Hawthorn & Child

I’m decidedly curious about this book, publishing from New Directions in September. I head Tom Roberge talking about it during the fall (the way he was talking about it, it brought to mind David Peace’s Red Riding Quartet). If it’s half as good as he made it sound, then it’s going to be a hell of a book. And, judging from this, I’m not the only one who’s curious.

It’s not often that we announce future publications prior to publicly sharing a forthcoming season’s list, but this is a special case, prompted by a gathering curiosity among American readers that has resulted in queries in the form of emails, tweets, and questions over cocktails at totally unrelated events. So, for everyone who has asked, yes, we will be publishing Irish author Keith Ridgway’s Hawthorn & Child, which was published by Granta books back in July of 2012.

We first heard about the book back in April and immediately got our hands on the Granta edition. Within a week, half of the New Directions staff had read the mesmerizing book, and all of us were cooing over it in the hallways. A couple of weeks after that we got the rights and were thoroughly pleased about it. This is absolutely a New Directions book, and we think those of you who’ve fallen in love with Javier Marías or Roberto Bolaño or László Krasznahorkai as much as we did will agree. Wholeheartedly.

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This was the most often sited book that should have been Booker longlisted last year.

I’ve read Ridgway before and have had my eye on this one for a while. Glad and suprised that ND is picking it up.


The Surrender is Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning his lifelong desire to be a woman.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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