I took a path today Led by a curious dog I took a path today Out of my furious fog I took a path today Wrong shoes in the mud Angry at not being prepared For the evil as well as the good There was a man who called me He knew me and wanted a hug I am holding a bag of shit I said You know I walk the dog He laughed I walked on I took a path today And as always I found god.
Just after eight on a seasonably warm Sundayevening in late September, Dan Muehler left his stopgap digs on East Ninth Street. The gathering outside The Migrant, directly across the street, was still hardly more than a sober smokers’ collective.
Dan worked at The Migrant and would be back at the retro-chic bar the following morning to prep for the daily opening. He stopped for ten minutes to gauge the effect on those waiting outside for the lunar eclipse of the so-called Super Blood Moon. Irritating cloud cover had momentarily dulled “moonthusiasm,” sending most of the watchers inside. When the star of the show reappeared, iPhones lit up as if they’d been signaled, hurrying Instagrammers and FaceTimers back into the street.
Dan re-shouldered his guitar, clicked the off button on his e-cigarette and headed west for the weekly jam session across town. The rabbity unease that sent believers scurrying to rapturous predictions from religious leaders of all stripes was not evident in Dan’s crowd. Music, alcohol and pot pitched them—at most—into gauzy, freewheeling what-if scenarios. Dark humor poured from them like the rich, chocolate-colored pints of Guinness that went down so easily.
He sauntered across Bleecker—the street where music used to spill from every crevice—now awash in the kinds of shops that made New York City the Big New Anywhere. Who didn’t enjoy battling tourists jostling for position outside the artisanal gelato shop, or need fresh baked cookies delivered at two in the morning?
The former home of Phil Ochs was still a soulless cavity between tenements the color of blood. Choga, now shuttered at the top of a steep flight of stairs, had been a gathering place where musos, oiled by multiple rounds of sake and Japanese beer, spilled their stories in song. The Gaslight on MacDougal Street had finally given up the ghost of Bob Dylan. The stage was gone. Shiny red banquettes lined the narrow, bloodless interior. Anemic international sorts crowded the bar, looking both wounded and entitled. The menu boasted signature snacks. Cocktails had names that sounded like book titles written by terribly hip grown-up children: “False Witness in the Old Fashioned Flask” and “Vampire Attack.”
The Bitter End would hang on until the bitter end. Owners of most venues still standing had mastered the art of making the artist pay to play. “Just a reminder,” they’d scold. “This is a business, so bring your hungry and thirsty friends and have a few rounds, or the music goes away.”
Omar—a black-suited refrigerator of a man—emerged from the doorway of The Red Lion. He nodded to Dan. “What’s up, bro?” His head swiveled left to right and back again like a cannon, scanning for potential troublemakers on a drunken lark in Greenwich Village. “Good crowd tonight.”
“Hey, man,” Dan replied, ducking past him.
The Bitter End and Terra Blues had nostalgia cachet on Bleecker. At the Lion drinks were cheap. The menu was non-threatening. The bar had a steady roster of musicians who played to regulars, students, tourists, and the homesick, who felt mercifully at home with a properly poured pint soaked up by battered fish and chips.
On Sunday nights, Dan played in the jam at the Lion. There was no metal, thrash or stand-up on those nights. Folkies slid in alongside a familiar gang of seasoned blues musicians. Among them was a spirited blonde. She was a looker, right out of a Raymond Carver story—forty-something and ballsy everything. She sang with a voice that stopped seasoned hearts in their rutted tracks. For those in the audience who knew how to holler back, Dan always covered a Hank Williams classic, “Mind Your Own Business.” He followed that with more crowd pleasers, growling through “Shine on Harvest Moon” and “Walking Stick.”
Old Jack was a regular who wore a battle-scarred, mouse-colored Stetson and shamelessly channeled Bob Dylan onstage. He needled Dan with the same damn accusation, every damn time. “You ain’t old enough to know who Redbone is.”
Dan was old enough. He knew who Leon Redbone was. No one at The Red Lion gave a shit about the moon.
The text came in at 2:00 a.m., while Dan was play-flirting with the blonde. “Need u now. get a cab!!!!!!”
“Everything okay?” she hummed, warm and promising like freshly poured whiskey.
“Yeah,” Dan said. “My boss, Ari, old-school jerk. Trust no one. Hate everyone. Stab them with exclamation points.”
She laughed huskily. Score for him.
Still sober—because that was his life now and had been for a decade—Dan re-scanned the text. He decided to walk back and make a pit stop at the rent-controlled apartment. He’d been saved—again—when his girlfriend had kicked him out and Mike, his magician friend, had taken him in.
He trudged up three prehistoric flights of stairs. He dropped off his beloved Epiphone Blackstone. Magic Mike was in rehab. He needed someone to stay at his place—rent-free—and take care of the cat. “Be careful, if you do see her,” Magic Mike warned. “She’ll act all chill and purring and then wham, she’ll draw blood.”
“Kind of like a knife fight at a Buddhist picnic?” Dan suggested.
“Yeah, that,” said Magic Mike.
Magic Mike’s greeting was still on the machine. It blinked furiously in the darkened room, like a demented spy with Tourette’s.
“Ari here. I need you, now! Chop, chop! Unless you’re the one in fucking rehab.” Twelve seconds of Ari’s hacking cough tore through Dan as if he’d been violated. “When can you get here?” Ari wheezed.
At eight-fifty an hour, Dan mused. Never.
His job at The Migrant usually started at seven in the morning. Dan erased Ari’s message. At just after three in the morning, he dropped some dry cat food into a bowl in a kitchen that would have been frightening if it was any bigger, but was merely disheartening. On his first night in the apartment he’d discovered the gory aftermath of beet borscht stored in a glass jar that had exploded in the freezer.
Dan sloped downstairs into the still-dark morning and ran across the street to the bar.
The first thing he noticed was the chalkboard, still on the street. It should have been brought in at closing. Last night it was lettered in colored chalk, listing the drink specials: Bloodberry Mojitos, Blood Orange Margarita, Blood and Sand, Bloody Bull, Blood Red Sangria, Bloodberry Fizz, Bloodsucker and Bloody Sunday. Now it looked as if the drunken ghost of Jackson Pollock had stumbled by and created another masterpiece. The stench of urine clung to it like snail slime on a leaf. Cigarette butts—little grave markers—stubbed the outdoor planters flanking the entrance.
Dan dragged the offending chalkboard aside. He pushed the front door open to the barely lit interior of the storefront bar. It smelled as if a thousand clowns had died slow, unfunny deaths.
Emerging from behind the bar, a pit bull in pants, Ari threw a ring of keys at Dan. “Get this shit cleaned up,” he growled. “Bartender quit last night. Last fucking time I hire a fucking hipster with his fucking hair in a fucking man bun!”
“Pay me,” Dan said evenly.
“What? What the fuck!”
“Pay me now, Ari, for today, too,” Dan said. “I’m in no mood.”
Dan tailed in Ari’s wake and locked the door. He pocketed the damp wad of bills thrust at him. He threw a switch and surveyed the scene. The place was a shambles. It was going to be a long fucking day. He closed his eyes and summoned the Zen his girlfriend—ex-girl friend—went on about. Apart from conscious awakening, Shawna was fixated on death. She was the only person he knew who had memberships to morbidity. In Philly, where she was from, there was the Mütter Museum. She belonged to the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Gowanus, where she lived and he had once lived. She was the kind of person who had unabashedly delayed opening curtain, calling for security when she spied a coat and bag left on a theater seat still empty five minutes before show time. “This is New York City in 2013,” she’d announced. “If I’m right, you’ll thank me for my concern.”
They’d met at the city’s only school for Appalachian flatfoot clogging. For a native New Yorker like Dan, stomping to Southern Appalachian fiddle and banjo was not exactly a play-it-again-Sam moment. He was there by invitation from a friend. “Come,” Edna said. “I want you to meet someone.”
He fell in love. Or dependency. Shawna was tightly drawn. She biked everywhere in the city, helmeted as if for battle. She stared him down with her joyless observations. Shawna had a job. He did not. She scared him a little. Love at first fright.
It lasted for almost three years.
Shawna would say to him, “You can sit at home and be annoyed or you can go out and be annoyed.” He preferred to sit at home and re-watch New York characters tough it out in the neo-noir of Cassavetes’ films.
Shawna was twenty-four when they met. Aging with a still fertile female. Not a thing to look forward to. So he ended it. Well, she did, but he’d agreed.
He wondered what Shawna would make of the drama. It would be eighteen years before a Super Moon happened again, putting Dan at an inconceivable eighty-one years old. Pundits, soothsayers, and end-times websites thrived like leeches on the blood of news junkies and the shamelessly panic-stricken. Forget about greeting 2016 any time soon; the end of the world was at hand.
On the other, more rational hand, the world was not going to end. NASA knew of no asteroid or comet on a collision course with Earth. Dan’s hopes were pinned on the asteroid.
Like much of the year’s headline screamers, Super Moon hadn’t lived up to the hype. Bruce Jenner scored a Vanity Fair cover as scantily clad Caitlyn, but she was still a Republican. “Deflategate” was actually an nflscandal over softer balls, and another royal baby was just another welfare cheat. For all the hoopla surrounding it, the Super Moon had been kind of bloodless.
Shawna dismissed the “fake moon shot” and “9/11 was an inside job” and relegated Dan’s favorites to the conspiracy trash heap. At their first meeting, he mentioned the Cuban Missile Crisis, prompting silent age-guessing on her part. She urged him to write his own songs, but he resisted. There was a blues song already written for every emotion. Even for the guy on Facebook who cried when he had to euthanize his fish. Muddy Waters had that covered. “Catfish Blues, back down the road I’m goin’.” Suicide bomber songs were a bit more challenging.
He forced his eyes open. Still here, he thought, taking in The Migrant’s interior. It was a cozy space in a historically incommodious tenement building. Brick walls, properly scarred. Old-fashioned cash register, for display only. Milky-white globe lights and backlit etched glass panels. Depression-era framed photographs. Latter-day prices.
Carmine-colored clots spilled over the floor, the bar, and the few tables in the back. He started with the broken glass. What horror lay behind the bathroom door filled him with dread. The hidden nook at the back of the room would stay hidden for now. He imagined bottomless Bloody Marys sliding down the throats of dark-haired, marble-complexioned, spectral young women.
Dan powered through the carnage. Black trash bags slumped at the door like unidentified bodies. The mats were washed. Supplies listed. Wine stocked. Condiments and snacks were prepared and refrigerated.
“I actually cut cheese,” he thought and laughed out loud, cracking the deadly quiet interior.
Outside, raw-skinned, bone-tired and practically narcoleptic, Dan forced his lanky, sixty-three-year-old frame from the curb, shallow-breathing the stench of fetid gutter debris. Clutching a broom, he traipsed back to the open cellar doors of the bar. He ran a hand through still thick, though graying, hair that capped his scalp like a colony of edgy bats.
Does it get any worse than this?
Dan was the only kind of mess you could be after not having steady employment for a decade, at least. He’d worked five hours a day for three days a week at this job. Twenty-one days of paid work. He laughed, but he was still a mess.
Every nerve ending in Dan’s body telegraphed displeasure. His flesh clung to him, fearful of sliding off bone and diminished muscle into the oily gutter. If he were bloodless, he would not be surprised.
He dropped a bright yellow floor stand at the top of the cellar stairs. He hated the cellar. When he was still drinking, he’d needed a shot of amber-in-a-glass for moments like these, and he needed one now. Caution. Watch Your Step. Alcohol was the minefield he no longer traversed. He saluted the sign and dragged the hose as far as it would stretch from the cellar.
A trash tornado on legs emerged from the pre-dawn gloom. The old woman glared at Dan as if seeing him for the first time. He continued hosing the pavement. She reared back.
“Don’t fucking spray on me, you four-eyed shrimp!” she screamed.
Dan adjusted his eyeglasses and contemplated the hose. Tool? Weapon? It was a conundrum.
He turned off the water. The woman had not moved.
“I don’t mean to be a shallow jerk,” Dan said. “It’s my job to clean—.”
“Find something else to do, jerk.”
Does it get any worse than this? Why yes. Yes, it does.
He watched her scuttle down the block like a sack of angry crabs. He wondered how she knew he was earlier than usual. He wondered what she did to survive, where she lived and if she was alone. Every morning. Same thing. She screamed at him. He apologized.
It was a pissing contest that had started on his first day at the job. She’d cracked a new retort every day since then.
At first it amused him. When he’d ask how she was doing, she’d say, “Mind your own business, you nosy bastard.”
When she noted he had a shitty job, he replied, “No big deal.”
“I got bunions bigger then your dick,” she cackled.
Dan let the hose drop to the pavement. He felt for the mini-vape in his pocket. He wondered how he had gotten to this place.
One of the kitchen workers arrived. Ari must have called him in earlier. Francisco stopped, flicked a cigarette butt into the gutter and nodded. Dan nodded in return. The only reason I have a crap job at a place called The Migrant, Dan thought, was because Ari didn’t trust the Mexicans. He wondered if the Mexicans got the joke.
Dan pocketed the vape. “Hey man. Door’s open. How’s it goin’? Could I…uh…bum a cigarette?”
Francisco half-smiled and shook one from the pack.
Alone again, Dan dragged deeply on the cigarette. Dan knew exactly when he’d finally quit the addiction to the rat race. There had been a few half-hearted prison breaks before then. The first time was when he left school. He set out for San Francisco with his guitar and a girl who’d claimed she’d slept with Salinger. His disgusted father bribed him to return. “Go to art school, at least,” he said.
He’d been an artist once, a painter—large canvases full of a quiet angst. He guessed the really heavy drinking had started around then—and the drugs. When he quit drinking, he quit painting. Dan knew he was not the next Jackson Pollock. For one thing, coke was no longer an inspiration and he didn’t want to die. And then he’d gotten un-sober. It was a bloodless white wine for him, a lot of it. And pot. Which wasn’t really a drug. Gateway meant nothing if you had nowhere to go.
He’d taken courses in graphic illustration and design so that he could earn a living. He was comfortable doing graphic art. He made his own hours. Deadlines got harder to meet.
Then, after some years of persuading himself that he would eventually get back to the canvas and paint as a sober man, he realized he’d never be able to produce anything more than small, dull abstract paintings with ridiculously pompous titles for vanity galleries in Chelsea. He took up the guitar again.
The final bloodless escape happened on a night in June, ten years earlier, when America was still shedding its craven innocence. Some underpaid, neophyte magazine editor had insisted he redo an illustration multiple times. She’d hung up on Dan twice. Finally he just went to the midtown office, threw the illustration down, and walked out.
He’d been sorely tempted to make his way downtown, find a connection and just end it all with a nice warm overdose. Instead, he found the nearest Irish bar in Hell’s Kitchen.
Dan had spotted her right away. She was older than the crowd she was with. Experience fell off her like a molting caterpillar. She was dark-haired, dressed well and all in black, with the air of the recently released. She was at that age when women are at their most vulnerable and most heroic at the same time. She was not wearing a wedding ring.
He’d stood at the bar and telegraphed his desire. She motioned him over. It was her going-away party. “Leaving what?” he’d asked. “Manhappened,” she laughed. “No, I’m a native. I’ll stay until the bitter end. Out with the old. In with the will-work-for less,” she said. “I’ll be a real writer now.” “
She nodded to her co-workers and whispered to Dan, “I’ve lost my joi to their vivre.”
He laughed, and she said, “Why aren’t we all born laughing?”
They traded stories of a city that was once a heady farrago of excitement and danger. She remembered when poison pen letters were written with a proper fountain pen on good stationary.
“What’s your story?” she asked.
“The names have been changed to protect the humiliated,” he said. “Thank god we finally have 7-Elevens.”
“And bourbon!” she cheered, lifting her glass. “Lots of bourbon.”
He still felt the guilt of letting her leave on her own. He remembered her name was Trudy and that she would be heading west soon to hike to a reservation at he bottom of the Grand Canyon. “I’ve got new wings,” she said. “I’m gonna commune with the Great Spirits. I’ll be fine.” He raised his glass to her. It was his last drink.
A high-pitched duo shrilly announced their presence, bringing Dan back to his place outside The Migrant. The young women careered about on spike heels, tugging the hems of their leather mini-skirts, waving water bottles like distress signals.
Heading home from an all night rave, Dan guessed. He overheard one of them say, “This area of town’s like, a lot more youthful, like a younger crowd, because, like, nyuis here.”
Dan stepped out of their way.
They giggled like conspirators. “Don’t give him any money. He’ll go away.”
The old lady sprang out of nowhere. “He’s not bothering you. He’s just occupying his fucking space!”
“Occupy whatever,” one of them drawled. “What’s your problem?” the other one said.
“I got this mother hen thing for the dope.” She pointed to the water bottles. “What’s that?”
“Asparagus water,” they cheered.
“How much?” she demanded.
“Too much for you,” they sang.
“I’ll eat some asparagus and piss into a bottle for free.”
They wobbled, gagging, to the other side of the street.
“Just die of dehydration and do the gene pool a favor!” she yelled after them.
“I’ve lost my joi to their vivre,” Dan said.
A smile cracked the old lady’s face for the first time. “Good one, shithead.”
Dan waved at her retreat. He coiled the hose loosely around his shoulder and headed for the cellar. There was still the bathroom and the nook at the back of the room. When he’d complained about the job to his buddies, one of them suggested he do a GoFundMe. “Why would anyone give someone like me any money? I’m already in Stage 4 of incurable life.” Buy some time, his friends said. “I don’t have an album,” Dan said. Make one up, they said.
Francisco stepped around Dan, extending a pack of cigarettes.
“Thanks, man.” Dan drew a cigarette from the pack. The rest of the kitchen staff would arrive soon. Someone else could tackle the mess before Ari returned and found him gone. He dug the keys from his pocket and handed them to Francisco. “I’m done. Finished. Terminado.”
He’d get some sleep and then wander over to Washington Square Park. He’d meet his pals for a jam by the fountain, and pick up a few more bucks from the tourists. He patted the still damp wad of bills in his pocket. He might call Shawna. He’d ask her to dinner, maybe see a documentary, her favorite genre. There was a new one on the Ukraine at Film Forum. Dan had a hard time letting go. She might one day need a transplant or a bit of his bone marrow—or he, hers. Already the air smelled fresher. Today was going to be his lucky day.
Gold staggers It has its I mean fuck it has its You know Gold, man, it has its Whatever It fucking has its goddamn Whatever gold has It has it doesn’t it When the nothing is sacred The question is asked In a uniformed naked You know what I mean The guardian of unsightly You know what I lied about When feeling uprightly Pour the red Light the pipe You are looking unsightly Which is never a Conviction You are looking for light now And bowed over quite rightly This argument This discontent You are pitted into a landfill of dead In a season of gold Like the old man says, Hold. Fucking hold. You are healed though unsightly Gold. Woman. Gold. With me you go lightly. Fuck the jailor, the poet, the drunkard, the woman A sewer, a mantlepiece, slave poet well spoken This discontent This growling resent This voice from the past This male unscrewing this laugh fucking last I’ve gone on too long Can tell by your regress Ballet slippers on tensions Fingers clawing the drain I miss you sweet humans Again, and again I miss you sweet humans But next time I’ll aim.
the dog with the pen and the Harvard penis may or may not be a start or halfway to finish empty telephones are poems for the blind who relish smoking pupils see fire in your beer stained breath fathers raving in alcoholic splendor have danced on the typewriter making poems with their toes if only someone goddamn knew they wrote witty prose the dead are poets they read for the worms the living are left with consonants and vowels and the sickening job of making sense battered children cry with poetry and flowers can’t give a fuck because they themselves are the rhyme the poet nailed to the wall with the rose in his teeth only THINKS he’s a poet who has bled on time nails pounded by lovers are weapons mistaken for poetry they come dressed in rhyme biding their time in rooms hidden by longing watch when the dust that begins to speak with disarming idiots make lists fathers are storming the gate of the poet what the hell is the warning who the hell is a poet my father my longing who the hell is a poet the man with the warning
A native New Yorker, I was born on the lower East Side before it was trendy. Way before.
Years ago, when the corporate world of magazine publishing booted me out the door, I picked myself up, dusted myself off and decided after struggling as a painter for most of my adult life that I would struggle as a writer.
The idea for my novel “A Birdhouse In Brooklyn” came from an original idea I had for a screenplay, “The Birdhouse.” While writing that screenplay—a collaborative effort—I felt my story was bigger than a movie and I began in earnest to write it as novel.
The novel is entirely a work of fiction. Names, characters, business organizations, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. The use of names of actual persons, places, and events is incidental to the plot, and is not intended to change the entirely fictional character of the work.
A BIRDHOUSE IN BROOKLYN has been registered with the Writers Guild of America, East #R20993 (June 13, 2006). No part of it may be posted or reprinted without permission from the author, Linda Danz.
All photographs, unless otherwise credited, are mine.
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Princess Noire. The tumultuous reign of Nina Simone. By Nadine Cohodas.
Italian Shoes. A novel by Henning Mankell
Blaze. A novel by Richard Bachman aka Stephen King
The Rabbit Factory. A novel by Larry Brown
Gone Girl. A novel by Gillian Flynn
Less Than Angels. A novel by Barbara Pym
Everything You Know by Zoë Heller
End In Tears by Ruth Rendell
What Was She Thinking? (Notes on a scandal) by Zoë Heller
We Are Taking Only What We Need. Stories by Stephanie Powell Watts
The Believers. A novel by Zoë Heller
Excellent Women. A novel by Barbara Pym
The Savage City. Race, Murder, and a Generation On the Edge by T.J. English
New York Stories. Edited by Diana Secker Tesdell
Making Toast.A Family Story by Roger Rosenblatt
Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned. Stories by Wells Tower
Final Justice. The True Story of the Richest Man Ever Tried For Murder, by Steven Naifeh Smith and Gregory White Smith.
The Innocent Man. Murder and Justice in a Small Town, by John Grisham
Jackson Pollock. An American Saga by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith
Seek My Face. A novel by John Updike
Trouble. A novel by Kate Christensen
The Astral. A novel by Kate Christensen
The President. A novel by Georges Simenon.
Tropic Moon. A novel by Georges Simenon
The Widow. A novel by Georges Simenon
The Strangers In the House. A novel by Georges Simenon
Pulse. Stories by Julian Barnes
The Mayor of MacDougal Street. A memoir by Dave Van Ronk with Elijah Wald
The Angry Buddhist. A novel by Seth Greenland
The Furies. A novel by Janet Hobhouse
The Art Of Racing In the Rain. A novel by Garth Stein
The Human Fly and other stories by T.C. Boyle
Monsieur Pain, by Roberto Bolaño
Why Orwell Matters, by Christopher Hitchens
Van Gogh. The Life by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith
The Sense Of An Ending. A novel by Julian Barnes
The End Of Normal. A Wife's Anguish, A Widow's New Life. Stephanie Madoff Mack
Red Lights. By George Simenon
Knockemstiff. Stories by Donald Ray Pollock
The Devil All the Time. A novel by Donald Ray Pollock
Down and Out In Paris and London by George Orwell
The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and Why by Amanda Ripley
Jane Jacobs Urban Visionary by Alice Sparberg Alexiou
This Is Not Your City. Stories by Caitlin Horrocks
A Good Hard Look. A novel by Ann Napolitano
Tell All. By Chuck Palahnluk
The Art Fair. A novel by David Lipsky
Leaving Van Gogh. A novel by Carol Wallace
Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself. A road trip with David Foster Wallace by David Lipsky
Apathy For the Devil; a 70s memoir by Nick Kent
Writing Treatments That Sell: How To Create and Market Your Story Ideas to the Motion Picture and TV Industry. By Kenneth Atchity and Ch-Li Wong
Nothing That Meets the Eye. The Uncollected Stories of Patricia Hghsmith
The Price Of Salt. A novel by Patricia Highsmith
The Talented Miss Highsmith. The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith by Joan Schenkar
The Death and Life Of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs
Housekeeping. A novel by Marilynne Robinson
The Lost Art Of Reading. Why books matter in a distracted time by David L. Ulin
What I TalkAbout WhenI Talk About Running. A memoir by Haruki Murakami
Auntie Mame. An Irreverent Escapade by Patrick Dennis
The Empty Family. Stories by Colm Tóibín
Strange Fruit. A novel by Lillian Smith
Easy Riders Raging Bulls: How the Sex 'n Drugs 'n Rock n' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood by Peter Biskind
Everyman, by Philip Roth
The Humbling by Philip Roth
The Buddha and the Terrorist by Satish Kumar
The Elephant Vanishes. Stories by Haruki Murakami
Over the Rainbow? Hardly. Collected short seizures by Chandler Brossard
Nemesis, by Philip Roth
The Unfinished Novel and Other Stories by Valerie Martin
The Three-Arched Bridge by Ismail Kadare
The Habit Of Being. Letters of Flannery O'Connor
Flannery O'Connor. The Complete Stories
A Recent Martyr. A novel by Valerie Martin
Flannery. A Life of Flannery O'Connor by Brad Giooch
The Confessions Of Edward Day. A novel by Valerie Martin
A Deadly Secret. The Strange Disappearance of Kathie Durst by Matt Birkbeck
The Distinguished Guest. A novel by Sue Miller
Almost There. The Onward Journey of a Dublin Woman by Nuala O'Faolain
The Lake Shore Limited. A novel by Sue Miller
Waiting To Die. Poems and Short Stories by Lawrence Ghana Hayes
The Shock Doctrine: The rise of disaster capitalism by Naomi Klein
Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis
How Soccer Explains the World by Franklin Foer
Antwerp. A novel by Robert Bolaño
Watermark. Essays by Joseph Brodsky
Mr. Peanut. A novel by Adam Ross
How Shall I Tell the Dog?: And Other Final Musings by Miles Kington
black swan green. A novel by David Mitchell
The Shallows. What the Internet Is Doing To Our Brains, by Nicholas Carr
Field Notes On Democracy; Listening To the Grasshoppers. Essays by Arundhati Roy
The Sea. A novel by John Banville
The Visitor. A novel by Maeve Brennan
The Springs Of Affection. Stories of Dublin by Maeve Brennan
The Long-Winded Lady. Notes from the New Yorker by Maeve Brennan.
Green Witch. A novel by Alice Hoffman
Here On Earth. A novel by Alice Hoffman
Fall River Dreams. A Team's quest for glory—a town's search for its soul by Bill Reynolds
War Talk by Arundhati Roy
The Clothes They Stood Up In by Alan Bennett
When You Ae Engulfed In Flames. By David Sedaris
A Fine & Private Place. By Peter S. Beagle
The Mole People. Life In the Tunnels Beneath New York City by Jennifer Toth
The Uncommon Reader. A novella by Alan Bennett
Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It. Stories by Maile Meloy
Burning Your Own by Glenn Patterson
Just Kids by Patti Smith
Lit. A memoir by Mary Karr
Beneath The Neon; Life and Death in the Tunnels Of Las Vegas. By Matthew O'Brien. Photos by Danny Mollohan
The Uncommon Reader. A novella by Alan Bennett
The Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Felix Holt the Radical. A novel by George Eliot
Hollywood Animal. A memoir by Joe Eszterhas
The Blackwater Lightship. A novel by Colm Toíbin
Thelonious Monk. The Life and Times of an American Original. A biography by Robin D.G. Kelley
A Good School. A novel by Richard Yates
Hot, Flat, and Crowded. Why we need a green revolution—and how it can renew America by Thomas L. Friedman
In Praise Of Slowness. How a worldwide movement is challenging the cult of speed by Carl Honoré
The International. A novel by Glenn Patterson
Half Broke Horses. A true life novel by Jeannette Walls
The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico. Illustrated by Angela Barrett
The Drunkard's Walk. How randomness rules our lives by Leonard Mlodinow
Damage. A novel by Josephine Hart
Night and Day, a novel by Virginia Woolf
A Paradise Built In Hell. The extraordinary communities that arise in disaster, by Rebecca Solnit
Rhyming Life & Death. A novel by Amos Oz
Betrayal: The Life and Lies of Bernie Madoff by Andrew Kirtzman
Buffalo Lockjaw. A novel by Greg James
The Glass Castle. A memoir by Jeannette Walls
Beyond Black. A novel by Hilary Mantel
Disturbing the Peace. A novel by Richard Yates
Netherland. A novel by Joseph O'Neill
Knots. A novel by Nuruddin Farah
Cold Spring Harbor. A novel by Richard Yates
This Is Burning Man. Changing the world through art cars, bone towers, Danger Ranger,smut shacks, fire cannons, Glitter Camp, fighting robots, exploding men, princess warriors, pulsing soundscapes, neon skies, metal dragons, and Dr. Megavolt—the rise of the new American underground. By Brian Doherty
The Collected Short Stories of Richard Yates. Introduction by Richard Russo
Love, Anarchy, & Emma Goldman. A biography by Candace Falk
Firstborn. Poems by Louise Glück
Southern Horrors and Other Writings. The Anti-Lynching Campaign of Ida B. Wells, 1892-1900
Answered Prayers by Truman Capote
Mrs. Astor Regrets. The hidden betrayals of a family beyond reproach by Meryl Gordon
Conversations With Capote by Lawrence Grobel
Vanessa and Virginia. A novel by Susan Sellers
Blue Diary. A novel by Alice Hoffman
The Easter Parade. A novel by Richard Yates
The Thing Around Your Neck. Stories by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A Tragic Honesty. The life and work of Richard Yates by Blake Bailey
Half In Love. Stories by Maile Meloy
The Complete Stories of Truman Capote.
Strangers. A novel by Anita Brookner
Skylight Confessions. A novel by Alice Hoffman
This Land Is Their Land; reports from a divided nation by Barbara Ehrenreich
Brooklyn. A novel by Colm Tóibín
Waltz With Bashir; a Lebanon War Story. A graphic novel by Ari Folman and David Polonsky
The Healing Touch For Cats by Dr. Michael W. Fox
Dear Genius…A memoir Of My Life With Truman Capote by Jack Dunphy
Crime and Punishment In America. Why the solutions to America's most stubborn social crisis have not worked—and what will. By Elliott Currie
Capote: a biography by Gerald Clarke
Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. the U.S.A. by Mumia Abu-Jamal
The Song Is You, a novel by Arthur Phillips
The Story of the Night, a novel by Colm Tóibín
How It Ended: New and Collected Stories by Jay McInerney
Lockdown America: Police and prisons in the age of crisis by Christian Parenti
We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
The Leisure Seeker by Michael Zadoorian
The Irish Famine; a documentary by Colm Tóibín and Diarmaid Ferriter
A Saint On Death Row; The Story of Dominique Green by Thomas Cahill
Flannery: A Life Of Flannery O'Connor by Brad Gooch
The Foreign Legion by Clarice Lispector. Translated by Giovanni Pontiero.
Family Ties by Clarice Lispector. Translated by Giovanni Pontiero.
The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta
Murder Chez Proust by Estelle Monbrun.
Assata; an autobiography by Assata Shakur aka Joanne Chesimard; member of the Black Liberation Army given political asylum in Cuba.
Born Standing Up: a comic's life by Steve Martin
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
The Yellow Wind by David Grossman. Translated from the Hebrew by Haim Watzman.