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What’s on Michael’s Mind
October 11, 2010

Hello all!

This is one of those times of the year that I find myself knee-deep in Algonquin manuscripts, for the forthcoming season. Two, in particular, have won me over. Of that… more, in coming blogs.

Suffice it to say that I was so caught up in one of them, while taking the train to work the other day, that I looked up from my reading, only to find that I had overshot my stop by two stations, and had to walk quite a distance back to the office. Bodes well, I should think!

Now, as to EXLEY… Here’s a Tweet exchange that definitely warmed the cockles of my heart!

Nancy Pearl “Gr8t cover on Brock Clarke's
EXLEY (tho can't judge it by that);what's
really terrif: moving mix of sadness &
& voice of 9-yr-old Miller.”

Barbara A Genco responded “One of my
favorites this year
, Nancy! Everyone should
read it.”

More, on Exley… The Daily Beast: "Fall’s
10 Must-Read Novels
“In this oddly brilliant book… the luminously engaging plot reveals the deceptions we cling to in order to survive. “I’m telling you the truth,” the mother tells her son at mother tells her son at the end, to which he replies, “Please don’t”… Clarke’s breathtaking creativity gives unexpected power to his quirky, touching story.”

EXLEY by Brock Clarke Algonquin Hardcover
ISBN: 9781565126084 $24.95

As those of you who get my Workman Update know well, I have been nattering on about Jonathan Evison’s WEST OF HERE for over a year. It’s almost hard to believe that it won’t be out until February. I can scarcely wait!

Library Journal starred review!
“…deserves national acclaim… a Northwest historical novel with modern counterpoints, like Sometimes a Great Notion … VERDICT … shines through with humor and clarity.”

“…a mythical story filled with love,
adventure and family dysfunction…
There is a great sense of place in this novel; I was transported back more than 100 years by Evison’s rich detail of the culture and geography of the Northern Pacific. The characters are larger than life while remaining true to life.” -Susan Balla, Fairfield County Public Library

Publishers Weekly will run a feature profile on Jonathan this November or December. They reserve these profiles for authors who they think will make a big splash. The most recent Algonquin author to be profiled by PW was Lauren Grodstein for A FRIEND OF THE FAMILY.

Did you miss out on getting an advance reader’s edition, at BEA or ALA
Annual? We expect to have them at ALA Midwinter, in January. Not going? Let me know, and I’ll get you one, so long as inventory lasts.

WEST OF HERE by Jonathan Evison
Algonquin ISBN: 9781565129528 $24.95
Also available on Highbridge Audio CD ISBN: 9781615731169 $39.95

OK folks, here’s (hands down) the most unique novel you’ll come across, this fall. Just out, It’s a novel about Chassidic Jews, Sigmund Freud, demonic possession, and Esperanto. If you know of another one, I’d like to hear it!

by Joseph Skibell
Algonquin hardcover
ISBN: 9781565129290 $25.95
Also available on Highbridge Audio CD
ISBN: 9781615735303 $49.95

Parade Magazine calls it
“…wonderfully surreal... both funny and

“It’s a high-energy, wild performance, as ample as its protagonist’s appetites... In Skibell’s masterful hands, the novel speaks like a dybbuk from within modern Jewish history, telling a story of crooked futures and unknowable hearts.”
—New Republic

“... Funny, tender and beguiling.” - The Oregonian
“…charming, clever…” - MyJewishLearning.com
“…Skibell bends the English language to his will as he examines
the power of language to alienate and unite.” —Austin Chronicle
An irresistible romp…” —O Magazine

To return to the point at which I started all this, look for us at ALA Midwinter, where we’ll have scads of advance reader’s editions for both of the spring 2011 books I mentioned had so captured my imagination
(one of which was written by a librarian!).

Michael Rockliff
Director, Library Sales and Marketing
Workman Publishing Company
225 Varick Street
New york, NY 10014-4381