Blog about acquiring a Vintage Contemporaries edition of Barry Hannah’s Airships. (Special guest appearance by David Berman.)

I’ve been a big fan of the Vintage Contemporaries 1980s series for ages now. The books were easily available, cheap and used, in the nineties, and I first read Raymond Carver and Jay McInerney in VC editions, later adding novels by Denis Johnson, Don DeLillo, Jerzy Kosinski to the burgeoning collection. I was thrilled to… Continue reading Blog about acquiring a Vintage Contemporaries edition of Barry Hannah’s Airships. (Special guest appearance by David Berman.)

A Short Riff on Those Horrid, Wonderful Vintage Contemporaries Paperbacks of the 1980s

I’ve been a fan of Vintage Contemporaries for years. I’m pretty sure the first one I ever picked up was Raymond Carver’s Cathedral. I recall being vaguely dismayed about the cover and trying to find another used edition, but thrift won out. This was in the early or mid nineties, and book design was trending toward a… Continue reading A Short Riff on Those Horrid, Wonderful Vintage Contemporaries Paperbacks of the 1980s

Joy Williams’s State of Grace (Book acquired, 22 Feb. 2021–and some covers of books unacquired)

I did a Big Clean a weekend or two past, including a thorough dusting of shelves. I always try to purge titles that I know I’ll never read, reread, or that I have no real attachment to. I filled a box with about 25 books, mostly novels, mostly paperbacks, and took it to my favorite… Continue reading Joy Williams’s State of Grace (Book acquired, 22 Feb. 2021–and some covers of books unacquired)

Leonard Gardner’s Fat City (Book acquired, 12 Nov. 2020)

I’ve been wanting to read Leonard Gardner’s Fat City for a while, and how could I pass up this Vintage Contemporaries edition? I think I first heard of the book years ago in conjunction with its influence on Denis Johnson. In Salon, in 1996, Johnson wrote, or gushed, really– Exactly which year of the 1960s the book came out,… Continue reading Leonard Gardner’s Fat City (Book acquired, 12 Nov. 2020)

John Brunner’s Stand on Zanzibar (Book acquired, 28 Aug. 2020)

I usually allow myself to peruse my favorite used bookstore every other Friday, poking around for weird finds and etc. I had no luck this week—nothing like a Vintage Contemporaries Barry Hannah—but they did have a copy of John Brunner’s 1968 novel Stand on Zanzibar, which I’d been searching (not-too-hard) for for a few years now.… Continue reading John Brunner’s Stand on Zanzibar (Book acquired, 28 Aug. 2020)

Three Books

Taking Care by Joy Williams. 1985 trade paperback from Vintage Contemporaries. Cover design by Lorraine Louie. Cover illustration by Rick Lovell. I read this book earlier this year. It’s really great. I reviewed it on this site, writing— These are stories of domestic doom and incipient madness, alcoholism and lost pets. There’s humor here, but… Continue reading Three Books

Roberto Bolaño/Joy Williams (Books acquired, 8 Feb. 2019)

My expectations for The Spirit of Science Fiction, Roberto Bolaño’s latest the posthumous novel are somewhat measured, but I’m excited to read it nonetheless. It’s new in English translation by Natasha Wimmer, who of course translated Bolaño’s other big novels, including 2666 and The Savage Detectives. My intuition is that The Spirit of Science Fiction will read like a dress… Continue reading Roberto Bolaño/Joy Williams (Books acquired, 8 Feb. 2019)

Three Books (Possibly Cult Novels)

  Trans-Atlantyk by Witold Gombrowicz. English translation by Carolyn French and Nina Karsov. Trade paperback by Yale University Press, 1994. Cover design by Lorenzo Ottaviani. I reviewed Trans-Atlantyk here. Steps by Jerzy Kosinski. Another Vintage Contemporaries edition, 1988. Cover design by Lorraine Louie; illustration by Chris Moore. I reviewed Steps here. The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll by Álvaro Mutis.… Continue reading Three Books (Possibly Cult Novels)

Three Books

The Dick Gibson Show by Stanley Elkin. 1983 trade paperback by E.P. Dutton/Obelisk. Cover design by Janet Halverson. I finished Elkin’s The Franchiser this week and started this one this week. The Names by Don DeLillo. 1989 trade paperback by Vintage Contemporaries (God I love Vintage Contemporaries wonderful awful covers)God I love Vintage Contemporaries wonderful awful… Continue reading Three Books