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New Orleans, Mon Amour: Twenty Years of Writing from the City
Andrei Codrescu
1565125053
January 2006
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
In this lovely collection of very short essays (many two pages long), gravelly voiced NPR commentator Codrescu sketches finely honed portraits of a fabled city and its equally fabled inhabitants. The author, who has called the Big Easy home for two decades, shows how, like some gigantic bohemian magnet, New Orleans attracts some of the world's most talented, self-indulgent freaks. Codrescu finds himself quite at home there. He expertly weaves pages of New Orleans history through his stories of personal discovery and debauchery. The last few essays, written post-Katrina, radiate simultaneous anger and clarity. Full of pride and defensiveness, Codrescu closes the collection ruminating about rebuilding the city and his longing to return to its rhythms and eccentricities. Despite Codrescu's frustrations, this...


A Confederacy of Dunces
John Kennedy Toole
0807126063
May 2000
Hardcover
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Book Review
"A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head. The green earflaps, full of large ears and uncut hair and the fine bristles that grew in the ears themselves, stuck out on either side like turn signals indicating two directions at once. Full, pursed lips protruded beneath the bushy black moustache and, at their corners, sank into little folds filled with disapproval and potato chip crumbs."

Meet Ignatius J. Reilly, the hero of John Kennedy Toole's tragicomic tale, A Confederacy of Dunces. This 30-year-old medievalist lives at home with his mother in New Orleans, pens his magnum opus on Big Chief writing pads he keeps hidden under his bed, and relays to anyone who will listen the traumatic experience he once had on a Greyhound Scenicruiser bound for Baton Rouge. ("Speeding along in that...



The Poem That Changed America: "Howl" Fifty Years Later
Jason Shinder (Editor)
0374173435
March 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
If the opening lines of Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" aren't seared into your brain, they will be by the end of this collection of 26 essays compiled by Shinder, a poet (Among Women) who learned much of his craft as Ginsberg's pupil. It's a shame the poem isn't included, though it feels as if it's quoted in its entirety at various points (the hardcover edition does come with a Ginsberg reading on CD). This collection juxtaposes reflections by writers such as Rick Moody and Andrei Codrescu about the impact of "Howl' on their lives; Billy Collins writes, "...it wasn't a waste of time for a Catholic high school boy from the suburbs to try to sound in his poems like a downtown homosexual Jewish beatnik." Robert Pinsky writes that he was initially elated by the poem's linguistic freedom even more than by its raw emotion....


New Orleans Stories
Chronicle Books
0811844943
May 2004
Paperback
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Book Description
Voodoo. Vampires. Jazz. There's no city quite like New Orleans, a city that whispers stories and where writers come to eavesdrop. New Orleans Stories collects the very best writing on the Big Easy by a stellar gallery of writers for whom the city has played host and muse -- from Walt Whitman and William Faulkner to Anne Rice, Truman Capote, Walker Percy, Tennessee Williams, and Zora Neale Hurston. With a striking new cover, this anthology captures the vibrancy -- and variety -- of New Orleans as it casts its most seductive spell.

About the Author
Andrei Codrescu is a commentator for National Public Radio and the author of numerous books. He lives in New Orleans. John Miller lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has co-edited numerous anthologies for Chronicle...


The Poem That Changed America: "Howl" Fifty Years Later
Jason Shinder (Editor)
0374173443
March 2006
Paperback
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
If the opening lines of Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" aren't seared into your brain, they will be by the end of this collection of 26 essays compiled by Shinder, a poet (Among Women) who learned much of his craft as Ginsberg's pupil. It's a shame the poem isn't included, though it feels as if it's quoted in its entirety at various points (the hardcover edition does come with a Ginsberg reading on CD). This collection juxtaposes reflections by writers such as Rick Moody and Andrei Codrescu about the impact of "Howl' on their lives; Billy Collins writes, "...it wasn't a waste of time for a Catholic high school boy from the suburbs to try to sound in his poems like a downtown homosexual Jewish beatnik." Robert Pinsky writes that he was initially elated by the poem's linguistic freedom even more than by its raw emotion....


The Muse Is Always Half-Dressed in New Orleans
Andrei Codrescu
031213570X
May 1995
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
These essays by the sharp and ingratiating Codrescu ( Road Scholar ) rove all over the place, and readers should be ready to do likewise. The author, a Transylvanian-born poet, a longtime resident of the U.S. and a commentator for National Public Radio, takes up subjects just as incongruously diverse as himself in his 26th book. As his fans will be glad to find, Codrescu stays in character: he is passionate, informal, maverick and ragingly funny, unwilling to behave. "All the right-wingers have whiskers," he mutters sotto voce in "Black Water" about the Russian film director Yuri Mamin and his movie The Fountain. And in "A Kind of Love," Codrescu considers the muse of baseball. "There is some evidence," he offers mischievously, "that baseball was brought to America by Romanians. Transylvanian shepherds play a...


The Dog with the Chip in His Neck
Andrei Codrescu
0312168195
Oct 1997
Paperback
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Book Review
A star of National Public Radio examines the absurdities of modern life in a wide-ranging collection of essays. Codrescu writes of people who are having dreams about cyberspace and others who are simply obsessed with it; about his experiences going back to his native Romania; about meeting Miss America; about traveling by bus and by plane; and about one very odd dog with her own Internet address. Throughout all of it, the reader is engaged by a deft tension between Codrescu's charmingly boundless optimism and his wry world-weariness. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly
The pieces in this latest collection from Codrescu, writer (The Muse Is Always Half-Dressed in New Orleans) and commentator for National Public Radio's All...


Andrei Codrescu and the Myth of America
Kirby Olson
0786421371
March 2005
Paperback
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Book Description
"This is one of those times, a time choked in the weeds of academic and civilian formalism. To put it mildly, most of what we see in print in North America is unbearably trivial and singularly devoid of courage."—Andrei Codrescu, The Disappearance of the Outside. Known to the general public as a radio commentator on National Public Radio, Romanian-born essayist and poet Andrei Codrescu has developed a variety of voices throughout his career: Transylvanian humorist on NPR, surrealist poet in his many volumes of poetry, academic essayist in his philosophical writings and historical novelist. Taking seemingly everyday events in seemingly mundane places, Codrescu is able to link the random details into a larger whole, leading his readers and listeners to conclusions very different from those they first imagined....


Ay, Cuba!: A Socio-Erotic Journey
Andrei Codrescu
0312274718
April 2001
Paperback
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Book Review
When Romanian exile and National Public Radio commentator Andrei Codrescu was given an assignment by his producer to travel to Cuba just before the pope's historic visit in 1998, he jumped at the chance. Cuba had been on his mind for years as part of his pursuit to understand the mysterious demise of Communism in Eastern Europe. Castro's Cuba, he felt, was the only place that held the clues to this demise; it was a "laboratory of pre-post-communism" where he could witness "a decomposing ideology before all its elements transmuted into the noxious gases that gag Eastern Europe now."

Together with documentary photographer David Graham, Codrescu went on a 13-day journey, and he encountered warm, affectionate, hospitable people. What surprised Codrescu and Graham most about the Cubans was their candor: They spoke of their...



Nostalgia
Mircea Cartarescu
0811215881
November 2005
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Romania's leading poet plays with ideas of authorship and authority in this collection of five unconnected stories—his English debut—which he contrarily subtitled "a novel," asserting that "each part reflects all the others." Given the author's pedigree, it's disappointing that the book, extracted from its cultural context, loses much of its power. Cartarescu employs postmodern effects—shifting points of view, blurring of dreams and reality, episodes of magical realism—without enlarging in a meaningful way on the experiments of Kafka, Borges or García Márquez (all invoked by the book's narrators). The first story involves a roulette player who survives against astonishing odds and a narrator who admits the roulette player could not have existed, but did, because "there is a...


Walker Evans: Cuba
Walker Evans
0892366176
September 2001
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
In 1933, fledgling photographer Walker Evans was asked to make photographs of Cuban society for radical journalist Carleton Beals's book The Crime of Cuba, an expos‚ about Cuban dictator Gerardo Machado's corruption and Cuba's exploitation by the US. In Walker Evans: Cuba, from the collection at the Getty Museum, the 73 images of people, urban landscapes and Cuban business-as-usual seem influenced by Diego Rivera's politicized content, Hemingway's "stripped down, minimal style" and the "characteristic emptiness" of Eugene Atget's photography, says the Getty's Associate Curator Judith Keller in her introduction. This portrait of pre-Castro Cuba reminds viewers that Cuba has experienced social strife since early on, and that Cuban-U.S. relations have long been problematic. Poet and novelist Andrei Codrescu's...


Hail Babylon!: In Search of the American City at the End of the Millennium
Andrei Codrescu
0312181078
March 1998
Hardcover
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From Booklist
Codrescu is a writer first and foremost, and an extremely sharp and prolific one at that, but he is also a regular on National Public Radio, an editor, and teacher, and has been involved in the making of documentary films, diverse experiences that help shape the course of these vibrant and idiosyncratic essays about the nature of various American cities. Cities, Codrescu writes, are organic, and it is their life force he seeks to define, often using a city's literature as a guide. He begins in his hometown of New Orleans, which he considers to be the "most timeless city" in the country, and presents mesmerizing commentary on its dangerous sensuality, creeping decay, and bloody disposition. He then offers similarly incisive sketches of Oxford, Mississippi; Little Rock, Arkansas; Park City, Utah; and points farther west,...


Acid Dreams
Martin A. Lee
0802130623
Mar 1986
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
This fascinating study examines how the CIA tested LSD on unwitting residents of Greenwich Village and San Francisco. Of particular interest are profiles of Timothy Leary, LSD chemist Ronald Stark and others. Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Hail Babylon: NPR's Road Scholar Goes in Search of the American City
Andrei Codrescu
0312206534
June 1999
Paperback
·
 
From Booklist
Codrescu is a writer first and foremost, and an extremely sharp and prolific one at that, but he is also a regular on National Public Radio, an editor, and teacher, and has been involved in the making of documentary films, diverse experiences that help shape the course of these vibrant and idiosyncratic essays about the nature of various American cities. Cities, Codrescu writes, are organic, and it is their life force he seeks to define, often using a city's literature as a guide. He begins in his hometown of New Orleans, which he considers to be the "most timeless city" in the country, and presents mesmerizing commentary on its dangerous sensuality, creeping decay, and bloody disposition. He then offers similarly incisive sketches of Oxford, Mississippi; Little Rock, Arkansas; Park City, Utah; and points farther west,...

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