In 1930 the great economist Keynes predicted that, over the next century, income would rise steadily, people's basic needs would be met and no one would have to work more than fifteen hours a week. Why was he wrong?
Robert and Edward Skidelsky argue that wealth is not - or should not be - an end in itself, but a means to 'the good life'. Tracing the concept from Aristotle to the present, they show how far modern life has strayed from that ideal. They reject the idea that there is any single measure of human progress, whether GDP or 'happiness', and instead describe the seven elements which, they argue, make up the good life, and the policies that could realize them.
ROBERT SKIDELSKY is Emeritus Professor of Political Economy at the University of Warwick. His biography of Keynes received numerous prizes, including the Lionel Gelber Prize and the Council on Foreign Relations Prize for International Relations. He was made a life peer in 1991, and a Fellow of the British Academy in 1994.
EDWARD SKIDELSKY is a lecturer in the Philosophy Department of the University of Exeter. He contributes regularly to the New Statesman, Spectator and Prospect. His previous books include The Conditions of Goodness and Ernst Cassirer: The Last Philosopher of Culture.
Alex has spent the majority of his adult life between two very different women--and he can’t make up his mind. Sonia, his wife and business partner, is everything a man would want. Intelligent, gorgeous, charming, and ambitious, she worked tirelessly alongside him to open their architecture firm and to build a life of luxury. But when the seven-year itch sets in, their exhaustion at working long hours coupled with their failed attempts at starting a family get the best of them. Alex soon finds himself kindling an affair with his college lover, Ivona. The young Polish woman who worked in a Catholic mission is the polar opposite of Sonia: dull, passive, taciturn, and plain. Despite having little in common with Ivona, Alex is inexplicably drawn to her while despising himself for it. Torn between his highbrow marriage and his lowbrow affair, Alex is stuck within a spiraling threesome. But when Ivona becomes pregnant, life takes an unexpected turn, and Alex is puzzled more than ever by the mysteries of his heart.Peter Stamm, one of Switzerland’s most acclaimed writers, is at his best exploring the complexities of human relationships. Seven Years is a distinct, sobering, and bold novel about the impositions of happiness in the quest for love.
Andreas returns to his hometown in Switzerland to escape the monotony of his life in Paris and to rekindle a romance with his first love after his doctor reveals he may have lung cancer.
A poignant and inspirational love story set in Burma, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats spans the decades between the 1950s and the present. When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might beuntil they find a love letter he wrote many years ago, to a Burmese woman they have never heard of. Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her fathers past, Julia decides to travel to the village where the woman lived. There she uncovers a tale of unimaginable hardship, resilience, and passion that will reaffirm the readers belief in the power of love to move mountains.
Following the publication of the widely acclaimed novel Seven Years comes a trove of stories from the Swiss master Peter Stamm. They all possess the traits that have built Stamms reputation: the directness of the prose, the deceptive surface simplicity of the narratives, and deep psychological insight into the existential dilemmas of contemporary life. Stamm does not waste a word, nor does he spare the readers feelings. These stories are a superb introduction to his work and a gift for all those who have come to regard his fiction as a precise rendering of the contemporary human psyche.
Long considered cool, distant, and absolutely reliable, an American-born hit man, working throughout Europe, grows increasingly distracted and begins to develop an unexpected passion for architecture and art while engaged in his deadly profession. Although he welcomes this energizing break from his routine, he comes to realize that it is an unwise trajectory for a man in his business, particularly when he is sent on the most difficult job of his career.
Set in London, Paris, New York, and Barcelona, Calling Mr. King is at once a colorful suspense tale, laced with dark humor, and a psychological self-portrait of a character who is attempting, against the odds, to become someone else.
Carla Del Ponte won international recognition as Switzerland's attorney general when she pursued cases against the Sicilian mafia. In 1999, she answered the United Nations' call to become the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda. In her new role, Del Ponte confronted genocide and crimes against humanity head-on, struggling to bring to justice the highest-ranking individuals responsible for massive acts of violence in Rwanda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Kosovo.
These tribunals have been unprecedented. They operate along the edge of the divide between national sovereignty and international responsibility, in the gray zone between the judicial and the political, a largely unexplored realm for prosecutors and judges. It is a realm whose native inhabitantspolitical leaders and diplomats, soldiers and spiesassume that they can commit the big crime without being held culpable. It is a realm crisscrossed by what Del Ponte calls the muro di gomma "the wall of rubber" a metaphor referring to the tactics government officials use to hide their unwillingness to confront the culture of impunity that has allowed persons responsible for acts of unspeakable, wholesale violence to escape accountability. Madame Prosecutor is Del Ponte's courageous and startling memoir of her eight years spent striving to serve justice.
Argentinas coup détat in 1976 led to one of the bloodiest dictatorships in its history--thirty thousand people were abducted, tortured, and subsequently disappeared. And hundreds of babies born to pregnant political prisoners were stolen from their doomed mothers and given to families with military ties or who were collaborators of the regime. Analía was one of these children, raised without suspecting that she was adopted. At twenty seven, she learned that her name wasnt what she believed it to be, that her parents werent her real parents, and that the farce conceived by the dictatorship had managed to survive through more than two decades of democracy.In My Name is Victoria, it is no longer Analía, but Victoria who tells us her story, in her own words: the life of a young and thriving middleclass woman from the outskirts of Buenos Aires with strong political convictions. Growing up, she thought she was the black sheep of the family with ideas diametrically opposed to her parents. It wasnt until she discovered the truth about her origins and the shocking revelation of her uncles involvement in her parents murder and in her kidnapping and adoption that she was able to fully embrace her legacy. Today, as the youngest member of congress in Argentina, she has reclaimed her identity and her real name: Victoria Donda. This is Victorias story, from the oment her parents were abducted to the day she was elected to parliament.
In The Art Prophets, Richard Polsky introduces us to influential late twentieth-century dealers and tastemakers in the art world. These risk takers opened doors for artists, identified new movements, and resurrected art forms that had fallen into obscurity. In this distinctive tour, Polsky offers an insightful and engaging dialog between artists and the visionaries who paved their way.
Table of contents Ivan Karp and Pop Art Stan Lee and Comic Book Art Chet Helms, Bill Graham, and the Art of the Poster John Ollman and Outsider Art Joshua Baer and Native American Art Virginia Dwan and Earthworks Tod Volpe and Ceramics Jeffrey Fraenkel and Photography Louis Meisel and Photorealism Tony Shafrazi and Street Art
The unnamed narrator of this slim, alluring novel recalls a summer spent at age sixteen on an idyllic Italian island off the coast of Naples in the 1950s, where he spends his days with Nicola, a local fisherman. The narrator falls in love with Caia, who shares with him that shes Jewish, saved by Italian soldiers from the Nazis, who killed the rest of her Yugoslav family. The boy demands answers about the war from the adults around him, but is rebuffed by everyone but Nicola, who tells him of Italys complicity with the Nazis. His passion for Caia and his ardent patriotism lead him to a flamboyant, cataclysmic act of destruction that brings his tale to an end.
Just after World War II, a young orphan living in Naples comes under the protection of Don Gaetano, the superintendent of an apartment building. He is a generous man and is very attached to the boy, telling him about the war and the liberation of the city by the Neapolitans. He teaches him to play cards, shows him how to do odd jobs for the tenants, and even initiates him into the world of sex by sending him one evening to a widow who lives in the building. But Don Gaetano possesses another gift as well: he knows how to read peoples thoughts and guesses correctly that his young friend is haunted by the image of a girl he noticed by chance behind a window during a soccer match. Years later, when the girl returns, the orphan will need Don Gaetanos help more than ever.
A novel about obsession that makes for obsessive reading.
All Owen Patterson wants is an normal life, a happy marriage, and a stable family. But following the brutal and random murder of his brother-in-law, that dream is shattered. A year later, his wife is still in mourning and his in-laws won't talk about anything but their dead son.
The murderer, Henry Joseph Raven, has been put in prison, but as far as Owen is concerned, prison isnt punishment enough. He embarks on a quest to "balance the scales of justice," writing letters to Henry Raven under the pseudonym Lily Hazelton. His plan: to seduce the murderer, make him fall in love with his fictional correspondent, and then break his heart. From one letter to the next, Lily Hazelton develops into a curious amalgam of details from Owens imagination, snatches of his difficult childhood, and memories of his cousin Eileen, a suicide who was his first true love. Not entirely in control of his own creation, Owen dives headfirst into the correspondence, only to find himself caught in the trap hes set for Henry Raven.
Bringing together an epistolary game of cat and mouse with the harrowing record of one mans psychological collapse, The Interloper is a compelling and original debut from a bold new writer.
"As assured and sumptuously written as any first novel Ive encountered--Antoine Wilsons prose sings, and the story he tells here is both clever and compelling. Tis is writing at its very best." -- T. Coraghessan Boyle
As founder of the Peace Corps, Head Start, the Special Olympics (with wife Eunice Kennedy Shriver), and other organizations, Sargent Shriver was a key social and political figure whose influence continues to the present day. This authorized biography, exhaustively researched and finely rendered by Scott Stossel (deputy editor of The Atlantic), reads like an epic novel, with Sarge marching through the historical events of the last century--the Great Depression, World War II, JFKs assassination, the Cold War, and many more. Sarge gives us a complete account of Shrivers life, as well as a thoughtful commentary on the Kennedy family, the Peace Corps, and United States and world history. It is a riveting and comprehensive reconstruction of a life that exemplifies what it means to be a true American.
In the early 1980s, Brian O';Dea was operating a $100 million a year, 120-man drug smuggling business, and had developed a terrifying cocaine addiction. Under increasing threat from the DEA in 1986 for importing seventy-five tons of marijuana into the United States, he quit the trade-and the drugs-and began working with recovering addicts in Santa Barbara. Despite his life change, the authorities caught up with him years later and O';Dea was arrested, tried, and sentenced to ten years at Terminal Island Federal Penitentiary in Los Angeles Harbor. A born storyteller, O';Dea candidly recounts his incredible experiences from the streets of Bogotá with a false-bottomed suitcase lined with cocaine, to the engine compartment of an old DC-6 whose engines were failing over the Caribbean, to the cell blocks overcrowded with small-time dealers who had fallen victim to the justice system';s perverse bureaucracy of drug sentencing. Weaving together extracts from his prison diary with the vivid recounting of his outlaw years and the dawning recognition of those things in his life that were worth living for, High tells the remarkable story of a remarkable man in the late-1980s drug business and why he walked away.From the Trade Paperback edition.
One day in early spring, Dorrit Weger is checked into the Second Reserve Bank Unit for biological material. She is promised a nicely furnished apartment inside the Unit, where she will make new friends, enjoy the state of the art recreation facilities, and live the few remaining days of her life in comfort with people who are just like her. Here, women over the age of fifty and men over sixtysingle, childless, and without jobs in progressive industriesare sequestered for their final few years; they are considered outsiders. In the Unit they are expected to contribute themselves for drug and psychological testing, and ultimately donate their organs, little by little, until the final donation. Despite the ruthless nature of this practice, the ethos of this nearfuture society and the Unit is to take care of others, and Dorrit finds herself living under very pleasant conditions: wellhoused, wellfed, and wellattended. She is resigned to her fate and discovers her days there to be rather consoling and peaceful. But when she meets a man inside the Unit and falls in love, the extraordinary becomes a reality and life suddenly turns unbearable. Dorrit is faced with compliance or escape, andwell, then what?
THE UNIT is a gripping exploration of a society in the throes of an experiment, in which the dispensable ones are convinced under gentle coercion of the importance of sacrificing for the necessary ones. Ninni Holmqvist has creted a debut novel of humor, sorrow, and rage about love, the close bonds of friendship, and about a cynical, utilitarian way of thinking disguised as care.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
In this novel, Greek tragedy meets a dysfunctional family from Maryland, revealing how time and place matter little when it comes to the implacable logic of the darkest human emotions.
A family matriarch--half Medea, half Clytemnestra--calls home her three children, who take turns narrating the story. Quinn, the wonder boy who has become a successful actor in London, must fly in from England, putting a new love interest and a career-boosting role in a BBC production of the Oresteia on hold. Maury, whose life is defined by his Asperger's and a terrible crime committed when he was a teenager, rides in on a bus from his quiet, impoverished life out west. Candy, the eldest at fifty-five and the only one still a devout Catholic, is already in Maryland, where she takes care of her mother and dreams of retiring to North Carolina with her boyfriend. Once the family is reassembled in the childhood home, the pieces of a dark puzzle come together over brilliant and witty exchanges. Mewshaw invites us into the heart of a family dynamic, exploding prejudices about love, religion, and murder.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Recipient of the Independent Publishers Award for Historical Fiction (Gold Medal), the Foreword Book of the Year Award for Historical Fiction (Bronze Medal), and an honorable mention in the category of General Fiction for the Eric Hoffer Award.
Luis de Santángel, chancellor to the court and longtime friend of the lusty King Ferdinand, has had enough of the Spanish Inquisition. As the power of Inquisitor General Tomás de Torquemada grows, so does the brutality of the Spanish church and the suspicion and paranoia it inspires. When a dear friends demise brings the violence close to home, Santángel is enraged and takes retribution into his own hands. But he is from a family of conversos, and his Jewish heritage makes him an easy target. As Santángel witnesses the horrific persecution of his loved ones, he begins slowly to reconnect with the Jewish faith his family left behind. Feeding his curiosity about his past is his growing love for Judith Migdal, a clever and beautiful Jewish woman navigating the mounting tensions in Granada. While he struggles to decide what his reputation is worth and what he can sacrifice, one man offers him a chance he thought hed lostthe chance to hope for a better world. Christopher Columbus has plans to discover a route to paradise, and only Luis de Santángel can help him.
Within the dramatic story lies a subtle, insightful examination of the crisis of faith at the heart o the Spanish Inquisition. Irresolvable conflict rages within the conversos in By Fire, By Water, torn between the religion they left behind and the conversion meant to ensure their safety. In this story of love, God, faith, and torture, fifteenth-century Spain comes to dazzling, engrossing life.
The unconscious sprang to the attention of the West a hundred years ago, and we are still struggling to absorb its full impact. It was one thing to understand the concept, to see it and believe it, but another to live with it, to take in fully its challenge to our deepest cultural assumptions. Today, as we expand our understanding of its reach, we are still coming to grips with what it means. This new unconscious is driven by the identities we assume, the groups we belong to, the ideas we inherit, the languages we useall the elements that provide meaning and structure to our world.
What You Dont Know You Know is about this emergent understanding, and how it forces us to rethink our relationships with each other as well as our beliefs about what it means to be a person, to have a self. It is for all those who want a better understanding of the complexity of human motivation, whether as an executive faced with employees resisting change, an elected official trying to forge agreements among competing interests, a consultant brought in to restructure an ailing corporation, or individuals struggling to understand their relationships and why they do the things they do. All too often, our actions do not conform to our explicit intentions or to common sense. We are more constricted than we think, but sometimes we are also smarter.
From the Hardcover edition.
In 1934, Veza Taubner and Elias Canetti were married in Vienna. Elias describes the arrangement to his brother Georges as a functional marriage. Meanwhile, an intense intellectual love affair develops between Veza and Georges, a young doctor suffering fromtuberculosis. Four years later, Veza and Elias flee Nazi-ruled Vienna to London, where they lead an impoverished and extremely complicated marital life in exile.
Spanning the major part of Eliass struggle for literary recognition, from 1933, before the publication of his novel, Auto-da-Fé, to 1959, when he finished his monumental Crowds and Power, the Canetti letters provide an intimate look at these formative years through the prism of a veritable love triangle: the newly married Elias has a string of lovers; his wife, Veza, is hopelessly in love with an idealized image of his youngest brother, Georges; and Georges is drawn to good looking men as well as to his motherly sister-in-law. Independently and often secretly, the couple communicates with Georges, who lives in Paris: Veza tells of Eliass amorous escapades and bouts of madness, Elias complains about Vezas poor nerves and depression. Each of them worries about Georgess healthif she could, Veza would kiss away the germs. Georges is an infrequent correspondent, but he diligently stores away the letters from his brother and sister-in-law. In 2003, long after his death, they were accidentally discovered in a Paris basement and comprise not only a moving and insightful document, but real literature.
From the Hardcover edition.
Gustav Rubin, a fur dealer in Vienna, flies to New York to spend the summer with his wife and two young children in a lake house north of the city. When he arrives late at JFK, he is met by his opinionated, unrelenting mother, Rosa. They rent a car and set out for Lake Gilead. But Gustav loses his way, and son and mother end up on the wrong side of the river. Trying to find the right route north, they become trapped on the Tappan Zee Bridge in the traffic jam of all traffic jams-a truck transporting toxic chemicals has turned over-and Gustav and Mother remain gridlocked high above the Hudson River. Gustav begins to think of his beloved father, a renowned intellectual, now eleven months dead. Then, in a surprising, highly original twist worthy of Kafka, both Gustav and Mother see the body - "the colossal, golem-like fatherbody" - of Ludwig David Rubin floating naked in the waters below.
Crossing the Hudson is a profound meditation on a Jewish family and its past, especially the lasting distorting effects on a son of a famous, vital father and a clinging, overwhelming mother, and of the differences between the generation of European intellectual refugees who arrived in the United States during the Second World War and the children of that generation.
Winner of the 2008 Governor Generals Award for Fiction Montreal during the turbulent mid-1980s: Chernobyl has set Geiger counters thrumming across the globe, HIV/AIDS is cutting a deadly swath through the gay population worldwide, and locally, tempers are flaring over the recent codification of French as the official language of Quebec. Hiding out in a seedy apartment near campus, Alex Fratarcangeli (Dont worry. . . . I cant even pronounce it myself), an awkward, thirty-something grad student, is plagued by the sensation that his entire life is a fraud. Scarred by a distant father and a dangerous relationship with his ex Liz, and consumed by a floundering dissertation linking Darwins theory of evolution with the history of human narrative, Alex has come to view love and other human emotions as evolutionary surplus, haphazard neural responses that nature had latched onto for its own insidious purposes. When Alex receives a letter from Ingrid, the beautiful woman he knew years ago in Sweden, notifying him of the existence of his five-year-old son, he is gripped by a paralytic terror. Whenever Alexs thoughts grow darkest, he recalls Desmond, the British professor with dubious credentials whom he met years ago in the Galapagos. Treacherous and despicable, wearing his ignominy like his rumpled jacket, Desmond nonetheless caught Alex in his thrall and led him to some life-altering truts during their weeks exploring Darwins islands together. It is only now that Alex can begin to comprehend these unlikely life lessons, and see a glimmer of hope shining through what he had thought was meaninglessness.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Women are not supposed to write; yet I write. Marceline Desbordes-Valmore In 1817, at the late age of thirty-three,Marceline Desbordes, the actress and Romantic poetthe only woman counted by Paul Verlaine among his poètes maudits, or accursed poets, a group that included Victor Hugo, Charles Baudelaire, and Alfred de Vignymarries Prosper Valmore, a fellow actor who brings love and stability to her tumultuous life. Such stability is short-lived, however:When she meets Henri de Latouche, an influential man of letters, they soon begin a passionate affair. Although their tryst does not last more than a year, their relationship survives through letters and memory. It sparks inspiration in Marcelines work and leads her to create some of the most beautiful poetry in French literature. A talented poet, a romantic woman, a passionate lover, a nurturing mother, and a child at heart, Marceline Desbordes-Valmore is rescued from obscurity through Plantagenets dazzling writing in this fictionalized biography. The book will include a selection of Desbordes-Valmores poems in the original French and in an English translation by the Pulitzer Prize--winning poet Louis Simpson.
A shred of black lace. A broken hand mirror. A spidery strip of false eyelash. These are the fragments left to Irene Vilar, granddaughter of Lolita Lebrón, the revered political activist for Puerto Rican independence who in 1954 sprayed the U.S. House of Representatives with gunfire, wounding several congressmen, and served twentyseven years in prison. In The Ladies' Gallery, Vilar revisits the legacy of her grandmother and that of her anguished mother, who leaped to her death from a speeding car when Vilar was eight.Eleven years after her mother's death, Vilar awakens in a psychiatric hospital after her own suicide attempt and begins to face the devastating inheritance of abandonment and suicide passed down from her grandmother and mother. The familial pattern of selfdestruction flings open the doors to her national inheritance and the search for identity. Alternating between Vilar's notes from the ward and the unraveling of her family's secrets, this lyrical and powerful memoir of three generations of Puerto Rican women is urgent, impassioned, and unforgettable.From the Trade Paperback edition.
In early 2005, Richard Polsky decided to put his much-loved, hard-won Warhol Fright Wig, up for auction at Christie's. The market for contemporary art was robust and he was hoping to turn a profit. His instinct seemed to be on target: his picture sold for $375,000. But if only Polsky had waited . . . Over the next two years, prices soared to unimaginable heights with multimillion-dollar deals that became the norm and not the exception. Buyers and sellers were baffled, art dealers were bypassed for auction houses, and benchmark prices proved that trees really do grow to the sky. Had the market lost all reason?
In I Sold Andy Warhol (Too Soon), Polsky leads the way through this explosive, short-lived period when the "art world" became the "art market." He delves into the behind-the-scenes politics of auctions, the shift in power away from galleries, and the search for affordable art in a rich man's playing field. Unlike most in the art world, Polsky is not afraid to tell it like it is as he negotiates deals for clients in New York, London, and San Francisco and seeks out a replacement for his lost Fright Wig in a market that has galloped beyond his means. A compelling backdoor tell-all about the strange and fickle world of art collecting, I Sold Andy Warhol (Too Soon) takes an unvarnished look at how the industry shifted from art appreciation to monetary appreciation.
From the Hardcover edition.