Sink your teeth into these new reads at Symposium

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Books from Symposium for when that indulgent romance novel just won’t do it for ya.

In Blind Spot, readers follow Cole’s inimitable artistic vision into the visual realm as he continues to refine the voice, eye, and intellectual obsessions that earned him such acclaim for Open City.

Here, journey through more than 150 of Cole’s full-color original photos, each accompanied by his lyrical and evocative prose, forming a multimedia diary of years of near-constant travel: from a park in Berlin to a mountain range in Switzerland, a church exterior in Lagos to a parking lot in Brooklyn; landscapes and interiors, beautiful or quotidian, that inspire Cole’s memories, fantasies, and introspections. Ships in Capri remind him of the work of writers from Homer to Edna O’Brien; a hotel room in Wannsee brings back a disturbing dream about a friend’s death; a home in Tivoli evokes a transformative period of semi-blindness, after which “the photography changed. . . . The looking changed.”

 

 

For forty years, David Sedaris has kept a diary in which he records everything that captures his attention-overheard comments, salacious gossip, soap opera plot twists, secrets confided by total strangers. These observations are the source code for his finest work, and through them he has honed his cunning, surprising sentences.

Now, Sedaris shares his private writings with the world. Theft by Finding, the first of two volumes, is the story of how a drug-abusing dropout with a weakness for the International House of Pancakes and a chronic inability to hold down a real job became one of the funniest people on the planet.

Written with a sharp eye and ear for the bizarre, the beautiful, and the uncomfortable, and with a generosity of spirit that even a misanthropic sense of humor can’t fully disguise, Theft By Finding proves that Sedaris is one of our great modern observers. It’s a potent reminder that when you’re as perceptive and curious as Sedaris, there’s no such thing as a boring day.

 

 

Breytenbach composed this docu-dream during a period of incarceration. Mouroir (mourir: to die + miroir: mirror) is a ship of thought moving with its own hallucinatory logic through a sea of mythic images, protean characters and what the author describes as “landscapes and spaces beyond death, spaces that have always existed and will always exist.” An Orphic voyage into memory and mirage, through passages between death and life, darkness and light, oppression and flight, sense and the sensed. Mouroir.

 

“Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom — poets, visionaries — realists of a larger reality. . . .”

Words Are My Matter collects talks, essays, introductions to beloved books, and book reviews by Ursula K. Le Guin, one of our foremost public literary intellectuals. It is a manual for investigating the depth and breadth of contemporary fiction — and, through the lens of deep considerations of contemporary writing, a way of exploring the world we are all living in.

 

Surrealist writer and painter Leonora Carrington (1917-2011) was a master of the macabre, of gorgeous tableaus, biting satire, roguish comedy, and brilliant, effortless flights of the imagination. Nowhere are these qualities more ingeniously brought together than in the works of short fiction she wrote throughout her life.

Published to coincide with the centennial of her birth, THE COMPLETE STORIES OF LEONORA CARRINGTON collects for the first time all of her stories, including several never before seen in print. With a startling range of styles, subjects, and even languages (several of the stories are translated from French or Spanish), THE COMPLETE STORIES captures the genius and irrepressible spirit of an amazing artist’s life.

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