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Leanne Shapton's Bookcase

Leanne Shapton is a Canadian artist and graphic novelist, now living in New York City. Her second work, Important Artifacts and Personal Property From the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion and Jewelry, has been optioned for a film slated to star Brad Pitt and Natalie Portman. The novel, which takes the form of an auction catalog, uses photographs and accompanying captions to chronicle the romance and subsequent breakup of a couple via the relationship's significant possessions or "artifacts".

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Ghost Stories by American Women, 1872-1926

Just as dreams have long been associated with the unconscious, ghost stories have often served as forums for otherwise unapproachable issues. This volume brings together a lively selection of ghost stories by women writers who use the genre to reveal and challenge prevailing cultural discourses on the nature and status of women. Depicting marriage, motherhood, female sexuality, spinsterhood, widowhood, and the intersection of madness and medical practice, the authors displace their critiques of dominant ideologies onto the supernatural, thus shielding themselves from critical recrimination. Their evocative works provide an invaluable resource for insights into women's writing and lives.

Originally published in popular magazines, the twenty-two stories in this collection are set in all corners of the United States and were written by a range of authors known and unknown, including Edith Wharton, Kate Chopin, and Zora Neale Hurston. Whether depicting a servant who helps save the reputation of her master's dead first wife, a ghostly mother who haunts a stranger until he agrees to adopt her orphaned daughter, or a ghost who revisits her beloved husband only to discover his long-standing preference for her sister, these tales possess great psychological richness and offer first-rate entertainment even as they explore the social and psychological realities of women's lives. Each story is preceded by a biographical headnote.

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Regional and Traditional

Julie Duff runs an award-winning cake business, which supplies wonderful rich succulent fruit cakes and other traditional cakes to some of the country's premier shops, such as Fortnum and Mason, St Paul's Cathedral and Selfridges.

She has now committed to paper her most treasured collection of recipes, some of them from generations of her own family, in this her first book.

She says in her introduction 'my passion for cakes can be wholeheartedly blamed on my grandmother who spent many hours letting me mix fruit cakes at the kitchen table. It was inevitable that one day I would derive pleasure from baking cakes. Having been a chef for many years, my interest in cakes grew - eventually setting up Church Farmhouse Cakes, from our farmhouse in the Vale of Belvoir. We have now grown to become one of the foremost speciality cake makers in the country but the fundamental way in which we make the cakes has never changed, they are still made in small batches using exactly the same methods taught to me as a child.'

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"Last Night I Dreamt I Went To Manderley Again."

So the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter remembered the chilling events that led her down the turning drive past ther beeches, white and naked, to the isolated gray stone manse on the windswept Cornish coast. With a husband she barely knew, the young bride arrived at this immense estate, only to be inexorably drawn into the life of the first Mrs. de Winter, the beautiful Rebecca, dead but never forgotten...her suite of rooms never touched, her clothes ready to be worn, her servant -- the sinister Mrs. Danvers -- still loyal. And as an eerie presentiment of evil tightened around her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter began her search for the real fate of Rebecca...for the secrets of Manderley.

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End of an Age

"Portraits are one of the most profound things that one can do to express who we are through our material presence. To look at someone, to simply and truly see someone, and express their sentience. To reflect the inner self through external appearance."

A club in a city somewhere in Western Europe in the wee hours of the morning: young people dancing, talking, flirting, drinking. Paul Graham photographed them when they were alone sitting in a corner, on the border of a dance floor. He captured tranquil, composed portraits of young men and women on the cusp of adulthood pensively drifting away, caught in lonely sorrow, or exhaustedly resting amidst the hustle and the bustle of club life.

"I guess what is important here to say is that this is absolutely not a documentary of the club world, the nightlife scene, or whatever. ...The constituency of people I wanted to photograph are found there--people at that age when one has left childhood, but has not yet quite integrated fully into adulthood."

End of an Age is a meditation on the transition from adolescence to adulthood at the end of the postwar order. Ultra-sharp direct flash images alternate with blurred, available-light photographs, a long, inquiring, and elegiac look at young white adults facing an uncertain future after the end of white, Western mono-culture.

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The Swimmer as Her

A group biography of the Angry Young Men - a journalistic catchphrase applied to writers like John Osborne, Kingsley Amis, Colin Wilson, John Braine, and John Wain, who shook up the cosy, stale cultural values of mid 1950s Britain. There may be more important literary movements than the Angry Young Men but there can be few as consciously (or unconsciously) entertaining. The Angry Young Men were an absurdly diverse group, often wildly at odds and, indeed, often wholly unacquainted with each other. This cavalcade of misunderstandings, wild statements, mediocrity and genuine achievement can now be seen as an example of how the media can both help and ruin literature.

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Thomas Bernhard was one of the most original writers of the twentieth century. His formal innovation ranks with Beckett and Kafka, his outrageously cantankerous voice recalls Dostoevsky, but his gift for lacerating, lyrical, provocative prose is incomparably his own.One of Bernhard's most acclaimed novels, The Loser centers on a fictional relationship between piano virtuoso Glenn Gould and two of his fellow students who feel compelled to renounce their musical ambitions in the face of Gould's incomparable genius. One commits suicide, while the other-- the obsessive, witty, and self-mocking narrator-- has retreated into obscurity. Written as a monologue in one remarkable unbroken paragraph, The Loser is a brilliant meditation on success, failure, genius, and fame.

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A Year in the Kitchen with Nigel Slater

Brought back by popular demand.  Beloved food writer Nigel Slater presents a yearlong record of his cooking and entertaining, as well as endearing culinary stories and witticisms.

Nigel Slater writes about food in a way that stimulates the imagination, the heart, and the palate all at once. The Kitchen Diaries brings an especially personal ingredient to the mix, letting us glimpse into Nigel Slater’s pantry, tour local farmers’ markets with him, and savor even the simplest meals at his table.

Recording twelve months in Nigel Slater’s culinary life, The Kitchen Diaries shares seasonal dishes and the intriguing elements behind them. As someone who celebrates each visit to the cheese shop or butcher, he enthusiastically conveys the brilliant array of choices and views shopping as an adventure rather than a chore. If he feels like staying in, we spend the evening with him at his London flat, enjoying a creative combination of odds and ends from the fridge. A rainy day in February calls for a hearty stew; summertime finds him feasting on a simple lunch of baked tomatoes with grated Parmesan. No matter the season, The Kitchen Diaries offers a year-round invitation to cook and dine with the world’s most irresistible lover of food.

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Rarely does the debut of a new writer garner such attention & acclaim. The excitement began the moment "The Fourth State of Matter," one of the fourteen extraordinary personal narratives in this book, appeared in the pages of the New Yorker. It increased when the author received a prestigious Whiting Foundation Award in November 1997, & it continued as the hardcover edition of The Boys of My Youth sold out its first printing even before publication. The author writes with perfect pitch as she takes us through one woman's life - from childhood to marriage & beyond - & memorably captures the collision of youthful longing & the hard intransigences of time & fate.

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The second novel by Don DeLillo, author of White Noise (winner of the National Book Award) and Zero K

At Logos College in West Texas, huge young men, vacuum-packed into shoulder pads and shiny helmets, play football with intense passion. During an uncharacteristic winning season, the perplexed and distracted running back Gary Harkness has periodic fits of nuclear glee; he is fueled and shielded by his fear of and fascination with nuclear conflict. Among oddly afflicted and recognizable players, the terminologies of football and nuclear war--the language of end zones--become interchangeable, and their meaning deteriorates as the collegiate year runs its course. In this triumphantly funny, deeply searching novel, Don DeLillo explores the metaphor of football as war with rich, original zeal.

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The Tebricks, a charming and upstanding young couple, have moved to Oxfordshire to begin their married life, happily unaware of the future awaiting them. When Sylvia turns suddenly into a fox their fortunes are changed forever, despite all of her strenuous attempts to adhere to the proprieties of her upbringing and resist the feral instincts of her current form. Increasingly isolated in their home, Richard does all he can to protect his wife from the dangers inherent in the outside world, but these dangers soon prove impossible to fight and inevitably break down the boundaries between the newlyweds and what lies beyond the garden walls.

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A novel about the frightfulness and ruthlessness of being in love

Martin Lynch-Gibson believes he can possess both a beautiful wife and a delightful lover. But when his wife, Antonia, suddenly leaves him for her psychoanalyst, Martin is plunged into an intensive emotional reeducation. He attempts to behave beautifully and sensibly. Then he meets a woman whose demonic splendor at first repels him and later arouses a consuming and monstrous passion. As his Medusa informs him, “this is nothing to do with happiness.”

A Severed Head was adapted for a successful stage production in 1963 and was later made into a film starring Claire Bloom, Lee Remick, Richard Attenborough, and Ian Holm.

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Strangers and Friends

In his first book to be published in the United States, German photographer Thomas Struth explores the social space and mental state of the modern metropolis. Thomas Struth: Strangers & Friends covers the entire trajectory of Struth's career and his work in several subject matters, including his restrained and rigorous architectural photographs, intimate family portraits, and frenzied museum interiors.

A former student of artist Gerhard Richter and of photographers Hilla and Bernd Becher, Struth began in the early 1980s to make steely black and white photographs of deserted city streets and decaying buildings in a restrained and rigorous style that seemed to underscore his debt to his teachers. In recent years, his work has diversified in subject, scale, and color to embrace increasingly ambitious subjects and challenging locations. Struth has extended his urban investigation to the inhabitants and interior spaces of the city, from Naples to Tokyo to Chicago to Berlin, portraying the relationships, conscious and unconscious, through which we build and abandon our identities in a world of transitory physical and social structures.

Thomas Struth: Strangers & Friends continues a notable tradition of books by German photographers from August Sander and Albert Renger-Patzsch to Hilla and Bernd Becher. It is the most complete presentation of Struth's work to date, following Unconscious Places (1987) and Museum Photographs (1993).

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This book was first published on the occasion of the exhibition David Hockney Photographe at the Musée National d\'Art Moderne Centre Georges Pompidou July 7 - September 12 1982. The exhibition was curated by Alain Sayag assisted by Marie-France Vanden Bussche.

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Authored

A love story told in the form of an auction catalog.

Auction catalogs can tell you a lot about a person -- their passions and vanities, peccadilloes and aesthetics; their flush years and lean. Think of the collections of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Truman Capote, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

In Leanne Shapton's marvelously inventive and invented auction catalog, the 325 lots up for auction are what remain from the relationship between Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris (who aren't real people, but might as well be). Through photographs of the couple's personal effects -- the usual auction items (jewelry, fine art, and rare furniture) and the seemingly worthless (pajamas, Post-it notes, worn paperbacks) -- the story of a failed love affair vividly (and cleverly) emerges. From first meeting to final separation, the progress and rituals of intimacy are revealed through the couple's accumulated relics and memorabilia. And a love story, in all its tenderness and struggle, emerges from the evidence that has been left behind, laid out for us to appraise and appreciate.

In an earlier work, Was She Pretty?, Shapton, a talented artist and illustrator, subtly explored the seemingly simple yet powerfully complicated nature of sexual jealousy. In Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris―a very different yet equally original book―she invites us to contemplate what is truly valuable, and to consider the art we make of our private lives.

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A bold reinterpretation of a century-old book

While shopping in the used-book store the Monkey's Paw in Toronto, Leanne Shapton happened upon a 1956 edition of the government reference book The Native Trees of Canada, originally published in 1917 by the Canadian Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources. Most people might simply view the book as a dry cataloging of a banal subject; Shapton, however, saw beauty in the technical details and was inspired to create her own interpretation of The Native Trees of Canada. Shapton distills each image into its simplest form, using vivid colors in lush ink and house paint. She takes the otherwise complex objects of trees, pinecones, and seeds and strips them down into bold, almost abstract shapes and colors: the water birch is represented as two pulsating red bulbs contrasted against a gray backdrop; the eastern white pine is represented by a close-up of its cone against a radiant summer sky.

The author of Was She Pretty? and Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry, Shapton puts forth yet another entirely new facet of her creative artistry.

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