Seven Stories publisher Dan Simon's essay in the current Nation details why Nelson Algren matters so much—not just as a literary figure, but for us all, right here, right now. For one week only, take 75% off all e-books by Algren on the Seven Stories website. Click through for details.
In the age of online retailers and large corporate bookstores, independent booksellers can find themselves struggling to keep up. That’s why Seven Stories Press is partnering with indie bookstores for a series of new promotions to encourage readers to buy our books in ways that benefit both booksellers and publishers. We're currently collaborating with independent booksellers on a promotion highlighting seven "Books that Shook the World." Read on to find out more!
The Seven Stories fiction list began with Nelson Algren stories, with titles like "The Face on the Barroom Floor" and "The Lightless Room." These are not exactly beach reads, nor are the books you'll find below. What you will find are novels rooted in this world, presenting the dignity of people struggling to make sense of it and in one way or another to change it.
So, this is another kind of summer fiction list. We hope you'll find much that will challenge, inspire, and engage, in times of darkness and of light.
All titles 50% off for one week only, through June 14, 5:00PM EST.
Happy birthday to Nelson Algren, one of Seven Stories's founding authors and patron saints. Algren was the first ever National Book Award winner, the one-time lover of Simone de Beauvoir, and an inspiration to artists as diverse as Kurt Vonnegut and Donald Barthelme, Studs Turkel and Lou Reed. But Algren was much more than his accolades and could ever show, as the following excerpt from his Noncomformity: Writing on Writing will attest. Beginning with an epigraph from F. Scott Fitzgerald in his 'crack-up' years, Algren's essay is, in some ways, the opposite of inspiring. It is a look into the depths of the writer's motivation (hint: vindictiveness), and a hymn to all those who "live underground." Perhaps enjoy is not the world—but we hope you'll find yourself moved and provoked by this lyrical and brilliant piece of writing on writing.
Entrapment had made the day’s events, and my own life, seem like legitimate literary subjects. The characters in its pages were called Frank Mears, and Blackie Cavanaugh, and Little Lester, but when I read about them I felt I was reading about old friends. They were the kids I had played with in the abandoned lot behind my apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, as a child; men I knocked around with on street corners, gyms, and bars; my old friend Bones, an alcoholic who looked after me when I became a bicycle messenger at seventeen, and then hung himself from a pipe running along the ceiling of his basement apartment.