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Muse by Jonathan Galassi
  

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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

Synopsis

Muse by Jonathan Galassi

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. Thanks to his boss, the flamboyant Homer Stern, Paul learns the vagaries of the book world: how to work an agent over lunch and swim with the literary sharks at Frankfurt book fair; how to marry flattery with criticism when combing over the manuscripts of brilliant, volatile authors. But though things can be shaky in the age of conglomerates and ebooks, 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 - also her cousin and erstwhile lover - happens to be Homer'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. Enriched by juicy details only a quintessential insider could know, written with both satiric sharpness and sensitivity, Muse is a love letter to the people who write, sell - and, above all, read - the books that shape our lives.


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Reviews

'There is throughout this book a combination of delicacy and vigour.' -- Maureen N. McLane Vice UK


About the Author

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.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd July 2015

Author

Jonathan Galassi

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Publisher

Jonathan Cape Ltd an imprint of Vintage

Format

Hardback
272 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
Maxim Jakubowski's Selection
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780224102414

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