New & Noteworthy Titles

A Running Commentary in which we present the Arcane, Unheralded, Peculiar, Somewhat Promising, or just plain Cool forthcoming titles of the next few months... and Revisit the occasional Out of Print gem for our Various Thematic Collections.
[trans.: NOT all of these books are in print! Some are due out soon, a few are out of print but shouldn't be. Email or phone us to confirm prices & check availability. See our How to Order page for more info, thanks.


Elephant House: Or, the Home of Edward Gorey
Kevin McDermott, photographs & text; foreword by John Updike, Pomegranate, $35.00 hb. 128pp., 11x8", 70 full-color & duotone photographs, 15 reproductions of Gorey's drawings and etchings.

Upon hearing Gorey's home was open to tour groups, we were torn between two simultaneous responses: Oooh, how tacky; we must go. Something prurient about peering into the nooks and crannies of this very private artist does not dampen our curiosity about his life or the seemingly insatiable urge to see more of his work. We suspect others may feel similarly. Due September 2003.

John R. Stilgoe, University Press of Virginia, $29.95 hb. 336pp., 7x9½", 21 b&w illus.

We have a penchant for microhistories. Looks promising.

[from the publisher:] "How lifeboats are made, rigged, and captained... and how accounts of their use or misuse are put down says much about the culture and circumstances from which they are launched. ...The lifeboat [is] a symbol of human optimism, of engineering ingenuity, of bureaucratic regulation, of fear and frailty. ...Through the humble, much-ignored lifeboat, its design and navigation and the stories of its ultimate purpose, [Stilgoe] has found a peculiar lens on roughly the past two centuries of human history, particularly the war-tossed, technology-driven history of man and the sea." Due October 2003.

Whistler and His Mother: An Unexpected Relationship
Sarah Walden, University of Nebraska Press, $35 hb. 304pp., 5½x9", 16 illus., index.

[from the publisher:] "This portrait has become one of the world's best-known paintings and an American icon, yet we know remarkably little about it. ...While restoring the painting for the Louvre, Sarah Walden became intrigued by the extraordinary and complex history of the painting, which had never been fully explored. ...Walden uncovers the intersections between Whistler's flawed genius, his struggle for recognition, his troubled relationship with his mother and mistresses, and the unprecedented historical response to his greatest work. Walden's findings read like a detective story, and her controversial and progressive views on art restoration combine with biography and criticism to create a gripping narrative that skillfully weaves history and aesthetics into a seamless tapestry."

"Original both in terms of conception and new research."--John Golding, author of Cubism: A History and an Analysis 1907-1914.

"Sarah Walden's insights into Whistler are absolutely unique and of the highest importance."--Richard Dorment, coauthor of James McNeill Whistler.

The publication of the book coincides with the 2003 Whistler centenary, and the loan of the painting from the Louvre to the Hunerian Art Gallery of Glasgow. The author is a well-regarded art historian and restorer; promises to be the definitive book on the subject. Due October 2003.

Liquid Metal: The Science Fiction Film Reader
Sean Redmond, ed. Wallflower Press, UK, $22.50 pb. 256pp.

[from the publisher:] "...Brings together a great number of...seminal essays that have opened up the study of science fiction to serious critical investigation." The book includes sections on fandom; time travel; the science fiction city; cyborgs; and 1950's invasion narratives. "Important writings by Susan Sontag, Constance Penley, Vivian Sobchack, Steve Neal, J.P. Telotte, and Peter Biskind are included." Due Februrary 2004.

The Isaac Newton School of Driving: Physics and Your Car
Barry Parker, Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, $26.95 hb. 256pp.

[from the publisher:] "Whether you drive a Pacer or a Porsche, The Isaac Newton School of Driving offers better--and better-informed--driving through physics. [The author] describes the basic physics of driving... why you get thrown forward while braking; why car advertisements boast about horsepower and torque... the thermodynamics of engines... what friction and traction are... the high-performance physics of auto-racing; how traffic accidents are reconstructed by police, [and] uses chaos theory to describe why traffic jams happen." Due September 2003.

...and don't forget The Physics of Hockey by Alain Hache (Johns Hopkins, $24.95 hb, Nov. 2002), an outstanding and very dense exploration of just that. An engineering degree helps but is not requisite.


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