OR Books

5 swank stalls of roaring!

1.This dork will grant you a Lorrie Moore book.

2. We don’t want your damn glowing buoy things in our river, arty-farty.

3. Oh no we copy edited The Broken Plate 7 full times and should have done 8. Sweet mag but we konked up some of the table of contents. Like the page #s might not match the author’s work. Uh, sorry.

4. Publisher Or Books has had enough of Amazon’s bullshit.

5. I almost forgot to mention Tao Lin. Whew. Hold up. Here’s a classical album on Ebay. Art work, something.

Random / 10 Comments
March 23rd, 2010 / 10:36 am

Collected Fictions of Gordon Lish

Wow. Forthcoming from OR Books. [via Clusterflock]

In literary America, to utter the name Gordon Lish in a conversation is like adding hot sauce to a meal. You either enjoy the zesty experience, one that pushes your limits or you prefer to stay away. Its Lish who, first as fiction editor at Esquire magazine (where he earned the nickname Captain Fiction) and then at the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, shaped the work of many of the country’s foremost writers, from Raymond Carver and Barry Hannah to Amy Hempel and Lily Tuck.

And as a writer himself, Lish’s stripped-down, brutally spare style earns accolades in increasing numbers. His oeuvre is coming to be recognized as among the most significant of the period that spans the transition between the 20th and 21st centuries. Kirkus Reviews wrote of his last collection that “Lish…is still our Joyce, our Beckett, our most true modernist.”

This definitive collection of Lishs short work includes a new foreword by the author and 106 stories, many of which Lish has revised exclusively for this edition. His observations are in turn achingly sad and wryly funny as they spark recognition of our common, clumsy humanity. There are no heroes here, except, perhaps, for all of us, as we muddle our way through life: they are stories of unfaithful husbands, inadequate fathers, restless children and writing teachers, men lost in their middle age: more often than not first-person tales narrated by one “Gordon Lish.” The take on life is bemused, satirical, and relentlessly accurate; the language unadorned: the result is a model of modernist prose and a volume of enduring literary craftsmanship.

Publication April 30, 2010 546 pages
Paperback $17 Ebook $10
Paperback and ebook $22

Author Spotlight & Presses / 34 Comments
March 15th, 2010 / 4:24 pm

New Excellent Crawl

“He’d say, ‘If it is familiar, it has not eaten you yet.’ ” -on cognitive fluency and disfluency.

GW: My only interest in photographing is photography. That’s really the answer. -an interview with photographer Garry Winogrand.

Yes yes yes! Bookforum editor and The Awl contributor Chris Lehmann has signed a book deal with Or Books–he’s expanding Rich People Things, a series originally for The Awl. Details here. Congratulations, Chris!

Weak human + machine + better process was superior to a strong computer alone and, more remarkably, superior to a strong human + machine + inferior process. -Garry Kasparov on chess and computers.


Writing the Great American Video Game.

Random / 9 Comments
February 5th, 2010 / 8:08 pm

Two Publishing Stories

John Oakes (among other things the former editor of Four Walls Eight Windows) is at the Huffington Post talking about his new publishing venture, OR Books. “Imagine taking the guesswork out of publishing. Imagine a publisher printing only to fulfill orders, and with a minimum of waste; imagine further a system that sidesteps warehouses, wholesalers, and even–at least at the outset of a book’s life–bookstores and online retailers. This would be a process wherein the publisher focuses on developing ideas into workable manuscripts, carefully editing them–and, above all, devoting substantial resources to marketing the finished product. These tasks were once the exclusive province of publishers, but in the last twenty years or so, development and editing have increasingly fallen to agents, and marketing has become the responsibility of authors themselves.”

Jason Diamond, editor of Vol. 1, offers a Kaddish for  Jewish Zines. “Beyond the pictures of Roseanne dressed like Hitler, and the ads showing a tefillin-wrapped arm with a needle plunging into the vein–which even as a non-observant Jew made me pretty uncomfortable–my time with Heeb has brought one incredibly positive change into my life: it’s helped me become comfortable with my place in the “Jewish world.”

Uncategorized / 2 Comments
December 4th, 2009 / 11:14 am