Friday, September 23, 2011


Please Take Me Off the Guest List is now available in eBook
format, for only $5.99, from iTunes,, B&N, etc!

Please see below to read a new essay by Zachary Lipez
written exclusively for the Akashic Books blog.

It’s a disappointing time to be alive if only because we’re all going to die. Whenever I feel inclined to be disappointed in the Obama presidency or the rapidity of the freezer burn on my ice cream, I ask myself, “Is this as disappointing as my inevitable death? As the death of my loved ones?” I throw in the “loved ones” part as a concession to the possibility of a nosy god; in reality my loved ones are a distant second in my terrified concern. Maybe even a close third to Christopher Hitchens. The thought of that guy alone, shirtless in front of his mirror on a sunny Thursday afternoon, probably staring for hours as the ice in his gimlet melts, fills me with an existential sorrow that my entire extended family in a cliff-bound Greyhound just can’t match. Sorry, Mom. I’ll visit soon. Please make that peanut dip I love so much.

So what to do when death looms on the mind and with it the promise of the richly deserved perdition of unbaptised babies and privileged layabouts? Why, we look to the future. Just like our daddies did when they weren’t avoiding the draft, fetishizing album art, and laying the fetid groundwork for Graydon Carter’s career. Our daddies were smart, in their fashion, and we wouldn’t have all these ones and zeros without them. So thanks, parents, all your weird racist bullshit was totally worth it ‘cuz now we have computo-books. Or whatever they’re called.

Please Take Me Off the Guest List, the collaborative book that I did with Stacy Wakefield and Nick Zinner is now a computo-book. It glows, it flickers, in a hundred years it will have your job, puny human. Stacy made Nick’s photos pop and the text wiz; the design has retained its clever (and not that awful new kind of clever but the original kind—the kind that built the labyrinth) charm.

The computo- book is priced for the Endless Recession. You can even pay in Euros if you’re Beyonce.

Oh yeah, the iTunes version includes three songs that were initially just on a limited edition 7” that one could purchase with the physical, three dimensional, real world book. The record was also in all three dimensions. The songs are in, like, five, man. They were written and performed in one day in one basement in one upstate New York. The people who wrote and performed them are not important. It’s the songs that matter, again, man.

To make this blog post worth your valuable time, I’ve included an illustration by Nate Turbow. He is a character in one of the stories in Please Take Me Off the Guest List. His general spirit pervades it. His illustration should not be taken as his specific reaction to reading the book but a more universal sense of dismay that, god willing, you will all feel when feeling its warm digital light upon you. Or, embracing the newness, parlance, and crudity of these awful, awful times, “up in you.”

Please Take Me Off the Guest List—now built for end times and priced for the decline. Enjoy!

Text by Zachary Lipez; illustration by Nate Turbow (

Friday, September 9, 2011

Akashic Books at Brooklyn Book Festival

Akashic Books is thrilled to participate in the 2011 Brooklyn Book Festival!
Please see below for our list of author appearances,
and click here for more information!

-- Fri., Sept. 16, 7:30pm --

Ricardo Cortes, Kevin Holohan, Nelson George, Mr. Fish, Persia Walker, Elizabeth Nunez, Tim McLoughlin, and Eliza Factor will attend the Brooklyn Indie Party at Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton St.

-- Sun., Sept. 18 --

* All events take place around Brooklyn Borough Hall Plaza *

10:00am, St. Francis Auditorium
Randall Robinson, author of Makeda, will appear on a panel titled "At the End of the Story" with A.M. Holmes (
The Mistress's Daughter), and Nicole Krauss (Great House)

10:00am, St. Francis Screening Room
Kevin Holohan, author of The Brothers' Lot, will appear on a panel titled "Kids on the Skids" with authors Tayari Jones (
Silver Sparrow) and Justin Torres (We the Animals)

11:00am, Borough Hall Courtroom
Nelson George, author of The Plot Against Hip Hop, will appear in conversation with Mary Karr (
Lit: A Memoir), moderated by Tim McLoughlin (editor of Brooklyn Noir)

11:00am, St. Francis Auditorium
Colin Channer, author of The Girl with the Golden Shoes, will appear in conversation with Russell Banks (
Lost Memory of Skin)

11:00am, St. Francis McArdle Hall
Elizabeth Nunez, author of Boundaries, will appear on "The Good, the Bad, and the Family" panel, with authors Sergio Troncoso and Tom Perrotta

2:00pm, St. Francis Auditorium
Nina Revoyr, author of Wingshooters, will appear on the "Worlds of Personal" panel, with Joyce Carol Oates, editor of New Jersey Noir, and Jonathan Safran Foer

2:00pm, St. Francis Screening Room
Adam Mansbach, author of Go the Fuck to Sleep, will on the "Politically Incorrect Parenting" panel, with authors Ta-Nehisi Coates (
The Beautiful Struggle), Alice Bradley (Let's Panic About Babies), and Jennifer Senior (All Joy No Fun: Why Parents Hate Parenting)

2:00pm, Borough Hall Courtroom
Marlon James, author of John Crow's Devil, will moderate the "Drawn From History" panel featuring authors Esmeralda Santiago, John Sayles, and Terese Svoboda

3:00pm, Borough Hall Courtroom
Persia Walker, author of Black Orchid Blues, will appear on "The Urban Underbelly" panel, with authors Pete Hamill (
Tabloid City) and Mukoma Wa Ngugi (Nairobi Heat)

3:00pm, St. Anne's Church
David L. Ulin, editor of Cape Cod Noir, will moderate the "Gumshoes" panel, featuring authors Eoin Colfer (
Plugged) and Walter Mosely (When the Thrill Is Gone)

4:00pm, Borough Hall Courtroom
Randall Robinson, author of Makeda, will appear on the "Truth Versus Memory" panel, with authors Myla Goldberg (
The False Friend), and Tea Obreht (The Tiger's Wife)

4:00pm, St. Francis McArdle Hall
Nina Revoyr, author of Wingshooters, will appear on the "Sins and Indiscretions" panel, with authors Sheri Homan and Terry McMillan

5:00pm, Borough Hall Courtroom
Persia Walker, author of Black Orchid Blues, will appear on a panel presented by The Center for Fiction: Criminal Intent, also featuring authors Lawrence Block, Susan Isaacs, and Peter Blauner, moderated by Jonathan Santlofer

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sneak Peek: MAKEDA by Randall Robinson

Akashic Books is proud to present an excerpt from MAKEDA,
by Randall Robinson, the debut novel in our Open Lens imprint!

"Hypnotic . . . one of the finest novels this year . . .
[Robinson] is a gifted storyteller." --Essence

(click to enlarge images)