Jonathan Galassi is the president and publisher of Farrar, Straus & Giroux and the author of three collections of poetry, as well as acclaimed translations of the Italian poets Eugenio Montale and Giacomo Leopardi. A former Guggenheim Fellow and poetry editor of the Paris Review, he also writes for the New York Review of Books, the New Republic and other publications.
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. A witty tale of the book world, writers, muses and the vagaries of the intellectual mind, this short debut novel by a veteran US publisher and accomplished poet might appear lightweight at first, but its layers unwrap slowly and deliciously to offer wonderful characters and a torrent of subtleties tinged with knowing humour. For an ex-publisher like myself, MUSE is a particular delight as it evokes memories of a vety particular trade in which high art and commerce have always coexisted uncomfortably and it's easy to put actual names to many characters inspired by reality, but such previous knowledge is not necessary as the innocent reader can equally enjoy this fluid tale of writing rivalry, inspiration, professional jealousy and the roots of creativity as if an amusing tale of human foibles by the likes of Nabokov was unfolding. A most elegant entertainment. ~ Maxim Jakubowski
Paul Dukach is heir apparent at Purcell & Stern, one of the last independent publishing houses in New York, whose shabby offices belie the treasures of its list. Paul remains obsessed by one dazzling writer: poet Ida Perkins, whose outsize life and audacious verse have shaped America`s contemporary literary landscape, and whose longtime publisher happens to be Purcell & Stern's biggest rival. When Paul finally meets Ida, at her secluded Venetian palazzo, she entrusts him with her greatest secret - one that will change all of their lives forever.
From the publisher of Farrar, Straus and Giroux: a first novel, at once hilarious and tender, about the decades-long rivalry between two publishing lions, and the iconic, alluring writer who has obsessed them both. Paul Dukach is heir apparent at Purcell & Stern, one of the last independent publishing houses in New York, whose shabby offices on Union Square belie the treasures on its list. Working with his boss, the flamboyant Homer Stern, Paul learns the ins and outs of the book tradehow to work an agent over lunch; how to swim with the literary sharks at the Frankfurt Book Fair; and, most important, how to nurse the fragile egos of the dazzling, volatile authors he adores. But Paul's deepest admiration has always been reserved for one writer: poet Ida Perkins, whose audacious verse and notorious private life have shaped America's contemporary literary landscape, and whose longtime publisheralso her cousin and erstwhile loverhappens to be Homer's biggest rival. And when Paul at last has the chance to meet Ida at her Venetian palazzo, she entrusts him with her greatest secretone that will change all of their lives forever. Studded with juicy details only a quintessential insider could know, written with both satiric verve and openhearted nostalgia,Museis a brilliant, haunting book about the beguiling interplay between life and art, and the eternal romance of literature.From the Hardcover edition.
Jonathan Galassi's second book of poems opens with a group of dithyrambs , extravagent irregular compositions that evoke both the flow and ebb of the seasons and the currents of feeling in a life. Like the book as a whole, they draw on nature, history, and personal history, the world outside and the world within - and on the treasure - house of language itself - as the poet works to find form for experience. The forty poems in North Street are concerned with the space between Turning Forty and Turning Fifty , between the assumption of maturity and the sighting of its limits. All are preoccupied in one way or another with the notion of an otherwhere , a world I don't believe in in which the water of memory is washed by the water of forgetfulness , and the touch of forgiveness allows a guilty man to go free . It is between the poles - between original desire and conditional freedom, between the recognition of aloneness and gratitude for the gnawing, the knowing/the being and being here - that the drama, the story the North Street unfolds.