Monday, December 20, 2010

Sneak Peek: THE MECHANICS OF HOMOSEXUAL INTERCOURSE by Lonely Christopher

Akashic Books presents a preview of Lonely Christopher's debut
short-story collection, THE MECHANICS OF HOMOSEXUAL
INTERCOURSE, the newest addition to Dennis Cooper's
Little House on the Bowery series.

click images to enlarge text of the story "Milk" (in its entirety below)








"Praise seems superfluous for a book as accomplished, cohesive,
and devastating as Lonely Christopher's debut collection, so consider
these words admiration instead, and admonishment: if you still think
fiction counts for anything, then you should buy this book right now."
--Dale Peck

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

HOLIDAY BOOK SALE


Happy Holidays
from Akashic Books!

We're offering two sales this season:

*** 3 books from the Noir Series for the price of 2 ***
- Order 2 books with credit card from our website
- After you've placed the order, send an email
to Akashic7@aol.com with the title of your third book
- We'll send all 3 books together within 1 - 2 days
- Free shipping/handling! Offer lasts until December 31!


*** 4 books for the price of 3 ***
- Order any 3 Akashic books from our website
- After you've placed the order, send an email
to Akashic7@aol.com with the title of your fourth book
(value must be equal to or lesser than each of the first 3 books)
- We'll send all 4 books together within 1 - 2 days
- Free shipping/handling! Offer lasts until December 31!



Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sneak Peek: COWS, by Matthew Stokoe

Akashic Books is proud to present a preview of the forthcoming
reissue of Matthew Stokoe's debut novel, COWS,
selected by Dennis Cooper for his Little House on the Bowery series.

"[A] phantasmagoria of extreme violence, death, sex, bestiality, self-surgery, torture, and a really, really, really bad mother-son relationship, all of which takes what the marquis de Sade did and pushes it down the road a little farther. Stokoe is an able craftsman, which makes the content all the more horrifying as he blasts through boundaries and finds increasingly twisted ways of making readers squirm." --Publishers Weekly

(click image to enlarge text)






* COWS is available from AkashicBooks.com --
not available in bookstores until February! *

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sneak Peek: 100 POSTERS, 134 SQUIRRELS

Akashic Books presents a preview of the forthcoming 100 Posters, 134 Squirrels,
an updated, revised collection of Jay Ryan's first decade of compelling posters,
framed by essays from luminaries in the music, design, and poster worlds --
including Steve Albini, Art Chantry, Greg Kot, and Debra Parr.


(click images to enlarge)










Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Akashic Books at the Miami Book Fair


The Miami Book Fair comes to Miami Dade College this weekend!
Here's where and when to find Akashic authors:


--Fri., Nov. 19, 3:00pm

Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus

300 N.E. Second Ave.

*writing workshop featuring Christina Garcia, registration required, please see here for details










--Sat., Nov. 20, 12:00pm

Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus, Room 3410

300 N.E. Second Ave.

*featuring William Heffernan with authors Michael Koryta and Marin Solares












--Sun., Nov. 21, 10:00am

Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus, Prometeo

300 N.E. Second Ave.

*featuring Preston L Allen with authors T Cooper and Vicki Hendricks











--Sun., Nov. 21, 12:00pm

Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus, Pavilion A

300 N.E. Second Ave.

*featuring Edwidge Danticat with Haiti Noir contributors M.J. Fiervre and Mark Kurlansky, Josaphat-Robert Large, Marie Ketsia Theodore-Pharel, and Les Standiford, editor of Miami Noir











--Sun., Nov. 21, 12:30pm

Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus, Room 3208-09

300 N.E. Second Ave.

*featuring Bernice L McFadden with authors Glenn Taylor and Michael Knight












--Sun., Nov. 21, 4:00 pm

Miami Dade College, Auditorium

300 N.E. Second Ave.

*featuring Nick Zinner (of the band Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Stacy Wakefield, and Zachary Lipez; they will perform, present a slide show and read from Please Take Me Off the Guest List






Please visit the Miami Book Fair website for complete details.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sneak Peek: FROM A BASEMENT IN SEATTLE, The Poster Art of Brad Klausen

FROM A BASEMENT IN SEATTLE is an extensive look into the creative process through which artist Brad Klausen generates imagery for rock posters for Pearl Jam, Built to Spill, Queens of the Stone Age, and others. Beginning chronologically with the first poster he made and ending with the most recent, this stunning book covers more than seventy-five different works. Sketches and detailed commentary of the story appear alongside the image of each finished poster, to give readers a rare look over the artist's shoulder to see the execution and concept of the individual designs.

"Brad's sensitivity to our planet and the corrupt ways in which it has been desecrated by those who have accepted greed into their hearts is a driving force behind his art and way of thinking... for nearly ten years, most every piece of art connected to our group had his stamp on it... he is certainly one of my favorite artists."
--Eddie Vedder, vocalist/guitarist, Pearl Jam

See below for a special preview of FROM A BASEMENT IN SEATTLE,
available for order here (not available in bookstores until December)!


(click images to enlarge)

August 17, 2009: PEARL JAM/GOMEZ


:::::::::


February 4, 5 and 6, 2009: ALICE IN CHAINS

:::::::::


August 31, 2007: "IMMAGINE IN CORNICE"
PEARL JAM MOVIE POSTER

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

NoirCon 2010


AKASHIC BOOKS at NOIRCON!


Fri., Nov. 5 at Society Hill Playhouse, 507 South 8th St.

PHILADELPHIA, PA


-- 10:15 - 11:15am: Philadelphia Noir editor Carlin Romano, with contributors Keith Gilman, Duane Swierczynski, Meredith Anthony, Dennis Tafoya, and Jim Zervanos

-- 12:30–1:45pm: IACW Luncheon honoring William Heffernan, author of Dead Detective

-- 4:30–5:30pm: Writers on Noir panel discussion with William Heffernan, Reed Farrel Coleman, Cameron Ashley, Lorenzo Carcattera, Vicki Hendricks, and Daniel Woodrell

...and our very own Johnny Temple will receive the Jay and Deen Kogan award for Excellence in Publishing!


Click here for more information.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

ELVIS AVENGED in MESOPOTAMIA by ARTHUR NERSESIAN


Suspicious Minds
by Gail Sittoe

New York author ARTHUR NERSESIAN vilifies Elvis’s tabloid “biographers” in his new novel, MESOPOTAMIA


As an Elvisphile, I have long grown weary of the artificial Elvis sightings, citings, and insights peppering America’s tabloid papers and America’s tabloid-inspired pop culture. So when Mesopotamia, a taut new thriller by Arthur Nersesian, crossed my desk, I grew immediately concerned. Here was yet another ill-informed New York author co-opting Elvis’s visage to use as little more than window dressing for a tired ride into Tennessee.

My pompadour started rising when the central character of the book—a tabloid reporter, no less—stumbles across a trail of murdered Elvis impersonators. But with the driving force of “A Little Less Conversation” and the gentle sincerity of “Love Me Tender,” Nersesian and his female narrator lead us on a journey that at once honors the King and illuminates his exploiters. And tells a fantastic story along the way.

As if this were an album of cover songs, I found it lined with insider notes, and loaded with veiled homages that only the truest of Elvis fans might identify and appreciate. These details are folded neatly into a central mystery that could be aptly subtitled Elvis’s Revenge.

To begin, Nersesian populates his story with a scattering of figures from Elvis’s past: his final girlfriend, Ginnie Alden—who discovered his body dead on the bathroom floor—has been reinvented into Ginnie Ginnalian. She’s now middle-aged, remarried (hence the new last name), raising a daughter not much younger than she was when she dated the King, and running a carpet store in New Orleans; Dr. Nick (Presley’s over-prescribing doctor) is re-professionalized into Sheriff Nick (who under-detects in the novel). Even Elvis’s well-known moniker plays a part in the book. A key part of the probe is the reporter’s attempt to hunt down an enigmatic figure, named for Elvis’s famous alias, John Carpenter.

Where Elvis books in the past have paid homage to the King and Graceland, what sets this tome apart—making it an Elvis Avenged—is the motive for the central murders, rooted in the infamous memoir that broke the King’s heart, Elvis: What Happened? by Steve Dunleavy (father of the modern hatchet-job genre). Anyone fluent in the sad details of this ridiculous biography will remember that it was narrated by a pair of sibling bodyguards who worked for the King. It is clear from Nersesian’s treatment of the memoir that we can count him among those who believe its publication was partially responsible for the reckless behavior culminating in Elvis’s death.

Revenge is a dish best served cold, and Nersesian has waited these twenty-seven years to finally give the Elvis Judases their just desserts: In his novel, their blistering tell-all is succinctly entitled Elvis Why? by Pappy East (an amusing play on the real Sonny West, who “narrated” the painful expose with his brother).

If the Wests are most notable for embellishing actual events as bona fide history, Nersesian cements them in an alternative history, gleefully imagining their demise: In the years since they earned their whopping advance, they’ve steadily gone broke. One brother rips off the other and has gone into hiding. Without giving away the ending, I’ll just say that Elvis probably couldn’t have written a better revenge.

Underneath all the carnage, Nersesian seems to point an ambiguous finger toward an anagramatic band entitled Elvis’s Evils
as the culprits of his caper. One would have to carefully sift through the index of Peter Guralnick’s definitive biography to try to figure out which members of the Memphis Mafia the author might have been alluding to in his hilarious descriptions. Either way, this group and their leader, Snake Majors, make for great Elvis reading.

The final twist of the book hinges—(here I better issue a spoiler alert)—on Jesse Garron, Elvis’s long departed twin. To go any further would be going too far. All I will say is that after learning that Nersesian himself is an identical twin, I was compelled to ponder questions of originality and reproduction. One of the key themes in the book is the thin line between the Freudian and the fraudian. What is under investigation, we come to realize, is not the murder of impersonators, but the nature of impersonation itself—of truth, of history, of identity—and yes, of Elvis.

This small fast-paced gem is a perfect irony. In completing a job that, via dumpster-diving and telescopic stalking, parasitically thrives off celebrity culture, Nersesian’s tabloid hero exploits the exploiters. By expertly peeling away layers of sensationalism, the author’s meditation on truth and identity turns tabloid journalism on its head: he embellishes his fiction with facts.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sneak Peek: PLEASE TAKE ME OFF THE GUEST LIST

PLEASE TAKE ME OFF THE GUEST LIST -- a collaborative books of photos by Nick Zinner (of the YEAH YEAH YEAHS) and essays by Zachary Lipez, designed by Stacy Wakefield -- is now available for limited-edition pre-order HERE.

Preview photos below. Click thumbnails to enlarge.

Photobucket Photobucket

Photobucket Photobucket

(all photos, copyright Nick Zinner)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

NO SPACE FOR FURTHER BURIALS, by Feryal Ali Gauhar

nospace1.jpg


Isolation can be one of life's most harrowing experiences, and one doesn't necessarily need to be alone to feel it. 

Fear. Although individual fear may differ across cultures, socio-economic backgrounds, religions, or (more rudimentarily) ages, it is nearly impossible to find someone on this planet who couldn't describe feeling fear at some point in their life. 

Desperation. One feels desperation to be heard, to be loved, to survive. 

In her newest novel, No Space for Further Burials, Feryal Ali Gauhar pulls at these universal threads to describe the emotional and psychological calamities of warfare, told from the perspective of an American soldier lost in Afghanistan.   

Gauhar brings an unprecedented perspective to "War Literature" as a Pakistani woman writing from an American soldier's point-of-view -- a perspective that has never before surfaced in the wide wake of books on Afghanistan. The novel is composed of the inner dialogue that grips a lonely, fearful, and desperate American medic trapped in an Afghanistan refugee asylum. The narrator is introspective, soft-spoken, and intellectual -- far from the stereotype of the “typical” American soldier, or even the typical American citizen. 

Gauhar illuminates the depths of the human mind, building a narrative of the war on the internal thoughts of this soldier -- he does not speak the language of his fellow refugees, so communication is limited, and he spends much of his time alone in his cell with only his thoughts and his journal. The captivity of the American soldier among Afghani refugees explores war's chaotic nature -- the uncertainty of its outcomes, and the many social, physical, and emotional casualties for everyone involved. Ideology is pointless in the madness of asylum, where a band of motley characters are driven by their own survival, and their own tragic fates. 

Gauhar’s haunting prose and graphic descriptions of the sights, sounds, and smells that accompany the struggle to survive in a war-torn nation make No Space for Further Burials an emotionally-challenging, rewarding read for anyone who seeks a unique viewpoint about the war in Afghanistan and the so-called “reasoning” for occupation. 

--Batul Abbas

Feryal Ali Gauhar’s career spans many disciplines; she is a film-maker, writer, actress, humanitarian, and professor, and she currently lives in Lahore, Pakistan. 

To learn more about the author, or to order a copy of her book, please visit http://akashicbooks.com/nospace.htm

Thursday, May 6, 2010

BLACK MUSIC by Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones)


Black Music compiles the writing of Amiri Baraka (as LeRoi Jones) covering the burgeoning free jazz scene between 1959-1967 in publications such as Down Beat and Kulchur. Originally published in 1968, this AkashiClassics: Renegade Reprint Series reissue includes a new introduction and recent interview with Amiri Baraka. The book is a landmark corpus of jazz writing, following the careers of innovators John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, Sun-Ra, Archie Shepp, Sonny Murray, Don Cherry, Albert Ayler, Bobby Bradford, Milford Graves, and many others.



What is most striking about this collection is Baraka's locating of aesthetic innovations in jazz forms—the "harmolodic" orchestration of Coleman, the chord-painting of Coltrane, the New Orleans second-line overblowing of Ayler—within the political economy of black music, its tension with the commercial world, and the rich lineage of struggle and human experience in Black America. The performances chronicled in the book, the record reviews, and interviews reflect the free jazz commitment to total freedom on both the social and artistic fronts. Baraka's style avoids the esoteric or purely academic critical approach that was very popular among (predominantly European) critics of the avant-garde in the 1960s:

"Another hopeless flaw in a great deal of the writing about jazz that has been done over the years is that in most cases the writers, the jazz critics, have been anything but intellectuals (in the most complete sense of that word). Most jazz critics began as hobbyists or boyishly brash members of the American petit bourgeoisie, whose only claim to any understanding about the music was that they knew it was different; or else they had once been brave enough to make a trip into a Negro slum to hear their favorite instrumentalist defame Western musical tradition...The blues and jazz aesthetic, to be fully understood, must be seen in as nearly its complete human context as possible. People made bebop. The question the critic must ask is: why?"

For more about BLACK MUSIC, Amiri Baraka, author events, or to purchase the book direct, CLICK HERE



LeROI JONES (now known as Amiri Baraka) is the author of numerous books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. He was named Poet Laureate of New Jersey by the New Jersey Commission on Humanities, from 2002-2004. His recent short story collection, Tales of the Out & the Gone, was a New York Times Editors' Choice and won a 2008 PEN/Beyond Margins Award. His 1960s essay collection Home was recently reissued by Akashic Books. He lives in Newark, New Jersey.

THIS POST WRITTEN BY STAR AKASHIC INTERN JASON HUETTNER!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Akashic West Coast Book Tour: The REAL Story

By James Greer

I don’t know Mark Gluth (Glith? Gl├╝th? Gloth? Rhymes with sloth? Got me), nor have I ever met him. He might be a really nice guy, for all I know, or he may be a serial killer. I’d say it’s an even bet either way. And I can’t read his inscrutable Calibri 11 point summary above (I have bad eyes), so I can’t really comment on its many inaccuracies. Although I did quickly scan the pictures to see if there were any of me. And there were! Thanks, Mork! Oh, wait... were you the guy with the really cool wife who can’t parallel park? Now I remember. Milk was the dude who kept going up to the podium after I was done and reading from some dead lady’s book. I’m like, “Can’t you write something of your own?” I think it was called The Late Work of Marge Simpson, which is doubly ridiculous, because Marge Simpson isn’t even dead. Get a TV, Murk. I must say, though, I was kind of stunned after security forced me to sit down and listen: Marge Simpson can write, people! I mean, her book was amazing. I admit I did not understand half of what I was hearing, because I’m stupid. But. Fantastic stuff, and not at all what I would expect coming from the brain of a cartoon.

This was in Los Angeles, at a place called Book Soup, which features nothing I could recognize as soup, and Moby. Dennis Cooper, the famous American smoker, was there, too. Man, the ego on that guy. ”I’m Dennis Fucking Cooper.” That’s practically all he said, ever. I thought I was through with rock star egos after Guided By Voices toured in Germany with Tocotronic, from Hamburg, who basically refused to speak English, or pretended they couldn’t, same thing. As you can imagine, the car ride to San Francisco was a real blast. “I’m Dennis Fucking Cooper. Where’s my gold-plated food?” “I’m Murk Goth. I stole Marge Simpson’s life work.” I put on my iPod, which I had found in the seat next to me at Book Soup, to drown out the chatter, only to find that the only music on it was Rush’s 2112, which I recently discovered has a lot of Ayn Rand references on it. She didn’t believe in God, so I hate her.

[Note to Akashic: please insert a picture of the banned Beatles cover with the chopped up baby parts here to illustrate my point. Thanks.]

Next stop: San Francisco. The Windy City. Home of the Blues.. Some guy with a clearly fake moustache calling himself “John Waters,” (like that’s a real name) would NOT stop talking to me. He asked if I owned two pairs of underwear, which is the only normal question I heard the entire book tour. We read at a place called City Lights, I guess named after that one Journey song, and I’d like to tell you how it went but “John Waters” slipped me a roofie and I blacked out until the next morning, when I woke up in the bathroom of a guy named Michael Karo, who was staring at me, which I found unnerving. Dennis Fucking Cooper bailed on us, mumbling something about being “allergic to Portland,” and I got violently carsick several times before we even left the city. By this time I was starting to really get into 2112. Who is John Galt, anyway? Seems like a decent kid.

[Note to Akashic: please insert a picture of John Galt here.]

So. Portland. Here’s what I remember about Portland: a lot of angry alcoholics and some kind of vegan tiramisu that tasted like twice-chewed cardboard. Other than that, we found ourselves in a mysterious city whose only residents seemed to be books. This is a picture of Portland that I took with my mind:




Exactly. Onwards to Seattle, which is situated near the Arctic Circle, as anyone with a third grade education (like me) knows. Oh, what times we had in Seattle! Not on this tour, but on previous visits. This time, no one would let me climb Mount Saint Helens, nor would they let me search the forests for Bigfoot, who is a personal friend and will likely take my failure to visit him as an insult and come to Los Angeles and eat me. Instead, we ended up in some weird cabaret space, like the one from the movie Cabaret except without Joel Grey (also a personal friend, and also inhumanly hungry, for obvious reasons). I had to read from my book, and then this Goth guy got up and stumbled over literally every word in not-his book in front of what I’m told was his entire family, who were much better looking than him so I’m not buying it.

[Note to Akashic: please insert a picture of some ridiculously good-looking people here to illustrate the difference between Merk and his so-called family.]

Afterwards we ended up in some kind of diner, or bar, or both, and as usual I ended up paying for everything because, well, everyone else left and I was stuck with the bill. Somehow I made it back to the Bates Motel, where I did not take a shower, because a) I’m not that stupid, and b) who takes showers?

Jeez Louise, who am I kidding? This was maybe the best book tour in the history of book tours, and if you missed it I feel really sorry for you in a fleeting way. Mark’s book The Late Work of Margaret Kroftis is much better than my book The Failure, although they are both worth paying any amount to purchase, and Dennis Cooper was a supernally gracious host and, as everyone knows, maybe the best living American writer. It was both an honor and a pleasure to spend time in his company. My thanks to Mark, his wife Erin, to everyone at Akashic who worked to make this happen. and of course to Dennis, and my apologies to anyone who I might have offended by my boorish book tour hijinks. I had every intention of behaving myself on our brief trip, but we all know the road to hell is paved with my behavior. I’ll be in the Midwest and the East Coast in May, sadly without Mark, Erin, or Dennis, but because video evidence of our City Lights appearance seems to be making the internet rounds, maybe you can watch that and when you come to my reading pretend it’s just as interesting. That, at any rate, is the hope.