brooklyn book store

these just in … 28 November 2022


New In Paperback $16.95

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Darkmans is an exhilarating, extraordinary examination of the ways in which history can play jokes on us all… If History is just a sick joke which keeps on repeating itself, then who exactly might be telling it, and why? Could it be John Scogin, Edward IV’s infamous court jester, whose favorite pastime was to burn people alive - for a laugh? Or could it be Andrew Boarde, Henry VIII’s physician, who kindly wrote John Scogin’s biography? Or could it be a tiny Kurd called Gaffar whose days are blighted by an unspeakable terror of - uh - salad? Or a beautiful, bulimic harpy with ridiculously weak bones? Or a man who guards Beckley Woods with a Samurai sword and a pregnant terrier?

Darkmans is a very modern book, set in Ashford [a ridiculously modern town], about two very old-fashioned subjects: love and jealousy. It’s also a book about invasion, obsession, displacement and possession, about comedy, art, prescription drugs and chiropody. And the main character? The past, which creeps up on the present and whispers something quite dark - quite unspeakable - into its ear.

The third of Nicola Barker’s narratives of the Thames Gateway, Darkmans is an epic novel of startling originality.

The Disinherited: Exile and the Making of Spanish Culture, 1492-1975 by HENRY KAMEN

New In Hardcover $34.95 - 10%

Few would doubt that Spain has for several centuries made a huge contribution to Europe’s culture. We all carry in our heads a seductive picture of what Spain stands for: its music, painting, buildings, and history. But what we do not understand is how much of this was the achievement of a very specific group: the Spanish in exile.

Henry Kamen’s The Disinherited is the most significant and enjoyable book on Spain to appear for many years. He creates a picture of a dysfunctional, violent country that, since the destruction of the last Muslim territories in Granada in 1492, has expelled wave after wave of its citizens in a brutal attempt to create religious and social conformity. Muslims, Jews, Protestants, liberals, Socialists, and Communists were all driven abroad at different times, and consequently what we think of as Spanish culture was substantially their invention—a creative response both to having no home and to the shock of encountering new worlds.

With brilliant sympathy, Kamen describes these diverse exiles’ travails as they scattered across Europe and Africa, across North and South America, many of them debarred by religion or politics from ever returning to Spain.They engaged in an unending project of fantasy about their old homeland—from the Sephardic communities of Amsterdam to the exiled Granada Muslims in Morocco, from liberal historians inventing the Black Legend of the Inquisition to painters in Paris inventing turreted, sensual Orientalist fantasies about the Alhambra. The twentieth century saw fresh waves of exile—from Picasso to Miró, Dalí to Buñuel, from Casals to Falla to Rodrigo—converting Spain itself into a cultural wasteland but enriching other cultures enormously. The Disinherited is a landmark work of cultural recovery, showing how Spain’s history has created a “virtual” culture imagined by people often thousands of miles from home—but whose impact on the world has been incalculable.

On Eloquence by DENIS DONOGHUE

New In Hardcover $27.50 - 10%

Donoghue argues persuasively that eloquence matters, that we should indeed care about it. “Because we should care about any instances of freedom, independence, creative force, sprezzatura,” he says, “especially when we live—perhaps this is increasingly the case—in a culture of the