Esopus Books Announces the Publication of The Esopus Reader
A Collection of Writing from Esopus, 2003-2018
Publication Date: February 15, 2022
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New York, NY, February 1, 2022––Esopus Books is pleased to announce The Esopus Reader (February 2022, 448 pp., US$32), a selection of some of the most outstanding writing from the groundbreaking arts publication Esopus over the course of its 25-issue run (2003-2018). The hardcover book includes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, critical essays, interviews and other written materials by many writers who got their first break in the arts publication. The book is available for purchase at independent bookstores, Amazon, and directly from the Esopus website (www.esopus.org).
Esopus editor Tod Lippy felt that such a book was long overdue, stating recently, “I am intensely proud of the remarkable range of written material featured in Esopus—much of it appearing in issues that have been sold out for years—and this book seemed like an effective way to bring some of the best writing of the past several decades to an entirely new audience.”
The book’s contents presents all 11 installments of Esopus’s “New Voices” series, which featured fiction written by never-before-published authors, many of whom have since gone on to publish novels and short-story collections with major imprints, including Stuart Nadler (The Inseparables, Little, Brown), Vivien Shotwell (Vienna Nocturne, Random House), and Lev AC Rosen (Camp, Little, Brown—which will soon be an HBO Max film directed by and starring Billy Porter).
Also included are essays by creators from a wide range of disciplines who explore particular aspects of their creative process. In “Haunted,” choreographer Christopher Wheeldon details the challenges of crafting a series of ballets to the music of composer Gy rgi Ligeti. In “Cuoca,” acclaimed chef Jody Williams (Via Carota, Buvette) relates her experience of learning the basics of Italian cooking at a renowned restaurant in Reggio Emilia. Composer Anthony Cheung expounds upon the challenges and rewards of contemporary musical composition in “New Colors.” In “On the Value of Literature,” author Karl Ove Knasugaard (My Struggle) convincingly answers his own question: “Why books, sentences, words?” Architect Michael Arad recounts the process of realizing his design for the 9/11 Memorial in “Submission #790532,” and in “Light Unseen,” legendary lighting designer Jennifer Tipton makes a convincing case for the consideration of her discipline as an art form in its own right.
The Esopus Reader also includes in-depth interviews with playwright and filmmaker Kenneth Lonergan (who revisits a series of illustrated, hand-typed science-fiction novels he wrote as a 10-year-old); literary translator Ann Goldstein (who offers a fascinating glimpse into her process of translating authors such as Elena Ferrante, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Primo Levi); actor Lisa Kudrow and writer/director Michael Patrick King (who go into detail about their work on the first season of the critically lauded HBO series "The Comeback"); game designer Raphael van Lierop (The Long Dark); and the late mathematician John Conway, who muses upon the intersection of rationality and aesthetics that informed the model building he would employ when working on a new theorem.
Other contributions to The Esopus Reader include poetry by Jessica Elsaesser, Nicole Sealey, and Chantal Bizzini; song lyrics by artist and musician Lonnie Holley; three theatrical monologues by playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis; fascinating reflections on subjects including ice cream truck music (“Soft Serve” by Daniel T. Neely); the influence of Ouija boards on creativity (“Spellbound” by Mitch Horowitz); a methodical survey of the changing perceptions of Nostradamus over 500 years (“Searching for Nostradamus” by Stéphane Gerson); and a deep dive into the composition of “soundtracks” for television news during the Iraq War (“Music at 6” by film composer Carter Burwell).
The book’s dust jacket also serves as a poster when it is removed from the book and unfolded. The 18.5 x 22” full-color poster features images of all 40 contributions as they originally appeared in Esopus.
The Esopus Reader
February 15, 2022
For review copies, excerpts, images or interviews, please email Tod Lippy at email@example.com