What’s next?

July 10, 2014

Listen, we all know it’s true: summer can bum you out.  TV goes to reruns, it’s too hot to perform almost any of the duties of human existence, and, worst of all, the whole publishing industry slows to a crawl, with few new books emerging to meet the sun.  Well, we feel your pain, and we’d like to help.  Here are the next four books Seven Stories will be publishing, beginning in late August.  Think of them as a dip in the pool for your mind (and try to keep patient).

The Disunited StatesDISUNITED STATES
by Vladimir Pozner
translated by Alison L. Strayer
August 26, 2014

In 1936, the Russian-French novelist and screenwriter Vladimir Pozner traveled to the United States, a nation on its knees in the midst of the Great Depression, and wrote luminously, incisively, of what he found there.  Think Alexis de Tocqueville meets James Agee, with just a twist of Faulkner.  As early reviews have already declared, Pozner explores America with an outsider’s freshness and curiosity, and he writes with the urbane elegance of a great prose stylist. The America he discovered was a nation of extremes, a place of great pluralism and yet venomous racism, a peace-loving people shot through with gun nuts, a land where nightmares of urban blight and Dust Bowl collapse drifted westward, like the setting sun, into the dreamland of Hollywood.  He met workers and bosses, strikers and scabs, gangsters and cops, and his writing about them is by turns mordant and tender, lyrical in its outrage, exalted in its populism.

Moments Politiques

Moments Politiques
by Jacques Rancière
translated by Mary Foster
August 26, 2014

How do we define politics?  What is our role in the unfolding of the political?  Moments Politiques finds Jacques Rancière, the legendary French social and aesthetic theorist, addressing these questions in some of the plainest, most direct language he has ever employed.  Reflecting on such events as the Parisian uprisings of May, 1968 and theSeptember 11 attacks, and on contemporaries including Michel Foucault, Guy Debord, and Roland Barthes, Rancière asks fundamental questions about democracy, equality, and history.  Moments Politiques is a wonderful resource for newcomers to Rancière’s work, to whom it will provide an excellent introduction to such key concepts as dissensus, political performance, and Rancière’s special definition of “police.”  It is also indispensable to scholars of his thought, filling in small gaps in Rancière’s thinking on such subjects as race, military intervention, and the Situationist International.

Dark Alliance
by Gary Webb
new edition September 2, 2014

Dark Alliance Cover

In August 1996, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb stunned the world with a series of articles in the San Jose Mercury News reporting the results of his year-longinvestigation into the roots of the crack cocaine epidemic in America, specifically in Los Angeles. The series, titled Dark Alliance, revealed that for the better part of a decade, a Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to Los Angeles street gangs and funneled millions in profits to the CIA-backed Nicaraguan Contras. Gary Webb pushed his investigation even further in his book Dark Alliance: The CIA, The Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion. Drawing from a huge range of sources, Webb demonstrated how our government had knowingly allowed massive amounts of drugs and money to change hands at the expense of our communities.  The Seven Stories blog has recently hosted some writing by editor Dan Simon on the repercussions Webb faced personally.  With Jeremy Renner playing Webb in Kill the Messenger, a movie hitting theaters this fall  that dramatizes Webb’s life and work and is largely based on Dark Alliance, we can expect a lot of talk about his incredibly hard work and the remarkable dividends it paid.  But it’ll all be a little sad, since Gary — who committed suicide in 2004 — was a guy who knew how to speak for himself.

7S-Slattery Hightower G-1

The Family Hightower
by Brian Francis Slattery
September 9, 2014

The literary breakout of a respected genre writer, The Family Hightower describes the entwined fates of two men named after the grandfather they share: Peter Henry Hightower, self-made crime boss of Cleveland.  One of them, who goes by Peter, grows up in Africa and ends up a journalist in Granada.  The other, Petey, becomes a petty  criminal,  first  in  Cleveland, Ohio,  and  then  in  Kiev, Ukraine.  In  1995,  when Petey  runs  afoul  of  his  associates  and goes into hiding, thugs bent on revenge track down the wrong cousin, and the Peter in Granada finds himself on the run. He bounces from one family member to the next, piecing together a illicit family history into which he has never been initiated — one that spans continents and generations, and that ultimately becomes a lesson in just how long and dark a shadow family can cast.

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