Tag Archives: Winter 2013

The Outsourced Self: What Happens When We Pay Others to Live Our Lives for Us by Arlie Russell Hochschild

Outsourced SelfThe Outsourced Self: What Happens When We Pay Others to Live Our Lives for Us
Arlie Russell Hochschild
Picador  / $17.00 / 320 pages
ISBN: 978-1-250-02419-0
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Political Science / Sociology

For review copies (US and Canada only), or to schedule an interview with Arlie Russell Hochschild, please email gabrielle.gantz [at] picadorusa.com

A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year

“Brilliant, compelling, and hard to put down … The nation’s leading sociologist of daily life has turned her razor-sharp eye to the rapid advance of the commodity frontier.”—Juliet Schor, author of The Overworked American

“Hochschild’s big contribution here is to tally the subtler costs of outsourcing: the ‘depersonalization of our bonds with others,’ the failure to enjoy the process of planning a wedding, the missing out on one’s children’s childhoods – all of the little nontragedies that add up to a thinner, sadder life.”
—Judith Shulevitz, The New York Times Book Review

“Fascinating … Hochschild asks important questions about the ways in which outsourcing affects our self-worth and our relationships to family and community.”The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“What happens to us as we outsource more and more of our personal—even intimate—tasks to paid ‘coaches,’ caretakers, companions, event planners, and Third World surrogate mothers? It takes a social thinker of great stature and scope to tackle this question, and a writer of immense charm to make the answer riveting. Arlie Hochschild is both, and this may be her best book ever…I won’t say Hochschild will ‘make’ you think: She’s such a keen observer and delightful writer that she makes it fun to think.”—Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed

“Incisive, provocative, and often downright entertaining…It used to take a village, but these days it takes a full-service mall, much of it in cyberspace. Finding a mate, planning a wedding, potty-training a child, or being a better father—once intuitive, ordinary tasks involving family, friends, and neighbors—now require the services of paid experts, trainers, and a plethora of coaches, such as Internet dating coach Evan Katz, aka e-Cyrano, or Family360, which teaches executives to “invest time and attention in ‘high leverage’ family activities.”Publishers Weekly *Starred Review*

We’ve long imagined the family as immune to market forces, the one place where the personal, the private, and the emotional hold sway. Yet as Arlie Russell Hochschild shows in THE OUTSOURCED SELF: What Happens When We Pay Others to Live Our Lives for Us (Picador; On sale: April 2, 2013; ISBN: 978-1-250-02419-0; $17.00; 320pp), the market—ever more specialized and global—is very much present at home. Many aspects of private life—love, friendship, child rearing—are being transformed into packaged expertise to be sold back to anxious, time-starved Americans.

From dating services that train you to be the CEO of your love life to wedding planners who create a couple’s “personal narrative”; from nameologists (who help you name your child) to wantologists (who help you name your goals); from commercial surrogate farms in India to hired mourners who will scatter your loved one’s ashes in the ocean of your choice—Hochschild reveals a world in which the most intuitive and emotional of human acts have become work for hire.

Clear-eyed and empathic, Hochschild puts a finger on the most important unacknowledged trend of our time.

ARLIE RUSSELL HOCHSCHILD is the author of The Time Bind, The Second Shift, and The Managed Heart. Her articles have appeared in Harper’s Magazine, Mother Jones, and Psychology Today, among others. A University of California–Berkeley sociologist, she lives in San Francisco.

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Filed under Current Events / Politics, Sociology

When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice by Terry Tempest Williams

When Women Were BirdsWHEN WOMEN WERE BIRDS: Fifty-four Variations on Voice
Terry Tempest Williams
Picador / $15.00 / 256 pages
On Sale: February 26, 2013

For review copies (US and Canada only), or to schedule an interview with Terry Tempest Williams, please email gabrielle.gantz [at] picadorusa.com

“The writing of Terry Tempest Williams is brilliant, meditative, and full of surprises, wisdom, and wonder. She’s one of those writers who changes peoples’ lives by encouraging attention and a slow, patient awakening.”—Anne Lamott, author of Imperfect Birds

“Williams displays a Whitmanesque embrace of the world and its contradictions…As the pages accumulate, her voice grows in majesty and power until it become a full-fledged aria.”San Francisco Chronicle

“Williams narrates stories that range wide and run deep . . . Here, readers get a Terry Tempest Williams who is at the top of her game, the master of her craft . . . a gift from a writer who knows how to split the world open.”—Cheryl Strayed, Orion

“This poetic memoir continues the work Williams began in Refuge….Williams explores her mother’s identity—woman, wife, mother, and Mormon—as she continues to honor her memory….A lyrical and elliptical meditation on women, nature, family, and history.”—The Boston Globe

“Williams is the kind of writer who makes a reader feel that [her] voice might also, one day, be heard….She cancels out isolation: Connections are woven as you sit in your chair readingbetween you and the place you live, between you and other readers, you and the writer. Without knowing how it happened, your sense of home is deepened.”Susan Salter Reynolds, The Daily Beast

“I am leaving you all my journals, but you must promise me you won’t look at them until after I’m gone.” This is what Terry Tempest Williams’s mother, the matriarch of a large Mormon clan in northern Utah, told her a week before she died. It was a shock to Williams to discover that her mother had kept journals. But not as much of a shock to discover that the three shelves of journals were all blank.

In WHEN WOMEN WERE BIRDS: Fifty-four Variations on Voice (Picador / On Sale: February 26, 2013 / ISBN: 978-1-250-02411-4 / $15.00), Williams recounts memories of her mother, ponders her own Mormon faith, and contemplates the notion of absence in art and in our world. WHEN WOMEN WERE BIRDS is a carefully crafted kaleidoscope that keeps turning around the question: What does it mean to have a voice?

is the author of fourteen books, including Refuge, Leap, The Open Space of Democracy, and most recently, Finding Beauty in a Broken World. The recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship and a Lannan Literary Fellowship in creative nonfiction, she divides her time between Castle Valley, Utah, and Moose, Wyoming.

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Terry Tempest Williams on To The Best Of Our Knowledge

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Filed under Memoir

Beautiful Souls: The Courage and Conscience of Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times by Eyal Press

Beautiful SoulsBeautiful Souls: The Courage and Conscience of Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times
Eyal Press
Picador / $15.00 / 208 pages
On Sale: February 5, 2013
Political Science

For review copies (US and Canada only), or to schedule an interview with Eyal, please email gabrielle.gantz [at] picadorusa.com


A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice

“A hymn to the mystery of disobedience…What makes you eager to push this book into the hands of the next person you meet are the small, still moments, epics captured in miniature. … Essential.”—The New York Times

“Evocative…A valentine to the human spirit.”—The Wall Street Journal

“On stage and in the pulpit, moral dilemmas of this kind tend to have a black-and-white clarity. Working from life, Mr. Press brings out the grays….Rich in personal, circumstantial details that analytical thinkers in search of clear principles may overlook.”—The Economist

“Press examines his subjects carefully….In some ways Beautiful Souls is a thoughtful gesture of support. That might sound like a small thing, but it’s not. Compassion never is.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Provides rich, provocative narratives of moral choice…Press makes us wonder if we would have the strength to act against the crowd, and in so doing spread a bit of light in our own dark times.”—The Washington Post

“Fantastic…A brilliant meditation on [the] very difficult decisions of conscience that people have to make…I just want to urge everybody, please read this book.”—The Nation

“A fascinating study in the better angels of our nature.”—George Packer, The New Yorker

History has produced many specimens of the banality of evil, but what about its flip side, what impels ordinary people to defy the sway of authority and convention? Through these dramatic stories of unlikely resisters, Eyal Press’ Beautiful Souls shows that the boldest acts of dissent are often carried out not only by radicals seeking to overthrow the system but also by true believers who cling with unusual fierceness to their convictions. Drawing on groundbreaking research by moral psychologists and neuroscientists, this deeply reported work of narrative journalism examines the choices and dilemmas we all face when our principles collide with the loyalties we harbor and the duties we are expected to fulfill.

Eyal Press is an author and journalist based in New York. His work has appeared in the New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, The Raritan Review and numerous other publications. A 2011 Schwartz fellow at the New America Foundation, he is the author of Absolute Convictions, and a past recipient of the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism.

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Eyal Press on Democracy Now!
Eyal Press on NPR Talk of the Nation

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Filed under Current Events / Politics, Politics, Sociology

Revenge: Eleven Dark Tales by Yoko Ogawa

Revenge_cover imageRevenge: Eleven Dark Tales
Yoko Ogawa; translated by Stephen Snyder
Picador Original / $14.00 / 176 pages
On Sale: January 29, 2013 (February 2013)
Fiction / Short Stories / Horror

For review copies (US and Canada only), please email gabrielle.gantz [at] picadorusa.com


“Yoko Ogawa is an absolute master of the Gothic at its most beautiful and dangerous, and REVENGE is a collection that deepens and darkens with every story you read.”  —Peter Straub

“Yoko Ogawa’s Revenge is a secret garden of dark, glorious flowers: silky, heart-breakingly beautiful… and poison to their roots.”—Joe Hill, author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns

“Ogawa crafts 11 interlocking short stories with eloquent prose that belies the nature of the tales she spins…. With dark calm and disquieting imagery, the author leads readers on a journey of the macabre in a progression of tales that resound long after the last page is turned…. Ogawa’s writing is simple and effective, and her technique for merging the tales demonstrates her mastery of the written word… The author paints each tale exquisitely.”—Kirkus

“Weaving together the morbid tales of 11 unnamed narrators, prolific Japanese author Ogawa (Hotel Iris), a Shirley Jackson Award winner, presents an intense rumination on the precariousness of interconnected lives.”—Publishers Weekly

“Yoko Ogawa’s Revenge is a delicious mosaic that concerns much more than its titular subject, as the messy human emotional spectrum gets exposed in 11 compulsively readable tales that become increasingly multilayered and interlocked.”—Shelf Awareness

“If creepy were a place, Ms. Ogawa has come up with many ways to get there… Even while punctuated [by] macabre flourishes her book maintains its restraint, like a dark alley that’s too quiet, or an insane person acting too calm.”—Susannah Meadows, The New York Times

“From Japan comes Revenge, a spine tingling volume subtitled Eleven Dark Tales, from Yoko Ogawa … These are shiningly sinister stories that grab you by the vulnerable back of the neck and don’t let go.”—ELLE

“Woven through the 11 interconnected tales is a thread of the grotesque, the macabre, the mournful.… Ogawa’s language is both spare and searingly precise, crystallizing the details of everyday existence and capturing the unexpected shock of the bizarre…. Readers willing to explore the murkier edges of the human psyche will not be disappointed.” —Associated Press

“Every act of malice glows creepily against the plain background. It’s a book that ought to be distributed to every fiction-M.F.A. candidate who tends to overwrite: Ogawa is an expert in doing more with less.”—New York Magazine

“[Revenge] erupts into the ordinary world as if from the unconscious or the grave…. A haunting introduction to her work… the overall effect is [that of] David Lynch: the rot that lurks beneath the surface.”—The Economist

“Japan’s best teller of macabre tales… Ogawa is such a master that she pushes the boundaries and suspends the mystery… You never know ‘why,’ only that humans are slaves to time, and we keep on with our lives so that someday we might understand.”The Daily Beast

“Magnificently macabre … Ogawa is the Japanese master of dread … These tales are not for the faint of heart, but Ms. Ogawa is more “Masque of the Red Death” than she is The Ring. She elevates herself above any limitations of the genre she’s working in.” —The New York Observer

“The deeper you go into this book, the more the oddness ramps up, and the more you start to notice unsettling connections… Powerful and strange. The tangle of sadism and lonely anguish will sneak up on you.”—Charlie Jane Anders, io9

“Interwoven stories from Ogawa involve murder, desire, jealousy, love, and torture, making for creepy but compelling experimental horror that stays with you long past the book’s last page.”—The Atlantic Wire

Revenge is about as elegant as horror gets, in both style and presentation. … an exceptionally well-done and well-balanced piece of horror-writing, disarmingly detached — and all the more unsettling for that.”—Michael Orthofer, The Complete Review

Yoko Ogawa’s REVENGE: Eleven Dark Tales (Picador Original / February 2013 / ISBN: 978-0-3126-7446-5 / $14.00 / 176 pages), is a collection of macabre and fiendishly clever linked stories that flirt with the supernatural. Together they create a haunting tapestry of death—and the afterlife of the living.

An aspiring writer moves into a new apartment and discovers that her landlady has murdered her husband. Years later, the writer’s stepson reflects upon his stepmother and the strange stories she used to tell him. Meanwhile, a surgeon’s lover vows to kill him if he does not leave his wife. Before the lover can follow through on her crime of passion, the surgeon will cross paths with another remarkable woman—a cabaret singer whose heart beats delicately outside of her body. When the surgeon promises to repair her condition, he sparks the jealousy of another man who would like to preserve the heart in a custom tailored bag. Murderers and mourners, mothers and children, lovers and innocent bystanders—their fates converge in a darkly beautiful web that they are each powerless to escape.

The eleven eerie and absorbing stories in REVENGE draw together sinister forces and a cast of desperate characters that will leave you haunted after you close the covers.

YOKO OGAWA’s fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, A Public Space, and Harper’s Magazine. Since 1988, she has produced more than twenty works of fiction and nonfiction, which have been published in several countries. In 2008 her novel The Diving Pool won the Shirley Jackson Award for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic. Her novel Hotel Iris was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2010.

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Yoko Ogawa author photo for download (credit included in file name)
Stephen Snyder on Yoko Ogawa, Haruki Murakami, and the Business of International Literature at the Center for the Art of Translation

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Filed under Fiction, Literary, Paperback Original, Short Stories, Translated

The School of Life Presents: How to Think More About Sex and How to Stay Sane









How to Think More About Sex by Alain de Botton
How to Stay Sane by Philippa Perry
A Picador Original / $16.00 / 208pp
Publication Date: December 24, 2012 (January 2013)
Self Help / Psychology / Sexuality

For review copies (US and Canada only) or to schedule an interview with Alain de Botton or Philippa Perry, please email gabrielle.gantz [at] picadorusa.com


How to Think More About Sex

“De Botton is never prescriptive, and the intellectual rigor of his investigation prevents this book from settling into a self-help reference guide.”
—Publishers Weekly

“By encouraging readers to understand their desires and manifestations of sexuality in new and more reflective ways, de Botton’s addition to the School of Life series offers a tantalizing discourse on this endlessly fascinating, and eternally misunderstood, subject.”—Booklist

“De Botton addresses and reframes the origins of attraction and desire, the definition of ‘sexy,’ sexual pleasure and problems, pornography, adultery, and myriad other down-and-dirty topics. This is a thoughtful and profoundly useful examination of contemporary sexuality, and I can’t recommend it enough.”Rebecca Joines Schinsky, BookRiot

How to Stay Sane

“Right off the bat, it’s clear her [Perry’s] intention is not to transform the clinically crazy into functioning members of society; rather this brief book is aimed at everyday folks struggling to ‘remain stable and yet flexible, coherent and yet able to embrace complexity.’ … her inviting tone (complimented by lighthearted illustrations throughout) and friendly prose make this an accessible addition to the School of Life publications.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Using stories from her therapy practice to illustrate her points as well as numerous exercises to conduct alone, with a loved one or within a group, Perry brings new light to a well-visited subject.”—Kirkus

“In her pithy contribution to the School of Life series, Perry explores the components of a rational lifestyle on many levels. … Concluding that there is no single “right” approach for every person or lifestyle, Perry helpfully supports her recommendations with practical exercises that, she posits, may preclude the need for external psychotherapeutic intervention. Throughout, Perry offers guidance that is both revelatory and achievable.”—Booklist


HOW TO THINK MORE ABOUT SEX (Picador Original / On Sale: January 2013 / ISBN 978-1-250-03065-8 / $16.00 / 208 pages) by Alain de Botton is a frank appraisal of how sex is had—or not had—among people in the 21st century.

In HOW TO THINK MORE ABOUT SEX,de Botton argues that there is a dissonance between what we think is normal and what we experience in real life concerning sex and our sexual lives. Sometimes we don’t feel what we think we’re supposed to feel.  This book examines the implications of desire, lust, commitment and love, claiming that these things are all a precarious balancing act. De Botton honestly assesses the confusion of having sex in the modern age, including such subjects as fetishes, pornography, and threesomes. This smart, thought-provoking investigation offers readers both insight and comfort into the sex that they are—or are not—having.

Topics Alain de Botton discusses in the book and/or can be discussed in an interview:

  • The difficulties of monogamy
  • The dangers of pornography
  • Why we are attracted to certain people
  • What we look for in love and sex
  • Why sex dies – and has to die – within couples
  • Why sex is best with strangers
  • Why marriage needs to be rethought.
  • The importance of self-help books: of the right kind
  • Why academics have largely abandoned their responsibilities to ‘daily life’.

ALAIN DE BOTTON is the best-selling author of How Proust Can Change Your Life, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work and, most recently, Religion for Atheists, among other works of fiction and essays. He is well-known for making complex philosophical and artistic subjects accessible for a wider audience. De Botton founded The School of Life, a series of lectures in London that aim to make academic learning applicable to real life. With the success of the school, this concept has been adapted into the School of Life book series. De Botton lives and works in London. You can follow Alain on Twitter at @alaindebotton.


HOW TO STAY SANE (Picador Original / On Sale: January 2013 / ISBN 978-1-250-03064-1 / $16.00 / 208 pages) by Philippa Perryis a practical and engaging guide to the often difficult task of not losing your mind in the modern age.
Both practical and engagingly written, HOW TO STAY SANE offers a brilliant explanation of our minds as well as profound advice for living a life less tortured. While decidedly not an easy task, Perry has developed a digestible four-pronged strategy for staying sane, applicable to anyone: learn to observe yourself more carefully, analyze how you relate to others, fill your life with unusual experiences and think of new ways to reinvent yourself. This refreshing, exuberant guide, drawing on the latest discoveries in psychology and neuroscience, gives readers new ways to examine themselves and how to relate to the world.

Topics Philippa Perry discusses in the book and/or can be discussed in an interview:

  • Her work as a psychotherapist
  • Mental health issues and psychotherapy
  • Any cultural issue and how it relates to her research as a psychotherapist
  • Age, sex, race, disability, and gender
  • The importance of childhood, specifically the first few months and years of life
  • The importance of being comfortable with vulnerability

PHILIPPA PERRY is a psychotherapist and writer who has written pieces for The Guardian, The Observer, Time Out, and Healthy Living magazine. In 2010, she wrote the wry graphic novel Couch Fiction, in which she demystifies the practice of therapy using the form of a case study. She is married to Turner Prize–winning artist Grayson Perry. You can follow Philippa on Twitter at @philippa_perry.

The School of Life website
Alain de Botton discusses The School of Life on On Being with Krista Tippett
Alain’s author photo (credit included in file name)
Philippa’s author photo (credit included in file name)
How to Think More About Sex (cover image)
How to Stay Sane (cover image)

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Filed under Health, Psychology, Self Help