I shouldn't have been so shortsighted. This week, Patti Smith's Just Kids is sitting pretty on the New York Times bestseller list. Over the summer, Ron Rash's Serena will be read by all freshmen at Piedmont College, Caldwell Community College, and St. Andrews Presbyterian College.
Ron Rash returns with a beautiful collection of short stories: Burning Bright captures the eerie beauty and stark violence of Appalachia through the lives of unforgettable characters. With this masterful collection of stories that span the Civil War to the present day, Rash, a supremely talented writer who “recalls both John Steinbeck and Cormac McCarthy” (The New Yorker), solidifies his reputation as a major contemporary American literary artist.
Ecco adds another gem to its fine list of books in translation: Winner of 2004 Peace Prize—Germany’s most prestigious literary honor—Peter Esterhazy, author of the acclaimed Celestial Harmonies, offers us Not Art, a uniquely brilliant novelized exploration of his mother’s life.
Ecco continues its focus on poetry with The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry edited by Ilya Kaminsk and Susan Harris of Words Without Borders--a selection of the finest international poetry from the 20th century in the best English translations available. John Ashbery says, “From canonical modernists like Valéry, Vallejo, and Pasternak to younger poets of today, the Ecco Anthology collects an amazing spectrum of poetic voices from around the world.”
Another cause for celebration is Robert Hass's The Apple Trees at Olema: New and Selected Poems. Here, the former Poet Laureate and winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize offers twenty new and selected poems grounded in the beauty of the physical world.
And, here's Robert Hass accepting the 2007 National Book Award for Poetry.