A thoughtful piece called "Think Before You Link" appeared in Publishers Weekly last week, urging web outlets promoting books not to link to Amazon. It's a great read, and it's definitely something we're conscious of here at Seven Stories. And while the publishing world has become an increasingly complicated landscape, with some publishers selling direct from their own sites, as we do, there's nothing complicated about the fact that we love independent bookstores, and know that they're a vital part of what makes the literary community great. So here's to Powell's, IndieBound, McNally Jackson, Westsider Books, Argosy, Mercer Street, Brazos Bookstore, and the countless other places you can buy books online or in person that aren't soul-crushing corporate monopolies. We salute you, we link to you, and we thank you for continuing to do what you do.
Excerpted from Paul Auster's A Life in Words: Conversations with I. B. Siegumfeldt, available for purchase from our site at 25% off list price.
In the conversation below, acclaimed novelist Paul Auster and scholar I. B. Siegumfeldt discuss Auster's "Portrait of an Invisible Man," which comprises one half of The Invention of Solitude and served as the pivotal piece of writing for Auster's movement into a style wholly his own. Auster discusses the hazards of literary education ("I’d come to such a point of self-consciousness that I somehow believed that every novel had to be completely worked out in advance"); the death of his father ("My father came from the generation of men who wore neckties, and apparently he kept every tie he ever owned. When he died, there must have been a hundred of them in his closet. You are confronted by these ties, which are, in a sense, a miniature history of his life."); and the vitality of the unconscious ("I understood that everything comes from within and moves out. It’s never the reverse. Form doesn’t precede content. The material itself will find its own form as you’re working through it."). We hope you enjoy!
The chapter below is excerpted from Khary Lazarre-White's Passage. As Farah Jasmine Griffin put it, Passage is "a work of great originality, pain, and aching beauty. Its protagonist, Warrior, a sensitive, haunted and haunting young man, bears the burden of history: the past is always near, shaping and informing present realities of black boys like himself."
While reading through Kurt Vonnegut’s papers in the Lilly Library, at Indiana University, as they worked on the first comprehensive edition of his short fiction, Vonnegut’s friend Dan Wakefield and Jerome Klinkowitz, a scholar of Vonnegut’s work, came across five previously unpublished stories.
In anticipation of publishing Kurt Vonnegut’s Complete Stories (available for order today!), we’ve been rolling out some of those tales that never found their way into print. The Atlantic got “The Drone King,” which they published along with an incredible animated version of the story. Another, “Requiem for Zeitgeist” will be published tomorrow on the website of The Nation.
And here’s "And on Your Left," a never before published Vonnegut story exclusively for the Seven Stories blog. It tells the tale of hard scientists forced into a life of show biz, and how they conspire to get back to their work. We hope you enjoy!
Attention all Tralfmadorians, Bokononists, and other Vonnegut fanatics!
In case you didn't know, Seven Stories is collecting, for the first time ever, the entire corpus of Kurt Vonnegut's short fiction. We call it . . . drumroll please . . . Complete Stories.
There's more. We're also giving advance copies away for free on Goodreads. That means you pay no money, and then you get a book in exchange for no money. It's a great deal. All you have to do is sign up for Goodreads (if you're not already a member) and click away madly at the "Enter Giveaway" button.
And in case you want to know a little more about the book:
Coming out September 26th, Kurt Vonnegut's Complete Stories features five of his previously unpublished works. Curated and introduced by his longtime friend Dan Wakefield and famed Vonnegut scholar Jerome Klinkowitz, with a foreward by Dave Eggers, Vonnegut's "Complete Stories" puts his great wit, humor, and humanity on full display. This is an extraordinary new work for readers, Vonnegut fans, and scholars alike.