June 22, 2016
“Well all right.”
It doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as “So it goes,” but the pointed understatement and faux-cheerful stoicism are already in place. As is the skeptical attitude toward the glories of mass slaughter. We at Seven Stories hereby present to you the “Well All Right,” the college musings of Kurt Vonnegut.
In the Cornell Daily Sun article linked above, a twenty-year-old Vonnegut eerily prefigures the subject matter of his later novels. “Cheers for the Army, the Navy . . . the WAAC’s, the WAAVs,” Vonnegut writes, mocking the gung-ho attitude of the university’s war recruiters and the nation at large, “to hell with the slackers in college.” Decrying the revolving door between war recruiters and the university, he seeks to remind his fellow students that there’s no shame in putting aside war for a moment and getting an education. Aside from attending classes, Vonnegut writes, “what we do is justly our own damned business!”
Yet in three month’s time the author himself had left Cornell for the Army.
April 22, 2016
It’s Earth Day! Earth Day XLVI, to be exact, and observers all over are largely focusing on the US and China, two of the world’s biggest contributors to climate change, which have agreed to mark the day by formally signing the Paris Agreement, a binding resolution on curbing ecological destruction that has been joined by 120 countries.
At Seven Stories, we’re marking the occasion by offering 50% off all our titles related to climate change and ecological activism, including Subhankar Banerjee‘s Arctic Voices, a stunning collection of first-hand accounts from the front lines of the war to protect our frozen north; Noam Chomsky and Laray Polk‘s Nuclear War and Environmental Catastrophe, a book of stark warning aboutthe twin dangers of too much and too little action; Tom Athanasiou and Paul Baer‘s Dead Heat, a polemic that connects hand-wringing over climate to bigger issues of justice along lines of ferocious clarity; and, of course, our suite of books by the uncompromising Derrick Jensen, the poet-philosopher of the ecological movement whose books, many and pathbreaking, include Dreams, What We Leave Behind, and many more, including, with comic artist Stephanie McMillan, the surprisingly merry As the World Burns: Fifty Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial.
April 19, 2016
Every spring, New York City enjoys the intercultural literary splendor of the World Voices Festival, produced by PEN America! This year, Seven Stories Press is pleased to have three authors participating: Abdellah Taïa, Guadalupe Nettel, and Linh Dinh. For a complete schedule of this year’s festival, please visit the PEN website. Below is a listing of all WV events featuring Seven Stories authors!Wednesday, April 27th 6.30pm $40Literary Quest: Tenement Museum Editionat the Lower East Side Tenement Museum(103 Orchard Street, 10002)Featuring: Rashidah Ismaili, Eisa Davis, Richard Price, Colm Tóibín, Olga Tokarczuk, Sunjeev Sahota, Veronica Gonzalez Peña, and Guadalupe NettelTranslating Activism: Ayotzinapa and Beyondat Dixon Place(161A Chrystie Street, 10002)Featuring: Cristina Rivera-Garza and Linh DinhThursday, April 28th 6.30pm $20Literary Quest: Westbeth Editionat the Westbeth Center for the Arts(55 Bethune Street, 10014)Featuring: Dalia Betolin-Sherman, Lorea Canales, Álvaro Enrigue, Saleem Haddad, Yuri Herrera, Andreï Makine, Karim Miské, Mark Nowak, Alexandre Vidal Porto, Susanna Reich, Fatima Shaik, Burhan Sönmez, Juan Villoro, Jorge Volpi, Klaus Wivel, and Abdellah TaïaThursday, April 28th 8pm $15Women of Mexicoat Dixon Place(161A Chrystie Street, 10002)Featuring: Carmen Boullosa, Valeria Luiselli, Cristina Rivera-Garza, and Guadalupe NettelFriday, April 29th 6.30pm $12Translation Slamat the Nuyorican Poets Cafe(236 East Third Street, 10009)Featuring: Margaret Carson, Chris Clarke, Luis Felipe Fabre, Ezra Fitz, Michael F.
April 1, 2016
We sent some interview questions to Barbara Williams, whose new memoir of life in the logging communities of Western Canada, The Hope in Leaving, we recently published to early acclaim. Besides an author, Williams is a successful actress and accomplished musician. Spend a minute here — this is a terrific read.
Why did you decide to write The Hope in Leaving now, so many years after the events it describes took place?
It took many years and much distance to achieve a perspective on those events, to be able to distill them into art. I’ve always been journaling but acting was my primary creative focus. After my son was born I wanted to be present for his childhood. Other actresses can manage raising kids and working on location but I opted to stay close to home and write. My book was released on the eve of my son’s 16th birthday.
March 24, 2016
In an opinion piece published yesterday by the New York Times under the title “What Obama Should Know About Macri’s Argentina,” scholar Ernesto Semán and legal expert Gastón Chiller (of the Center for Legal and Social Studies in Buenos Aires) give a forceful account of the ways in which newly elected Argentine President Mauricio Macri’s administration recalls some of the most horrid periods in the country’s history. They begin with the case of activist Milagro Sala, arrested two months ago for organizing a protest of cooperative workers in the interior of the country, and continue to list other traces of repression — sometimes verging on fascism — in Macri’s excessive use of executive orders, his neglect of human rights abuses, and his decisions to prioritize free trade over domestic growth, profit over people. This account of a repression that comes about gradually and insidiously is all too reminiscent of an open letter signed thirty-nine years ago today by Argentine citizen, writer, and activist Rodolfo Walsh, just a day before he was gunned down in the street and disappeared by henchmen of the de facto regime, his body never found.
February 18, 2016
Is it hot in here, or are we just feelin’ the Bern?!
In an election when Senator Bernie Sanders is shaking everything up, speaking for millions of Americans who thought they had no voice in electoral politics, Bernie — the new graphic biography by Ted Rall — is shaking things up, too, blasting onto the New York Times Bestseller List, attracting interest and praise, and generally making waves.
It’s easy to see why. Bypassing horse-race commentary and bloviation about the status quo, Bernie instead cuts incisively and wittily to the man behind the headlines. Who is the socialist rabble-rouser that has lodged such an unexpectedly successful challenge to the long-awaited coronation of Hillary Clinton? The son of an immigrant raised in Brooklyn, New York, Bernie seems to represent the consummate political outsider — laughed off initially, but now a serious contender for the presidency whom the polls now show in a dead heat with his rival.
January 11, 2016
Some big news this morning from the American Library Association!
ADAM & THOMAS is a Batchelder Honor Book!
Congratulations to author Aharon Appelfeld, illustrator Philippe Dumas, and translator Jeffrey M. Green!
The Batchelder award honors outstanding children’s books translated from foreign languages and subsequent published in the United States.
SEX IS A FUNNY WORD is a Stonewall Honor Book!
Congratulations to authors Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth!
The Stonewall Award is given to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience.
You can find more information about the ALA’s awards here.
January 6, 2016
Seven Stories Press joins with New York City and the world in mourning our friend and author Liz Swados, who passed away yesterday at the age of 64. Liz was a beacon of New York’s downtown culture, an artist of rare generosity with a genius for making us feel the connections between hardship and resilience, beauty and truth, one person and another.
Born in Buffalo, New York in 1951, Liz began making a name for herself in the New York theater before she had even finished her undergraduate studies at Bennington College. Greater exposure came in 1978, with the smash success of Runaways, a theater piece Liz wrote and directed. It was based on conversations she’d had with teenage runaways — some of whom went on to star in the show — and its success exceeded all expectations: after a successful run at New York’s Public Theater, it was nominated for five Tony Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, and an Obie (which, for her direction, Liz won).
November 25, 2015
No reason to mince words: Thanksgiving is a weird holiday, one that celebrates a deplorable, genocidal history, yet is also, for many of us, a treasured chance to spend some down-time with those we love, and even, for some, an opportunity to check in and contemplate the actual gratitude for what we have, coexisting with the anger over the state of things that drives us to make change. In short, like much of American life, it’s complicated.
In the interest of fostering a critical approach to that kind of complexity, and, as they say, in the spirit of the season, we wanted to share this excerpt from the classic Voices of People’s History of the United States, beginning with an explanatory note by authors Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove:
On the three hundred fiftieth anniversary of the Pilgrims’ landing on Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts officials planned a celebration, and asked Wamsutta (Frank B.) James to deliver a speech.
November 19, 2015Let’s not mince words: it’s been a ghastly week. Catastrophic violence in Beirut and Paris, taking place against the backdrop of Europe’s ongoing refugee crisis, Syria’s ever-worsening civil war, and the Islamic State’s brutal expansion across Iraq, Syria, and beyond, have reminded us all just how precarious matters are in the Middle East.These same events have also left many of us confused. ISIS, Islamic State, or Daesh? With so many enemies, does the US have any allies in the region? What are the goals of the Western powers’ airstrikes? And, perhaps most crucially of all, how did we get to this point? What is the history that has led us here?Kirk J. Beattie, the author of Congress and the Shaping of the Middle East, and Loretta Napoleoni the author of many books including The Islamist Phoenix: The Islamic State and the Redrawing of the Middle East, offer unparalleled insights into what’s happening in the middle east and radiating across the world.