To order, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let Rick know which books and how many you would like (combined shipping is cheaper), along with your mailing address.
Cynicism Management by Bori Praper
12€ postage 5.54€
A satirical tour through contemporary Europe, from the Orkney Islands, to airport toilets, Slovenia, and, well, either Africa or the Middle East, for two plots are misaligned in the manner that our dystopian modernity manages quite easily. If you have a tattoo on your ass, you might be of more interest than you ever wanted to be as a musician. Ironically, the music is actually produced, laced throughout the novel, and is available through some mysterious processes younger people than I will have no difficulty navigating. That must make this meta-publishing. The plot of the novel is thoroughly senseless, yet easy to follow, as it amounts to a satire involving recognizable 21st century humans being manipulated by opaque forces, and generally running about attempting to avoid senseless annihilation. It is not history, but neither, unfortunately, is it fantasy. There is indeed an evil corporation called Omnipile, and that alone should sell the book to any remaining thinking primates. The virtual need to compare the book to John Kennedy O’Toole’s suicide not is prevented by the insistent repetition of Bob Dylan sardonic comment after meeting Columbus: I just said good luck.
Raging Joys, Sublime Violations by Chandler Brossard
10€/9€ postage: 3.96€
Please see the Raging Joys page for the introduction you will find in the book itself. This is a tremendous moment for the press, publishing the long forgotten Chandler Brossard. The first edition hardcover of this book was recently on sale for 2,000 dollars or so, which is utterly absurd. It’s time for Brossard to return to print. This was the logical place to start as Steven Moore, who edited Brossard’s last collection and his last novel (As the Wolf Howls at My Door, which we will publish as soon as we can after we publish his Wake Up. We’re Almost there), had the computer files for our convenience and the generosity to help get this ready for a typesetter in Slovenia, though more to the point, Brossard’s scathing and sexsodden rampage against the architects and gymnasts of the Vietnam war serve to warm the reader up for whatever rage he or she lacks and to demonstrate the continuity of malevolent, arranged insanity propelled by greed and allowable only given the snail–those brilliant snails–pace of evolution as a sort of means of cushioning the shock of a nightmare that is, after all, working within the same rules of the nightmare Brossard diagnosed.
The Manifold Destiny of Eddie Vegas by Rick Harsch
Shipping: 8.69€ airmail
For his magnum opus, Harsch reached into a bag of tricks left in a closet in Brussels by forgotten literary masters, and as the punning title might suggest, he attempts no less—and much more—than to come to grips with what empire has wrought, and how over the recent two centuries the United States rose to global economic mastery and a nuclear-proliferate madhouse. Harsch is able to render the story of Hugh Glass and the grizzly with dark humor and quotidian accuracy. Yet Harsch plays no tricks with time: his modern characters are modern and his historical rendering of their ancestors slot into their proper niches in historical time, vividly lit within historically corrective tales running from the days of the mountain man right up to those of nuclear testing, down the Oregon Trail, with the gold rush, into the nuclear age, Vietnam, and even Blackwater. Meanwhile, this book is a romp through history and the present, story after story told in the jargon of the mountain man of the Old West, the ‘Indians,’ the coal miners, the Joycean, and more.
Sea Above, Sun Below by George Salis
Shipping: 5.54€ airmail
Upside-down lightning, a group of uncouth skydivers, resurrections, a mother’s body overtaken by a garden, aquatic telepathy, a peeling snake-priest, and more. Sea Above, Sun Below is influenced by Western myths, some Greek, some with biblical overtones, resulting in a fusion of fantastic dreams, bizarre yet beautiful nightmares, and multiple narrative threads that form a tapestry which depicts the fragility of characters teetering on the brink of madness. Within you will find flashes of immolation and mutilation, transubstantiation threaded through thematic and genealogical membranes in a literary voice composed of whispers over wails.
An Angel of Sodom by David Vardeman
Shipping: 5.54€ airmail
In each story, and in the titular novella, Vardeman’s characters seem to be confounded by the banality of normal, while the undertow of an unglimpsed all-powerful strange tugs at them. What they don’t notice, luckily Vardeman does. His writing provides a variety of pleasures, including humor and puzzles that prick the intellect to discomfort, but his primary talent lies in providing endless surprise. Not a page goes by without unpredictable reactions, urges, indabas, insights, petty cruelties, and odd moments of tenderness which in this world are indeed odd and not likely to last.
Unidentified man at left of photo by Jeff Bursey
201 pages…11€/10€ in the Americas…post 3.96€ airmail
The author of the utterly unique satire Verbatim, and the utterly Canadian Mirrors on which Dust has Fallen, two highly acclaimed underpurchased books, along with a book of criticism, Centring the Margins, Jeff Bursey was buffeted by fate to corona\samizdat with the duty to raise the quality of our catalogue, which he does in a very funny and very perilous act of writing fiction before the reader’s very eyes. As a writer, I was nervous throughout, waiting for him to fall off the highwire (admittedly, though it was a very this string it was only about half a metre off the ground), which he DID NOT DO, not even once, not even under extremely the force of tremendous winds. If you don’t live in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, you will think you are not in this book, but you will come to realize that you are NEVER safe from fiction writers.
The Driftless Trilogy by Rick Harsch
Shipping: 5.54€ airmail
This satirical noir trilogy, consisting of The Driftless Zone, Billy Verite, and The Sleep of Aborigines, has long been out of print. Though of the noir genre, the three novels within have their own variegated styles, registers, and plenty of post-modern inventiveness, all certainly playing by their own rules. They are funny, dark works that would please the original Dadaists of a century ago.
Skulls of Istria by Rick Harsch
Shipping: about 3.86€ airmail
A man sits at a bar in Piran on the Adriatic coast in former Yugoslavia and tells his story to a large man who speaks no English, yet plied by free liquor remains, at times in a drunken sleep, head on the table as the words drift over his skull. This tavern confession is told by a defrocked historian from the United States, who unwittingly, perhaps naively, brought his talents to the turmoil of the Balkans. His tales in the first chapter take us to Capodistria, Ancona, Venice, and back to the bar where we began, linked by the physical presence of a wind known as the Burja (the Italian bora), a great wind capable of lifting cars into the air. But the unnamed narrator is not simply telling random stories. As we move through the next four chapters, we realize that this book is indeed confessional, an apology of sorts, yet with a broken man’s defiance; it is a meditation not only about hats and a historian’s attempt at written redemption, but about love and politics, history and warriors who drink blood, the isolation of a stranger in a strange land and the choices that lead us to death and our inability to use language to transcend ourselves.
Arjun and the Good Snake, being an ophidiological account of six weeks in India without alcohol
10€/9€ in the Americas
Shipping: airmail: 3.86-5.54€, apparently depending on the postal scale on a particular day.
This is a memoir about alcoholism and venom, all things Indian and some things half, for instance, the author’s son. Rick Harsch is a writer living on the coast of Izola where great wine is cheap and suicide is on his brain. He determines on a trip to stay with his Indian wife’s family in Chennai, India, that he will stay dry, spend his six weeks writing, searching for snakes, carving coconut masks with his son, and veering about Chennai. The book refuses to spare the author as it ranges from gruesome confessional to architectural analysis, the humor of his relationship with his son, his rage against forces he sees arrayed against him, at times quite misguidedly so.
Walk Like a Duck: A Season of Little League Baseball in Italy by Rick Harsch
Shipping: 8.69€ airmail
The Staranzano Ducks are a northern Italian baseball team in a country that is a palimpsest for history, the kind of place baseball, a game of instant historicity, sinks its hooks into a people for whom history is a quotidian backdrop. Walk Like a Duck chronicles one season of Italian baseball yet, written in diary form by a US expatriate living in Izola, Slovenia, just across the border from Trieste, the book is steeped in culture and history, ranging from hilariously mocking to fascinatingly informative.