New Books Network

Michael Gordin, “The Pseudoscience Wars:  Immanuel Velikovsky and the Birth of the Modern Fringe” (University of Chicago Press, 2012)
When I agreed to host New Books and Science Fiction and Fantasy there were a number of authors I hoped to interview, including Michael Gordin. This might come as a surprise to listeners, because Michael is neither a science-fiction nor a fantasy author. He is, rather, a prominent historian of... Read More
Cosima Bruno, “Between the Lines: Yang Lian’s Poetry through Translation” (Brill, 2012)
Cosima Bruno‘s new book asks us to consider a deceptively simple question: what is the relationship between a poem and its translation? In the course of Between the Lines: Yang Lian’s Poetry through Translation (Brill, 2012), Bruno helps us imagine what an answer to that question might look like while... Read More
Christopher Bush, “Ideographic Modernism: China, Writing, Media” (Oxford UP, 2010)
Orientalism, the ideograph, and media theory grew up together. In Ideographic Modernism: China, Writing, Media (Oxford University Press, 2010), Christopher Bush offers a wonderfully trans-disciplinary account of modernism through the figure of the ideograph, or Chinese writing as imagined in the West. The beginning of the book introduces the ways... Read More
Anthony Bale, “The Book of Marvels and Travels” (Oxford UP, 2012)
Anthony Bale‘s new translation of Sir John Mandeville’s classic account is an exciting and engaging text that’s accessible to a wide range of readers. The Book of Marvels and Travels (Oxford University Press, 2012) recounts a fourteenth-century journey across the medieval world, albeit one that was likely written as the... Read More
Ulrich Plass, “Language and History in Theodor W. Adorno’s Notes to Literature” (Routledge, 2007)
In Language and History in Theodor W. Adorno’s Notes to Literature (Routledge, 2007), Ulrich Plass makes the case for the importance and relevance of Adorno’s often forgotten and derided attempts at literary criticism. Plass specifically draws our attention to five subjects, Eichendorff, Rudolf Borchardt, Stefan George, Heinrich Heine, and Goethe,... Read More
Cory MacLauchlin, “Butterfly in the Typewriter: The Tragic Life of John Kennedy Toole and the Remarkable Story of A Confederacy of Dunces” (Da Capo, 2012)
If you’ve spent any time in New Orleans, you can appreciate the challenge of putting the city’s joie de vivre into words.However, as a New Orleans native, John Kennedy Toole was steeped in the traditions and flavor of his hometown and, therefore, uniquely qualified to write about it. His novel,... Read More
J. Hillis Miller, “The Conflagration of Community: Fiction Before and After Auschwitz” (University of Chicago Press, 2011)
In his recent book, The Conflagration of Community: Fiction Before and After Auschwitz (University of Chicago Press, 2011), J. Hillis Miller sets outs to address Theodor Adorno’s famous proclamation that to write poetry after Auschwitz is impossible and barbaric. One should make clear from the outset that Miller’s central project... Read More