(Just a Really Great Grab of) Books Acquired, 11.18.2011

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See, this is why I go to my favorite local bookshop at least once once. (It doesn’t hurt that it’s like a mile from my house). I read Lillian Smith’s memoir Killers of the Dream back in grad school, but I checked my copy out from the school library (being like, a poor grad student and whatnot, and Biblioklept not being established enough to rack up, uh, free books). Anyway, this is one of the best covers I think I’ve ever seen; Doubleday seems to be taking a cue from Penguin here. The design is simple, elegant, and appropriately horrific. Anyway, I picked up Smith’s book because I had wanted to use a few passages from it for a particular class I was teaching, but I when I looked for it I realized I didn’t it own it. So. Anyway. If you haven’t read Killers, I highly recommend it: “groundbreaking” would be an understatement here. Smith plumbs the strange hypocrisies of Jim Crow South; more straightforward than Faulkner but equally affecting.

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I have a little list I keep in my wallet. It’s ragged and rumpled, and some names are cribbed there in a meandering webby calligraphy that would prove to any team of forensic writing analysts that I cannot write by hand. Anyway, Michel Houllebecq (or, if we’re being honest, a bizarre corruption of that last name) has been on that list for a while—so I was happy to snap this one up. The cover is Ballardian, or maybe, more accurately, Cronenebergian (Cronenbergesque?). More forthcoming.

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Just Kids: Patti Smith: Robert Mapplethorpe: I was looking under Biographies for Lillian Smith: found this: c’mon, you know this won the Nat’l BA: (or the sticker should tip you): will check out the fuss: extraneous colon: :

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