Ben M.

Ben M.

Dean of the Clerks and the Institutional Memory of the Fiction Section

Ben M. grew up in Detroit, the only child of two schoolteachers, and he studied literature and music in college. He worked at a bookstore in Connecticut after graduation and then moved to New York in the mid-1970s to flourish as an actor, singer, poet and openly gay man. He took a job at the Strand in 1978. Read more about the man dubbed, "The Strand Oracle" who was recently featured in the New York Times.

Would you like other recommendations? Email me at staff+ben@strandbooks.com

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Last Novel

By David Markson

Our Price: $14.35
In this new work, an elderly author (referred to only as 'Novelist') announces that since this will be his final effort, he obviously possesses 'cart blanche to do anything he damned well pleases.' Pressed by solitude and age, Novelist's preoccupations inevitably turn to the stories of other artists - their genius, their lack of recognition, and their deaths. Keeping his personal history out of the story as much as possible, Novelist creates an incantatory stream of fascinating triumphs and failures from the lives of famous and not-so-famous painters, writers, conmposers, scientists, even athletes. 190p.
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Mrs. Dalloway

By Virginia Woolf

Our Price: $5.95
The portrait of a single day in a woman's life. Clarissa Dalloway, preoccupied with the last-minute details of party preparation, experiences a flood of memories that sets her awash in the sensations of faraway places. In thisrevelatory and experimental novel, the past, present, and visions of the future fuse together in each and every moment. The novel lies at the heart of the contemporary novel, The Hours, by Michael Cunningham, that has been made into a major motion picture (2002/3). 197p. Pap.
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The author, a poet and an undertaker in a small Michigan town, presents twelve literary essays about the disruption death causes to his fellow townspeople, reflecting on the languages of love and grief and the lessons of mortality.
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The Lover

By Marguerite Duras

Our Price: $11.65
The story of an affair between a fifteen-year-old French girl and her Chinese lover, set in prewar Indochina
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Twenty-fifth Anniversary Edition. The author's brilliant defense of the value of creativity and its importance in a culture increasingly governed by money and overrun with commodities. A thoroughly illuminating and transformative work, and completely original in its view of the world, The Gift - presented here in a 25th Anniversary Edition - is cherished by artists, writers & poets, musicians and thinkers. Includes a New Preface and and Afterword by the author. Notes, Index. 432p.
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The Invisible Dragon made a lot of noise for a little book When it was originally published in 1993 it was championed by artists for its forceful call for a reconsideration of beauty—and savaged by more theoretically oriented critics who dismissed the very concept of beauty as naive, igniting a debate that has shown no sign of flagging.With this revised and expanded edition, Hickey is back to fan the flames. More manifesto than polite discussion, more call to action than criticism, The Invisible Dragon aims squarely at the hyper-institutionalism that, in Hickey’s view, denies the real pleasures that draw us to art in the first place. Deploying the artworks of Warhol, Raphael, Caravaggio, and Mapplethorpe and the writings of Ruskin, Shakespeare, Deleuze, and Foucault, Hickey takes on museum culture, arid academicism, sclerotic politics, and more—all in the service of making readers rethink the nature of art. A new introduction provides a context for earlier essays—what Hickey calls his "intellectual temper tantrums." A new essay, "American Beauty," concludes the volume with a historical argument that is a rousing paean to the inherently democratic nature of attention to beauty.Written with a verve that is all too rare in serious criticism, this expanded and refurbished edition of The Invisible Dragon will be sure to captivate a new generation of readers, provoking the passionate reactions that are the hallmark of great criticism.
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Heroic young men carry the emotional weight of their lives to war in Vietnam in a patchwork account of a modern journey into the heart of darkness.
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The novel tells the story of Henry Townsend, a black farmer and former slave who becomes a plantation owner in the antebellum South. The book won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction; the author's collection of short stories, 'Lost in the City,' won the PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction. 388p. Pap.
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The Buddha in the Attic

By Julie Otsuka

Our Price: $7.00 - $12.55
National Book Award Finalist. From the celebrated author of When the Emperor Was Divine a novel that tells the story of a group of young women brought from Japan to San Francisco as “picture brides” nearly a century ago. In eight unforgettable sections, The Buddha in the Attic traces the extraordinary lives of these women, from their arduous journey by boat, to their arrival in San Francisco and their tremulous first nights as new wives from their experience raising children who would later reject their culture and language, to the deracinating arrival of war.129p.
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Gonzo journalist extraordinaire Hunter S. Thompson's 'scorching epochal sensation' (Tom Wolfe) redefined journalism. Just to nail it down, in his own words, 'There is nothing in the world more helpless andirresponsible than a man in the depths of...the dope decade.' And now that he's blown his brains out Hemingway-style, Thompson's indelibly immortal. And, he'll always be a great read to get to the grist of the American psyche-mill of the last four decades of the 20th century. 204p.
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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize. An organic succession of American geology in five books: Basin & Range; In Suspect Terrain; Rising from the Plains; Assembling California; Crossing the Craton. This edition of one of the finest popular surveys on the subject adds twenty-five new maps, as well as an essay outlining the history & structure of the project, 'Narrative Table of Contents.' This mulit-layered tale brims over with flashbacks, biographical sketches, and histories of the human and lithic kind. 696p.
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Darkness at Noon

By Arthur Koestler

Our Price: $7.50 - $13.50
During Stalin's purges, Nicholas Rubashov, an aging revolutionary is imprisoned and psychologically tortured by the party he has devoted his life to. Under mounting pressure to confess to crimes he did not commit, Rubashov relives a career that embodies the ironies and betrayals of a revolutionary dictatorship that believes it is an instrument of liberations. Koestler's book, first published in 1941, remains to this day, one of the most harrowing explorations of the moral danger inherent in a system that is willing to enforce its beliefs by any means necessary. 272p.
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Long before creative writing programs and graduate degrees taught the finer points in composing fiction, writers looked to the enduring works of authors such as Dostoyevsky, Flaubert, and Kafka to supply the raw material out of which literature is crafted. In 'Reading Like a Writer,' Francine Prose discusses a handful of classics and how close reading of these works can offer insight into the tools and the tricks of the masters. Marvel at the serpentine sentences of Philip Roth, the masterful use of dialogue to advance plot by John Le Carre, and how enduring literature can inspire readers to look at the world with a fresh eye. 273p.
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A new compilation of interviews from the premier literary magazine includes conversations with some of the world's leading authors, poets, novelists, playwrights, and memoirists, including William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Graham Greene, James Baldwin, Stephen King, and Eudora Welty.
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Me Talk Pretty One Day

By David Sedaris

Our Price: $7.50 - $14.40
This collection from the ribald humorist features his attempt to learn French given the fate of his having taken up residence in Paris. But, there's still his family to skewer and cashiers with 6-inch fingernails to get even with. 'At last, someone even meaner than the French!...not! 272p.
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