Friday, December 19, 2008

Please Help Philoctetes

Francis Levy, author of Erotomania: A Romance and our dear friend, is co-director of the Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination, a non-profit group housed in the New York Psychoanalytic Institute. You should see their programming, there's everything from film screenings of Guy Maddin to roundtable discussions on topics as varied as 'Modernity and Waste,' from an entire afternoon on Samuel Beckett featuring Edward Albee and John Turturro, to 'The Biology of Romance.' It's wild and vital.

I'm on the Philoctetes programming email list and I regularly forward event listings to friends in the city. And, I should add, it's a great selling point as to why nothing really beats New York City: Where else would you be able to witness something such as this, with such amazing and knowledgeable panelists, first-hand, in such an intimate setting?

In a very sad turn of events:
"...the foundation that funds all activities at the Philoctetes Center held large investments with Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, and the Center's capital and income source has literally vanished overnight.

"We at Philoctetes feel very strongly that we need to do all in our power to assure the survival and continued growth of the Center. Our programs not only generate interest here in New York, but our online resources serve those across the country and in other parts of the world as a unique engine for intellectual enrichment.

"In order to continue, even at a reduced level of activity, we urgently need an infusion of funds. For this reason, we are appealing to all of you who have been friends of the Center and have partaken of our activities to contribute as much as you are able. Additionally, if you know of any foundations that might be interested in supporting the activities of the Center, please contact us."

Contributions may be sent to:
The Philoctetes Center247 E. 82nd St.New York, NY 10028

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Time Out New York: Drop Edge Best Book of 2008!

Michael Miller, the books editor of Time Out New York, selected The Drop Edge of Yonder by Rudolph Wurlitzer as #1 on his list of the Top 10 Books of 2008.

"Wurlitzer develops a dreamy, carnivalesque portrait of the American West, exploring the territory’s mythology even as he wildly entertains."

Miller has impeccably good taste, so it makes it all the more meaningful to have Drop Edge edge out his list this year.

Also worth noting, is that in addition to reissuing Wurlitzer's countercultural classic first novel, Nog, next summer with a new introduction from noted critic Erik Davis, we will be publishing Wurlitzer's second and third novels as well - Flats and Quake - in a "69ed," compilation edition shortly thereafter.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Erotomania Conversation

Erotomania: A Romance continues to win over reviewers and thwart nay-sayers.

Billy Thompson contributes some thoughtful, in-depth coverage to the December issue of The Quarterly Conversation. Thompson is clearly a Kundera fan (as is Francis Levy, I later learned), and so I take it as a positive sign that Thompson devotes so much space in comparing Erotomania (on some levels) with Identity.

"[Erotomania] can just as easily be a bookend to the beautifully nuanced prose of Milan Kundera as it can be a long-version story for a nudie mag minus the accompanying photographs. It's all in the context - as it is with most relationships."

(I've also included a full-cover shot of the book cover with this post, for the complete effect: some hot, full-body action.)

I Smile Back - Bookslut Review

There's a stellar review of I Smile Back by Erin McKnight in the December issue of Bookslut.

Finding a favorite passage was a difficult task, but here's the winner:

"Amy Koppelman explores with ruthless honesty a woman come undone. Laney remains captivating in her certainty that although her family's dissolution is her sole responsibility to deter, she can't quite conjure the necessary thwarting efforts. For the only thing as ferocious as Laney's lack of preventive action is her behavior, the reader powerless against her vice: an addict hooked to Koppelman's potent writing and her protagonist's unpredictable conduct."

Great Indiana Profile in Time Out New York

Michael Miller, in a great profile of Gary Indiana in Time Out New York in synch with the release of Indiana's new collection of essays, Utopia's Debris, says about the author:

"His nonfiction has an awe-inspiring syntax and rigorous sensibility that suggest Joan Didion’s political takedowns but have a droll power all their own, one that’s tuned in to the frequencies of art, sexual power and human folly."

Also, Arthur Nersesian has just contributed a great blurb for Indiana's first novel in six years, The Shanghai Gesture, which we'll be releasing in April '09:

"Indiana has gloriously revived an obscure Hollywood film of the same name, infused it with eroticism and intrigue - and added Dr. Fu Manchu! The result is a lustrous, laugh-out-loud world of bawd and mayhem; an erudite, charmingly operatic opium den of decadence that seesaws between high brow and low camp and reads as though Cormac McCarthy had rewritten Austin Powers."