My Bookstore


Martha joins over 80 writers paying tribute to their favorite bookstores. Writers including Wendell Berry, Isabel Allende, Terry Tempest Williams, Louise Erdrich, and Dave Eggers offer enthusiastic, heartfelt, and sometimes humorous ode to bookstores and booksellers--places they often call their second home.

When you think of your favorite bookstore, what comes to mind? Is it the physical space? Books stacked in rows and piled high, labeled with staff recommendations? Do you think of the owner who knows each of her customers by name and can always press into your hands the perfect book that you're sure to love? Or is it the intangible thing that draws you there: the anticipation of a new discovery, or the feeling of community or of being home?

In My Bookstore, 84 of our favorite writers put all of these thoughts and feelings into words in a one-of-a-kind collection that expresses their adoration and admiration for bookstores all across the country.

The relationship between a writer and his or her local store can last for years or even decades. Often it is the author's local store that supported him during early days in his career and that continues to introduce and hand-sell his work to new readers. But, as many of the authors also point out, writers are also readers and customers. For them, as for most of us, a bookstore often serves as the anchor for the community in which we all live and work--the place that introduces us to new authors and ideas and that sets out children on a path to becoming lifelong readers and lovers of books.

With contributions from some our most celebrated authors and an introduction by Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Richard Russo, My Bookstore is filled with essays that are smart, charming, deeply moving, funny, and exceedingly well-crafted. The entire collection is a joyful celebration of our beloved bricks-and mortar stores and a clarion call to readers everywhere at a time when the value and importance of these stores should be shouted from the rooftops.

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The Emily Dickinson Handbook


Here for the first time, students of Emily Dickinson can find a single source of accurate, up-to-date information on the poet’s life and works, her letters and manuscripts, the cultural climate of her times, her reception and influence, and the current state of Dickinson scholarship. Written by a distinguished group of contributors from the United States and abroad, the twenty-two essays in this volume reflect the many facets of the poet’s oeuvre, as well as the principal trends in Dickinson studies.

Topics include Richard Sewall on Dickinson’s life, Agnieszka Salska on her letters, David Porter on themes (or the lack of them) in the poetry, Judith Farr on Dickinson and the visual arts, and Roland Hagenbuchle on the poet and literary theory. Contributors from newer scholars range from Kerstin Behnke on translation, Martha Ackmann on biography to Marietta Messmer on the poet’s critical reception and Paul Crumbley on her dialogic voice.

Unlike encyclopedic entries, each essay also reflects the contributor’s distinct and at times controversial point of view. As a result, the essays will prove useful not just to beginning students, but also to established scholars looking for a review of areas of Dickinson studies with which they are less familiar.

Edited by Gudrun Grabher, professor and chair of American studies at the University of Innsbruck, Roland Hagenbuchle, professor of American studies at the Catholic University of Eichstatt, and Cristanne Miller, W. M. Keck Distinguished Service Professor and professor of English at Pomona College.

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African American Lives


African American Lives offers a breathtaking range of African-American history through hundreds of poignant biographies. Drawing from the immediacy of individual experience, each uniquely stirring account reaffirms the significance of a familiar hero or restores the luster to a life long forgotten. Inspiring, enchanting, and provocative, African American Lives is peerless in its ambition.

From Esteban, the earliest known African to set foot in North America in 1528 right up to the continuing careers of Venus and Serena Williams, these stories of the renowned and the unsung give us a new view of American history. Selected from over five thousand entries in the forthcoming eight-volume African American National Biography, the subjects include slaves and abolitionists, writers, politicians, and business people, musicians and dancers, artists and athletes, victims of injustice, and the lawyers, journalists, and civil rights leaders who gave them voice. Their experiences and accomplishments combine to expose the powerful and complex role of race in America’s past and present.

The first book of its kind since 1982 Dictionary of American Negro Biography, African American Lives leads us into a new era of African American biographical scholarship. In collaboration with Oxford University Press and the American Council of Learned Societies, and with contributions from over four hundred scholars and experts in many fields, the editors and their staff at the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University have collected in this single volume the lives of many of the most important and most interesting names in African American history.

In African American Lives, Martha Ackmann profiles astronaut Mae Jemison and baseball pioneer Toni Stone. The book is edited by Henry Louis Gates, JR, the W. E. B. Du Bois Professor of Humanities, Chair of the Department of African and African American Studies, and Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Harvard University and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, the Victor S. Thomas Professor of History and of African and African American Studies, Harvard University.

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