish Dictionary was one of the most ambitious and challenging language projects ever undertaken. As definitions were collected, the vast over-seeing committee, led by professor James Murray, discovered that more than 10,000 definitions had been submitted by one man, Dr. W. C. Minor. When the committee insisited on honoring him, the incredible truth came to light: Dr. Minor was really a brilliant but severly ill inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane. This is the fascinating, unforgettable true story of a man who became the most prolific contributor of the English language and to history itself.

    The Argonauts

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    The Book of Delights

    The Book of Delights

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    The New York Times bestselling book of essays celebrating ordinary delights in the world around us by one America's most original and observant writers, award-winning poet Ross Gay.

    As Heard on NPR's This American Life

    "Ross Gay's eye lands upon wonder at every turn, bolstering my belief in the countless small miracles that surround us." --Tracy K. Smith, Pulitzer Prize winner and U.S. Poet Laureate

    The winner of the NBCC Award for Poetry offers up a spirited collection of short lyrical essays, written daily over a tumultuous year, reminding us of the purpose and pleasure of praising, extolling, and celebrating ordinary wonders.

    In The Book of Delights, one of today's most original literary voices offers up a genre-defying volume of lyric essays written over one tumultuous year. The first nonfiction book from award-winning poet Ross Gay is a record of the small joys we often overlook in our busy lives. Among Gay's funny, poetic, philosophical delights: a friend's unabashed use of air quotes, cradling a tomato seedling aboard an airplane, the silent nod of acknowledgment between the only two black people in a room. But Gay never dismisses the complexities, even the terrors, of living in America as a black man or the ecological and psychic violence of our consumer culture or the loss of those he loves. More than anything other subject, though, Gay celebrates the beauty of the natural world--his garden, the flowers peeking out of the sidewalk, the hypnotic movements of a praying mantis.

    The Book of Delights is about our shared bonds, and the rewards that come from a life closely observed. These remarkable pieces serve as a powerful and necessary reminder that we can, and should, stake out a space in our lives for delight.