NYRB Publishing

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but these books are really well made.

Not totally stupid. I'm not in publishing or anything but I read a healthy number of books and the fact that one new (to me, of course) house was putting out or re-publishing so many books that I enjoyed struck me as, if nothing else, good business. Reprints can't be all that expensive to get the rights to, the forwards are not inane nor spoiler-filled, the covers, font, and general quality are excellent. I don't mean to make a huge deal out of it but when a boutique-y place like this has provided me such pleasure, I figured I'd just see if anyone else liked them, too.

Le présent se dégrade, d'abord en histoire, puis en (Michael White), Friday, 24 July 2009 15:47 (fourteen years ago) link

i think i posted this cover on the moomin thread, but i will do so again. i would like a print of this.


caek, Friday, 24 July 2009 15:48 (fourteen years ago) link

i have complained elsewhere that the john collier collection is among the worst books i have bought new in the past decade in terms of print quality and readability. typographically the forward is ok but looks like it was printed on a cheap laser printer. i assume this is how the other NYRB books look. but the content itself is awful. looks like they xeroxed a second hand copy (which is probably not far from the truth).

caek, Friday, 24 July 2009 15:50 (fourteen years ago) link

I've bought a bunch of these that I still haven't got around to including the L.P. Hartley trilogy, a Patrick Hamilton and one of those Corvo books. Oh yeah, and the Dud Avocado.

Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 24 July 2009 15:53 (fourteen years ago) link

but the content itself is awful

the appearance of the content, i mean. the stories are great.

caek, Friday, 24 July 2009 15:53 (fourteen years ago) link

(if a little racist)

caek, Friday, 24 July 2009 15:53 (fourteen years ago) link

i think a lot of them--and this seems to be true of a lot of smaller (and i assume poorer) boutique and academic publishers like verso--seem to just re-use the same type setting as whatever the last edition was, which can lead to v jarring differences in font, spacing, layout etc., among books ostensibly in the same series

max, Friday, 24 July 2009 15:56 (fourteen years ago) link

I love them. They are my favourite classics publishing house by some way. They are nice to look at and often to read, and just have the most interesting titles. Some random favourites: The Glass Bees, The Invention of Morel, The Lore and language of Schoolchildren, A Month in the Country, all that Simenon. But I'd have to look at my shelves. Oh - the Notebooks of Joseph Joubert. And yes, Tim Robinson, absolutely. And Kaputt!

(Londoners: generally a lot of NYRB remainders upstairs in the Gower St. Waterstone's)

woofwoofwoof, Friday, 24 July 2009 15:59 (fourteen years ago) link

thanks for the tip

caek, Friday, 24 July 2009 16:01 (fourteen years ago) link

i read the invention of morel and was not really feelin it tbh

max, Friday, 24 July 2009 16:01 (fourteen years ago) link

Really? THat's too bad. Love that one and The Glass Bees.

Good point about the jarring fonts of others. Also good point by M. White about the forewords and afterwords.

Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 24 July 2009 16:03 (fourteen years ago) link

One publishing house that I've gone off is Europa Editions. They've got some good Italian stuff, but a lot of what they put out is just kind of Euro-bestsellers with some dusting of intellectual pretension.

Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 24 July 2009 16:06 (fourteen years ago) link

Been meaning to read That Awful Mess, but I'm afraid it will just go on the shelf next to the others I've gotta get around to.

Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 24 July 2009 16:09 (fourteen years ago) link


I liked Morel a lot a few years ago - for me got the mix of reality-twisting oddness and 19th-century Stevenson-y island adventure about right (ie it worked as middle-distance Borges), but I think I was moping about unobtainable women at the time so I might find it a bit less appealing now.

Haven't got more than a few pages into his one about a dog though.

woofwoofwoof, Friday, 24 July 2009 16:12 (fourteen years ago) link

I enjoyed 'The Awful Mess...', but from what I gather, it's what Bierce disdainfully referred to as 'novel in dialect' - apparently Gaddo captured Roman slang really, really well though how you would translate that is a complete mystery to me.

Is 'Morel' by Bioy Casares? Wasn't he pals w/Borges or something?

Le présent se dégrade, d'abord en histoire, puis en (Michael White), Friday, 24 July 2009 16:14 (fourteen years ago) link

Yes, they were great mates I believe. Also collaborated with him on some stories. So Morel being Borges-y is very understandable, but I meant it's successful in that - doesn't seem like a rip, seems to be synthesising the same stuff well over a different length.

woofwoofwoof, Friday, 24 July 2009 16:23 (fourteen years ago) link

borges wrote an intro to morel, that i believe is included in the NYRB edition

i was disappointed by morel in part because it was recommended to me very highly--it had the borgesian plot mechanics w/out the economy of style that makes borges so gripping; i felt like the man himself could have done the same thing twice as well in half as many pages

max, Friday, 24 July 2009 16:25 (fourteen years ago) link

Well, that is Borges' forte, isn't it?

Le présent se dégrade, d'abord en histoire, puis en (Michael White), Friday, 24 July 2009 16:44 (fourteen years ago) link

i would read all these nyrb books.

seriously, they all look appealing to me. of the ones i've seen.

scott seward, Friday, 24 July 2009 18:39 (fourteen years ago) link

Well, that is Borges' forte, isn't it?

Indeed. He could have done it infinitely better with no pages.

Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 24 July 2009 18:40 (fourteen years ago) link

Warlock by Oakley Hall

^^^ i think this may be the only one of these i read but it was dope. oh - looking ive also read the stephen leacock nonsense novels, which was okay.

here comes the slug line (Lamp), Friday, 24 July 2009 18:47 (fourteen years ago) link

For those who enjoyed Morel, I also recommend his similarly Wells-ian Plan of Escape. His later stuff I don't like too much.

Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 24 July 2009 18:55 (fourteen years ago) link

Oh, Michael, I really liked The Dud Avacado -- you recommend the other Dundy as well?

It's true, these things have always looked a cut above, from the get-go.

nabisco, Friday, 24 July 2009 20:33 (fourteen years ago) link

Cesare Pavese - The Moon and the Bonfire

Really on the WILL WILL read: Victor Serge - The Unforgiving Years, and Henry De Montherlant

As for the Gadda - The 'mess' is part of the point and integral, but this seems amplified by the almost impossible job of translation of those linguistic puns! Still it does hold its fascination and the guy has written widely on a range of topics. I really hope that bringing this translation out will mean more novels and writings to come in English, but I do fear it was the wrong book of his to bring out, as much as I liked it.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 24 July 2009 20:36 (fourteen years ago) link

I really liked The Dud Avacado -- you recommend the other Dundy as well?

Yes! Unfortunately it's in England as opposed to France but the plot is neater and the ending far superior to the ending of TDA, which I found a little artlessly abrupt. You can tell that Dundy is more grown-up or something. It's a hoot.

I find Montherlant rather depressing. His prose is rather gorgeous in French but he's such a bitter misogynist.

I seriously, like scott seward, would read almost all of these (except for the translations from the French) but the one that's next for me is probably Zweig's 'The Post-Office Girl'.

It's a posthumous novel, just now translated into English and it's a 2009 PEN Translation Prize Finalist. Also, I just love Zweig.

Le présent se dégrade, d'abord en histoire, puis en (Michael White), Friday, 24 July 2009 20:45 (fourteen years ago) link

yah the zweig u linked sounds fantastic

here comes the slug line (Lamp), Friday, 24 July 2009 20:49 (fourteen years ago) link

turn yr zweig on

max, Friday, 24 July 2009 21:01 (fourteen years ago) link

The Post Office Girl is, indeed, fantastic. I love NYRB--beautiful books, and most of those I've read have been great.

When two tribes go to war, he always gets picked last (James Morrison), Saturday, 25 July 2009 02:40 (fourteen years ago) link

wasn't there a thread on this before?

i have read and enjoyed:

the Joyce Cary trilogy - Herself Surprised/The Horse's Mouth/To be A Pilgrim
Darcy O'Brien - A Way of Life Like Any Other
J.F. Powers - Morte D'Urban
Georges Simenon - Three Bedrooms In Manhattan

velko, Saturday, 25 July 2009 09:14 (fourteen years ago) link

oh yeah, High Wind In Jamaica - Richard Hughes too

and i have The Go-Between on my shelf,bought it a few years ago and forgot it so I will start that in the next couple of weeks

velko, Saturday, 25 July 2009 09:32 (fourteen years ago) link

Darcy O'Brien - A Way of Life Like Any Other

Seconding this. But don't make the same mistake I did and read his true crime books afterward. Which are well written, but will give you unpleasant heebie jeebies for a long time after reading.

Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 25 July 2009 12:17 (fourteen years ago) link

Sleepless Nights by Elizabeth Hardwick
Seconding this one too. Will take this opportunity to recommend Great Granny Webster by Caroline Blackwood. I think they've got another one by her as well.

Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 25 July 2009 12:24 (fourteen years ago) link

i really like the thing mentioned upthread, where the typesetting is a slightly wonky copy of the previous edition's. it's nice to have that reminder of er the history of the book you're reading as a series of previous physical objects


their children's books are occasionally quite gorgeous; i bought this for my nephew and never actually gave it to him


thomp, Saturday, 25 July 2009 15:22 (fourteen years ago) link

Didn't Buzzati write 'The Tartar Steppe'?

Le présent se dégrade, d'abord en histoire, puis en (Michael White), Saturday, 25 July 2009 17:19 (fourteen years ago) link

Think it was called The Desert of The Tartars but yeah, that's the same guy.

Found another one to recommend: The Waste Books by George Chistoph Lichtenberg. Perhaps will post some cherce nuggets in the near future.

Found a bunch more I've purchased but never gotten round to reading. It's a little depressing. Ah, M. White! Ah, humanity!

Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 25 July 2009 22:41 (fourteen years ago) link

one month passes...


!!!!! these dudes have been str8 killing it w/east european translation l8ly

also nice that they put out that mavis gallant collection - penguin canada had a slim and pretty collection of eight stories that i have but this one seems tighter and better chosen also bought memoirs of an anti-semite, vladimir sorkin's ice and the chrysalids (lol)

as the hart pants after the water brooks even so my blashphemous soul (Lamp), Wednesday, 23 September 2009 09:34 (fourteen years ago) link

That's just up my alley

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 23 September 2009 20:48 (fourteen years ago) link

Memoirs of an Anti-Semite and The Chrysalids are arse-kickingly good. Must read Memories of the Future!

When two tribes go to war, he always gets picked last (James Morrison), Wednesday, 23 September 2009 23:43 (fourteen years ago) link

i would like to read memoirs of an anti-semite. i have a couple of these on my shelf that i haven't read (because they're on my shelf...). they're very pretty!

steamed hams (harbl), Wednesday, 23 September 2009 23:46 (fourteen years ago) link

I have been enjoying some of those mid-century novels of the American left, which I barely knew existed: "Clark Gifford's Body" by Kenneth Fearing; "The Unposessed" by Tess Schlesinger; "What's For Dinner" by James Schuyler, that Lionel Trilling novel, all variously fine, I'm sure there were one or two more.

I love publishing houses I can trust when I'm not sure whether to take a punt or not. I recently took a punt on "The Ten Thousand Things" by Maria Dermout, and I was pleased I did. It ended up reminding me of "Sleepless Nights" by E. Hardwick herself, which is somewhere near where we came in.

It's costing me money, though: now I want the nice NYRB editions not inferior editions from elsewhere. Time was I'd have been very pleased to pick up the Virago copy of "The Old Man And Me" available for pennies off Amazon...

Tim, Thursday, 24 September 2009 13:19 (fourteen years ago) link

After reading Stephen Vizinczey's review of The Death of My Brother Abel I don't plan to read anything by von Rezzori.

alimosina, Thursday, 24 September 2009 19:20 (fourteen years ago) link

haha that's funny because i got memoirs out today. but it was the viking edition :(

steamed hams (harbl), Thursday, 24 September 2009 19:39 (fourteen years ago) link

Really good turn for these guys to give away some of the essays for free -- really enjoyed reading Toni Morrison on Camara Laye.

Right now I really want to have a look at the Walser short story collection. Really.

One slight negative => Let me suggest the way its bound/the design of the books doesn't quite suit anything over 250 pages. But I speak as someone who has not given an awful lot of thought to the way books are designed.

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 7 October 2009 21:28 (fourteen years ago) link

vladimir sorokin's ice

this was weird its not "good" but it was surprisingly tense and creepy. i missed my subway stop one night - sunday maybe? - reading part I and i wish that hed kept up with that. the socialist realist parody section was grating i mean i guess it was supposed to be? and the level of contempt is hard to forgive - it feels like a book that has everything figured out and doesnt really want to know its world any better just to heap derision on its many failings. also it was really violent...

im going to try some of the tatyana tolstaya stuff they have next

h3len k. (Lamp), Wednesday, 21 October 2009 03:35 (fourteen years ago) link

Anyone checked out Andrey Platonov? Read an intro to one of the books on the NYRB page, the translator does compare him to Musil/Proust elsewhere but those comparisons always come across as more like blind enthusiasm.

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 21 October 2009 10:00 (fourteen years ago) link

I picked up the NYRB edition of the Opies' Lore and Language of Schoolschildren yesterday (which my Amazon reseller seems to have liberated from Newton le Willows library) which looks fantastic on first glance (includes an extensive etymology and mapping of the use of "fainites"!).

Stevie T, Wednesday, 21 October 2009 10:09 (fourteen years ago) link

Really on the WILL WILL read: Victor Serge - The Unforgiving Years

oh man this is so good, check out his Memoirs of a Revolutionary too.

I've read one Platonov for a class - The Foundation Pit. It's weird as hell and terribly sad. I think I liked it, I was probably the only person in class to finish it. I checked out one of his books of stories which I never really gave a chance to; about 20 pages in it was getting so over-the-top in Russian misery that I was having trouble not laughing, and then I had to return it to the library.

clotpoll, Wednesday, 21 October 2009 10:37 (fourteen years ago) link

I try to get these for the library whenever I see them. Lately we've gotten No Tomorrow by Vivant Denon, The Cost of Living by Mavis Gallant, and Hard Rain Falling by Don Carpenter.

Other paperback publishers who consistently make me happy: New Directions, Editions Gallimard.

Virginia Plain, Thursday, 22 October 2009 02:51 (fourteen years ago) link

I've read one Platonov for a class - The Foundation Pit. It's weird as hell and terribly sad. I think I liked it,

Read, not for a class, but for "fun" -- very sad, very odd, sometimes hard-going, I _think_ I liked it as well.

Summary: a bunch of Soviet workers are digging the foundations for a massive utopian communist self-contained city thing, but it may actually be a Stalinist mass grave

When two tribes go to war, he always gets picked last (James Morrison), Thursday, 22 October 2009 03:42 (fourteen years ago) link

Wonderful achievement for NYRB to bring these out:


xyzzzz__, Friday, 24 January 2020 11:32 (four years ago) link

Definitely! Although I read the less complete but still huge Penguin version years ago and am not strong enough to tackle them a second time.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Friday, 24 January 2020 23:34 (four years ago) link

Yeah that vol (tr. John Glad) was great, and it's good to see his poetry mentioned. There are 20/30 pages on the Penguin Russian Poetry that were a revelation to me. We need a solid edition of those poems.

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 25 January 2020 10:03 (four years ago) link

Oh man,just now at the library I longread a very appealing deacription of this, with strong support from quotes (fave went with reviewer comment along the lines of "This blow, late in the book, breaks open the cloistered atmosphere and charges it with danger"--something like that! Good set-up, author):
https://www.nyrb.com/products/abigail?variant=14728981020724 Will link review if can get it past paywall, as occasionally happens.

dow, Saturday, 25 January 2020 19:52 (four years ago) link

It's Szabo, it'll be great.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Monday, 27 January 2020 06:28 (four years ago) link

four weeks pass...


this is a really fun one

na (NA), Tuesday, 25 February 2020 15:09 (four years ago) link

eight months pass...

Asked the question. This is excellent news.

I’ve translated both. The Silentiary will come out from @nyrbclassics in fall 2021, and The Suicides thereafter (no set pub date yet). Thanks for asking! https://t.co/mgqu7qBbpE

— Esther Allen (@estherlallen) November 20, 2020

xyzzzz__, Friday, 20 November 2020 20:15 (three years ago) link

There's a Flash Sale at NYRB publishing right now. 20% off two titles. 30% off three. 40% off four or more.

The Solace of Fortitude (Aimless), Monday, 23 November 2020 04:25 (three years ago) link

i recommend ‘we think the world of you’ by j.r. ackerley off the sale list. ‘inverted world‘ and ‘party going’ are on there too but most ilxors have read those

flopson, Monday, 23 November 2020 06:40 (three years ago) link

Looked at four I wanted however shipping to the UK is pretty much the 40% saving lol

xyzzzz__, Monday, 23 November 2020 10:57 (three years ago) link

five months pass...

Before the pandemic I'd circle my uni library's original printing of Thomas Mann's Reflections of a Nonpolitical Man. Leave it to fucking NYRB to finally release its first paperback edition, like, ever:


I pick up a copy at my local bookstore tomorrow.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 22 May 2021 19:49 (three years ago) link

Is that his ‘Actually, it was me, not Heinrich, who was brave all along? ‘ book?

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Monday, 24 May 2021 01:24 (three years ago) link

lol the og 'actually, I was brave and right to support the invasion of Iraq'

one year passes...

What was that in the sky? A flash? Must be the NYRB Classics Summer Flash Sale! Up to 40% off list price. Free shipping on orders of $50 or more within the US. https://t.co/cMPrY3Wl6c pic.twitter.com/kBisVepIxZ

— NYRB Classics (@nyrbclassics) June 30, 2022

deep luminous trombone (Eazy), Monday, 4 July 2022 19:17 (two years ago) link

three months pass...
eight months pass...

Very funny bitching about nyrb.


xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 18 July 2023 14:07 (one year ago) link

Review of the novel was fairly convincing tbh.

As to the bitching it was just something to put upfront. Publishing is looking to make stuff happen. Which includes some forgotten things, if you feel they are now again the fashion.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 18 July 2023 14:10 (one year ago) link

What the editors declare a “classic” is almost certainly a subcanonical instance of Europe’s endlessly dying modernism or its American imitations.

Sounds great to me.

This relentless pushing of Elizabeth Taylor novels -- I feel smothered.

— Moderna Love Gets Me to the Church on Time (@SotoAlfred) July 18, 2023

the dreaded dependent claus (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 18 July 2023 14:16 (one year ago) link

that Tablet piece is like a book world version of "Pitchfork is Dumb..."

I'd rather they publish more translation than reissue Anglo literary writing but they are already doing a lot.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 18 July 2023 14:37 (one year ago) link


— Chris (@CMccafe) July 17, 2023

mookieproof, Tuesday, 18 July 2023 22:32 (one year ago) link

The resolution of the photo is so bad I can't read most of the titles . . . or maybe it's just my eyes. At any rat, I do see that The House of Mirth is the bottom title. I'd be OK being ruled over by Edith Wharton.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Tuesday, 18 July 2023 23:43 (one year ago) link


immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Tuesday, 18 July 2023 23:43 (one year ago) link

Actually, it's The New York Stories of Edith Wharton lol

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Tuesday, 18 July 2023 23:44 (one year ago) link

Start of that Tablet piece is so astonishingly dumb, can't imagine why you'd want to read to the end.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Wednesday, 19 July 2023 00:01 (one year ago) link

Edith Wharton would have no problem ruling over us all tbc

the dreaded dependent claus (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 19 July 2023 00:02 (one year ago) link

I tried to read the Susan Tubes novel Divorcing, referenced in the review xyzz posted. A very sixties experimental stream of consciousness novel, which sounds good on paper but I found it just too baggy, verbose, formless. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for that kind of thing at the time. The story around it is an eye-opener though, she committed suicide 2 weeks after publication - possibly because of a bad review in the NYT, and Susan Sontag identified the body!

Zelda Zonk, Wednesday, 19 July 2023 00:10 (one year ago) link

Taubes not Tubes, thanks autocorrect

Zelda Zonk, Wednesday, 19 July 2023 00:11 (one year ago) link

Is Inverted World in there?

Live and Left Eye (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 19 July 2023 00:11 (one year ago) link

While browsing in bookstores, I always get fooled by those red-spine Vintage classic paperbacks that look identical to NYRB paperbacks from the spine, with same typeface and everything. I guess its an intentional homage?

o. nate, Friday, 28 July 2023 18:40 (eleven months ago) link

A few favourites that I don't think have been mentioned so far:

Emmanuel Bove - My Friends
Friedrich Reck-Malleczewen - Diary of a Man in Despair
Alberto Moravia - Boredom and Contempt
Ivo Andric - Omer Pasha Latas
G B Edwards - The Book of Ebenezer Le Page
Rose Macaulay - The Towers of Trebizond

gravalicious, Sunday, 30 July 2023 13:14 (eleven months ago) link

Ebenezer Le Page is amazing.

JoeStork, Sunday, 30 July 2023 16:27 (eleven months ago) link

finally read it a couple of years ago, & yes^

no lime tangier, Sunday, 30 July 2023 23:21 (eleven months ago) link

Since twitter is wild west at the moment, I'm going to pipe up to say that those of you who are dragging Tove Jansson for not being sufficiently "adult" in her writing are showing if not your whole ass, a good portion of it.

— NYRB Classics (@nyrbclassics) August 11, 2023

That poll has been quite something..

It's not even wild west, it's just "book twitter".

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 13 August 2023 10:24 (eleven months ago) link

I'd rather they publish more translation than reissue Anglo literary writing but they are already doing a lot.

they do pretty good though on the translation front imo -- they can't be selling too much Ivo Andric but there he is! tons of super edgelord lit types like to hate on nyrb for what amount imo to not being edgelordy enough

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Sunday, 13 August 2023 13:54 (eleven months ago) link

I love this review of Johnson's Anniversaries. It's very good at describing the book, gives a sense of the achievement as well as it's potential flaws, and does this with a good level of precision. It matches a lot of my reading of it.


xyzzzz__, Sunday, 13 August 2023 21:49 (eleven months ago) link

xp - is edgelord lit like William Burroughs/the Beats?

xyzzzz__, Monday, 14 August 2023 10:11 (eleven months ago) link

nah yknow I mean this is now a v dated reference but ny tyrant types, of whom there are a good handful

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Monday, 14 August 2023 10:42 (eleven months ago) link

wild western canon still includes blood meridian

close encounters of the third knid (darraghmac), Monday, 14 August 2023 11:15 (eleven months ago) link

three weeks pass...

The Alvaro Mutis is all time.

May the memory of Edith Grossman be a blessing! What a dear professor, and an incredible titan in world literature. Her translations provided terrifying and melancholic worlds. pic.twitter.com/ZCbfYHMCui

— Zach Issenberg (@ZIssenberg) September 4, 2023

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 5 September 2023 08:11 (ten months ago) link

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