In his mid-twenties, after struggling (and failing) to become a poet, Jake Silverstein bought a used Toyota and drove to far-west Texas to try his hand at journalism. He reasoned that he would move to a place where nothing was happening, so that when something did happen, he’d be the only one there to write about it. NOTHING HAPPENED AND THEN IT DID (W.W. Norton, $14.95) chronicles Silverstein’s optimistic quests along the U.S.-Mexico border. The take? Half of Silverstein’s essays are fact and half are fiction. They’re all exquisitely observed dispatches from remote corners of the country, and slyly funny meditations on the art and act of writing.

Nothing Happened and Then It Did: A Chronicle in Fact and Fiction Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393339949
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 16th, 2011

Geoff Dyer’s writing can be acerbic, intellectual, critical, irreverent, hilarious, or any combination of these. All his essays, though, display his keen intelligence and insatiable curiosity.  In the introduction to OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE HUMAN CONDITION (Graywolf, $18), Dyer describes why he chose his particular literary path.  “What,” he asks, “could be nicer than one day to be writing a review of a novel or exhibition and the next to be going off to Moscow to write about flying a MiG-29?”  He divides the book into sections he calls Visuals, Verbals, Musicals, Variables, and Personals, an arrangement that showcases the versatility of his critical eye. 

Otherwise Known as the Human Condition: Selected Essays and Reviews Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555975791
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Graywolf Press - March 29th, 2011

Sloane Crosley follows up her bestselling I Was Told There’d be Cake with an equally entertaining, somewhat darker, collection of essays.  In HOW DID YOU GET THIS NUMBER  (Riverhead, $15), we hear about Crosley’s stint buying stolen furniture; her roommate, a kleptomaniac with an eating disorder; and the author’s travels to Paris, Portugal, and Alaska. Witty, and as engaging as a close friend, Crosley makes even a bear attack seem hilarious, and when she turns to everyday events, they suddenly seem worthy of a story. These essays take the reader along on adventures big and small as Crosley observes the craziness that happens around her.

How Did You Get This Number Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594485190
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Riverhead Books - May 3rd, 2011