New Release Books by Jim Shepard

Jim Shepard is the author of Phase Six (2021), Picross Japanese Crossword Puzzle (2020), The Tunnel at the End of the Light: Essays on Movies and Politics (2017), The World to Come (2017) and other 40 books.

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Phase Six

release date: May 18, 2021
Phase Six
This "novel of contagion and collapse is also the story of love’s unlikely survival in the most hostile conditions” (Karen Russell, bestselling author of Swamplandia!)—from the National Book Award-nominated author of The Book of Aron. In a tiny settlement on the west coast of Greenland, 11-year-old Aleq and his best friend, frequent trespassers at a mining site exposed to mountains of long-buried and thawing permafrost, carry what they pick up back into their village, and from there Shepard''s harrowing and deeply moving story follows Aleq, one of the few survivors of the initial outbreak, through his identification and radical isolation as the likely index patient. While he shoulders both a crushing guilt for what he may have done and the hopes of a world looking for answers, we also meet two Epidemic Intelligence Service investigators dispatched from the CDC--Jeannine, an epidemiologist and daughter of Algerian immigrants, and Danice, an M.D. and lab wonk. As they attempt to head off the cataclysm, Jeannine--moving from the Greeland hospital overwhelmed with the first patients to a Level 4 high-security facility in the Rocky Mountains--does what she can to sustain Aleq. Both a chamber piece of multiple intimate perspectives and a more omniscient glimpse into the megastructures (political, cultural, and biological) that inform such a disaster, the novel reminds us of the crucial bonds that form in the midst of catastrophe, as a child and several hypereducated adults learn what it means to provide adequate support for those they love. In the process, they celebrate the precious worlds they might lose, and help to shape others that may survive.

Picross Japanese Crossword Puzzle

release date: Aug 19, 2020
Picross Japanese Crossword Puzzle
These Japanese logic puzzles are known as Nonogram, Hanjie, Picross, Griddlers, and more. But whatever you like to call them - they''re all fun! Features: - 50 unique designs - 1 puzzle per page - hard level - answer for every puzzle Are you ready for this challenge?

The Tunnel at the End of the Light: Essays on Movies and Politics

release date: Sep 12, 2017
The Tunnel at the End of the Light: Essays on Movies and Politics
"Shepard may be the best lesser-known film critic." —The New York Times Book Review The first book of nonfiction from one of our great fiction writers. Given that most Americans proudly consider themselves non-political, where do our notions of collective responsibility come from? Which self-deceptions, when considering ourselves as actors on the world stage, do we cling to most tenaciously? Why do we so stubbornly believe, for example, that our country always means well when intervening abroad? The Tunnel at the End of the Light argues that some of our most persistent and destructive assumptions, in that regard, might come from the movies. In these ten essays Jim Shepard weaves close readings of film with cultural criticism to explore the ways in which movies work so ubiquitously to reflect how Americans think and act. Whether assessing the “high-spirited glee of American ruthlessness” captured in GoodFellas, or finding in Lawrence of Arabia a “portrait of the lunatic serenity of our leaders’ conviction in the face of all evidence and their own lack of knowledge,” he explores how we enter into conversations with specific genres and films—Chinatown, The Third Man, and Badlands among others—in order to construct and refine our most cherished illusions about ourselves.

The World to Come

release date: Feb 21, 2017
The World to Come
Bursting with wicked humor and driven by an incomparable understanding of what it means to be human, The World to Come is the inimitable work of “the most ambitious story writer in America” (The Daily Beast). Now a major motion picture Shepard traverses both borders and centuries, seamlessly inhabiting a multitude of disparate men and women, and giving voice to visionaries, pioneers, and secret misfits—from nineteenth-century explorers departing on one of the Arctic’s most nightmarish expeditions to twentieth-century American military wives maintaining hope at home. Shepard’s characters confront everything from the emotional pitfalls of everyday life to colossal catastrophes, battling natural forces, the hazards of new technology, and their own implacable shortcomings. "[Shepard] has a knack for compressing a novel’s worth of life into 30 or 40 pages.” —The Boston Globe

Invaders

release date: Jun 20, 2016
Invaders
The invasion of the future has begun. Literary legends including Steven Millhauser, Junot Diáz, Amiri Baraka, and Katharine Dunn have attacked the borders of the every day. Like time traveling mad-scientists, they have concocted outrageous creations from the future. They have seized upon tales of technology gone wrong and mandated that pulp fiction must finally grow up. In these wildly-speculative stories you will discover the company that controls the world from an alley in Greenwich Village. You’ll find nanotechnology that returns memories to the residents of a nursing home. You’ll rally an avian-like alien to become a mascot for a Major League Baseball team. The Invaders are here. But did science fiction colonize them first?

Then Again (Remix)

release date: Dec 06, 2019
Then Again (Remix)
anthology of fine art images from Laura Christensen, and fiction and poetry from numerous authors -- compared to the larger THEN AGAIN featuring over thirty authors, THEN AGAIN Remix is a smaller edition containing works by ten authors.

Flights

release date: Dec 22, 2015
Flights
A thirteen-year-old hatches a plan of escape, solace, and utter independence through a dream of flight that’s both literal and figurative in this engrossing novel by National Book Award finalist Jim Shepard As beset by the world as any thirteen-year-old—and maybe a little more so—Biddy Siebert does his best to negotiate both the intimacies and isolations of his world and his own maddening and slightly comical idiosyncrasies. His ferocious younger sister hates everyone, including him; his sprawling Italian family, when it comes to emotional matters, has the touch of a blacksmith; and his Catholic school education provides a ready framework against which he can measure himself as continually falling short of the ideal. As his grades slip and his family begins to come apart, Biddy searches for a focus and finds one during a trip in a family friend’s private plane: To rise above his troubles, he’s going to have to learn to fly. Biddy resolves to steal the plane, having taught himself as a pilot through manuals and observation, and as he moves through the progressions of his plan, he slowly develops the confidence and independence he’s going to need later in life. In this compassionate and honest portrait of the challenges, missteps, and small successes of adolescence, Biddy is an unforgettable character whose problems might seem common but whose solutions are often extraordinary.

Nosferatu

release date: Dec 22, 2015
Nosferatu
A New York Times Notable Book:The richly imagined fictional life of one of cinema’s founding fathers from National Book Award finalist Jim Shepard In 1907, while waiting for a train that would take him from his quiet rural hometown to university in cosmopolitan Berlin, Friedrich Wilhelm Plumpe met Hans Ehrenbaum-Degele, the great passion of his life. Hans was the catalyst for Plumpe’s transformation into F. W. Murnau, the filmmaker best known for directing Nosferatu—the iconic silent film adaption of Bram Stoker’s Dracula—as well as The Last Laugh, Sunrise, and Tabu. As we follow Murnau from the airfields of the Great War to the cafés and clubs of Weimar Berlin to the virtual invention of filmmaking, and from there to the South Seas, we chart the progress of a man desperate to open himself to others but nonetheless continually “at home in no house and in no country.” While devoted to those he loved, Murnau remained hamstrung by self-loathing and, like his vampiric creation, afraid of his own “terrible inhumanness.” In his fascinating fictionalized biography of Murnau, Jim Shepard, author of the critically acclaimed The Book of Aron, brings both Weimar-era Germany and the early days of film to life in roaring, irresistible detail, delving into the heart and mind of a troubled genius and uncovering the inner turmoil of a reclusive and enigmatic cinema pioneer.

Kiss of the Wolf

release date: Dec 22, 2015
Kiss of the Wolf
A New York Times Notable Book:A lethal accident turns life into a waking nightmare for a mother and her son in this gripping novel of secrecy and dread Abandoned by her husband, Joanie Mucherino and her eleven-year-old son, Todd, struggle to cope while dealing with their comically tactless and intrusive Italian family. Further complicating things, Joanie now seems available to Bruno Minea, an old family friend whose two-decade passion for her has been unwavering and faintly frightening. When Joanie and Todd kill an acquaintance in a hit-and-run accident, they soon discover—to their horror—that they’re keeping it a secret. But as the weight of their lies becomes more than they can can bear, their crime connects them to something even more sinister, as the victim had powerful, dangerous friends who will go to great lengths to avenge his death. Part family drama, part thriller, Kiss of the Wolf exemplifies the talents of National Book Award finalist Jim Shepard, author of 2015 favorite The Book of Aron, who crafts hilarious, spot-on dialogue with the same mastery he lends to the ingenious, page-turning plot, in which a loving mother is forced to confront her role as the architect of her son’s anguished guilt.

Paper Doll

release date: Dec 22, 2015
Paper Doll
During the air war over Germany, the crew of a B-17 Flying Fortress tries to achieve some competence as a unit before their most catastrophic mission yet They call their plane “Paper Doll,” the joke being its suggestion of flimsiness, inconsequence, and perishability, and none of them, from the veterans to the newcomers, feel the bravery they’d like to project. But now, despite their myriad limitations, they’ve been tasked with living through the tension and boredom of base life, saving one another’s lives, and rejoicing at those missions they’ve survived—until they’re confronted by the shock of a mission directed against the ball-bearing factories in Schweinfurt, a mission that will outfly the capacities of their fighter escorts and take them hundreds of miles through the most heavily defended sectors of the German Air Defense. National Book Award finalist and author of The Book of Aron Jim Shepard brilliantly illustrates both the lunacy and intimacy of these young men’s lives on the ground as well as their growing disillusionment and terror at what lies ahead. Unsentimental and unsparing in its honesty, Paper Doll portrays with stirring clarity the realities of war and the bonds forged in the face of death.

Lights Out in the Reptile House

release date: Dec 22, 2015
Lights Out in the Reptile House
A shy and apolitical herpetologist-in-training finds the weight of history bearing down on him as the effects of repression ramp up in his country In an unspecified country that combines elements of Chile under its military regime, South Africa under apartheid, and Italy under fascism, fifteen-year-old Karel Roeder asks only to be left alone to learn from Albert, his mentor at the zoo’s reptile house, and to devote himself to his girlfriend, Leda. But both Leda and Albert lead him into increasingly proscribed areas of thought and speech, and thus into conflict with a newly ascendant party that intends to prosecute a border war against an officially despised ethnic group and criminalize dissent. Citizens have been disappearing and surveillance in the name of safety has become all-pervasive. When Kehr, a special assistant of the civil guard, billets himself at Karel’s house for unknown reasons, Karel finds his already tenuous hold on his own innocence crushed as Kehr—tribune, inquisitor, and metaphysician of terror—instructs his unwilling protégé in those moments when history is let off the leash. Lights Out in the Reptile House is at once a dystopian political parable, a meditation on totalitarianism, and a moving coming-of-age story, as its protagonist struggles to understand his own values and meaning even in the most extreme of crucibles.

The Book of Aron

release date: May 12, 2015
The Book of Aron
The acclaimed National Book Award finalist—“one of the United States’ finest writers,” according to Joshua Ferris, “full of wit, humanity, and fearless curiosity”—now gives us a novel that will join the short list of classics about children caught up in the Holocaust. Aron, the narrator, is an engaging if peculiar and unhappy young boy whose family is driven by the German onslaught from the Polish countryside into Warsaw and slowly battered by deprivation, disease, and persecution. He and a handful of boys and girls risk their lives by scuttling around the ghetto to smuggle and trade contraband through the quarantine walls in hopes of keeping their fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters alive, hunted all the while by blackmailers and by Jewish, Polish, and German police, not to mention the Gestapo. When his family is finally stripped away from him, Aron is rescued by Janusz Korczak, a doctor renowned throughout prewar Europe as an advocate of children’s rights who, once the Nazis swept in, was put in charge of the Warsaw orphanage. Treblinka awaits them all, but does Aron manage to escape—as his mentor suspected he could—to spread word about the atrocities? Jim Shepard has masterfully made this child’s-eye view of the darkest history mesmerizing, sometimes comic despite all odds, truly heartbreaking, and even inspiring. Anyone who hears Aron’s voice will remember it forever.

Ajax Is All About Attack

release date: May 04, 2015
Ajax Is All About Attack
A Vintage Shorts “Short Story Month” Selection Velibor Vasovic is not political. He is a soccer player; has played for Partizan Belgrade and his national team. Scored Partizan’s only goal against Real Madrid in the European Cup. He is the rock supporting any defense. But in 1966, he starts playing for Ajax Amsterdam, firmly in the West. And politics catches up to him. Jim Shepard is the wildly inventive guru of the historical fiction short story; a finalist for the National Book Award, and “one of the United States’ finest writers” (Joshua Ferris). “Ajax Is All About Attack” is classic Shepard, from the collection Love and Hydrogen. An eBook short.

You Think That's Bad

release date: Mar 22, 2011
You Think That's Bad
Following Like You’d Understand, Anyway—awarded the Story Prize and a finalist for the National Book Award—Jim Shepard returns with an even more wildly diverse collection of astonishingly observant stories. Like an expert curator, he populates the vastness of human experience—from its bizarre fringes and lonely, breathtaking pinnacles to the hopelessly mediocre and desperately below average—with brilliant scientists, reluctant soldiers, workaholic artists, female explorers, depraved murderers, and deluded losers, all wholly convincing and utterly fascinating. A “black world” operative at Los Alamos isn’t allowed to tell his wife anything about his daily activities, but he can’t resist sharing her intimate confidences with his work buddy. A young Alpine researcher falls in love with the girlfriend of his brother, who was killed in an avalanche he believes he caused. An unlucky farm boy becomes the manservant of a French nobleman who’s as proud of his military service with Joan of Arc as he’s aroused by the slaughter of children. A free-spirited autodidact, grieving her lost sister, traces the ancient steps of a ruthless Middle Eastern sect and becomes the first Western woman to travel the Arabian deserts. From the inventor of the Godzilla epics to a miserable G.I. in New Guinea, each comes to realize that knowing better is never enough. Enthralling and unfailingly compassionate, You Think That’s Bad traverses centuries, continents, and social strata, but the joy and struggle that Shepard depicts with such devastating sensitivity—all the heartbreak, alienation, intimacy, and accomplishment—has a universal resonance.

Electric Literature

release date: Jan 01, 2009
Electric Literature
A literary anthology featuring writing by: Michael Cunningham Jim Shepard T. Cooper Lydia Millet Diana Wagman

Like You'd Understand, Anyway

release date: Nov 19, 2008
Like You'd Understand, Anyway
Following his widely acclaimed Project X and Love and Hydrogen—“Here is the effect of these two books,” wrote the Chicago Tribune: “A reader finishes them buzzing with awe”—Jim Shepard now gives us his first entirely new collection in more than a decade. Like You’d Understand, Anyway reaches from Chernobyl to Bridgeport, with a host of narrators only Shepard could bring to pitch-perfect life. Among them: a middle-aged Aeschylus taking his place at Marathon, still vying for parental approval. A maddeningly indefatigable Victorian explorer hauling his expedition, whaleboat and all, through the Great Australian Desert in midsummer. The first woman in space and her cosmonaut lover, caught in the star-crossed orbits of their joint mission. Two Texas high school football players at the top of their food chain, soliciting their fathers’ attention by leveling everything before them on the field. And the rational and compassionate chief executioner of Paris, whose occupation, during the height of the Terror, eats away at all he holds dear. Brimming with irony, compassion, and withering humor, these eleven stories are at once eerily pertinent and dazzlingly exotic, and they showcase the work of a protean, prodigiously gifted writer at the height of his form. Reading Jim Shepard, according to Michael Chabon, “is like encountering our national literature in microcosm.”

Project X

release date: Dec 18, 2007
Project X
In the wilderness of junior high, Edwin Hanratty is at the bottom of the food chain. His teachers find him a nuisance. His fellow students consider him prey. And although his parents are not oblivious to his troubles, they can''t quite bring themselves to fathom the ruthless forces that demoralize him daily. Sharing in these schoolyard indignities is his only friend, Flake. Branded together as misfits, their fury simmers quietly in the hallways, classrooms, and at home, until an unthinkable idea offers them a spectacular and terrifying release. From Jim Shepard, one of the most enduring and influential novelists writing today, comes an unflinching look into the heart and soul of adolescence. Tender and horrifying, prescient and moving, Project X will not easily be forgotten.

Love and Hydrogen

release date: Dec 18, 2007
Love and Hydrogen
I’ve been a problem baby, a lousy son, a distant brother, an off-putting neighbor, a piss-poor student, a worrisome seatmate, an unreliable employee, a bewildering lover, a frustrating confidante and a crappy husband. Among the things I do pretty well at this point I’d have to list darts, re-closing Stay-Fresh boxes, and staying out of the way. This is the self-eulogy offered early on by the unwilling hero of the opening story in this collection, a dazzling array of work in short fiction from a master of the form. The stories in Love and Hydrogen—familiar to readers from publications ranging from McSweeney’s to The New Yorker to Harper’s to Tin House—encompass in theme and compassion what an ordinary writer would seem to need several lifetimes to imagine. A frustrated wife makes use of an enterprising illegal-gun salesman to hold her husband hostage; two hapless adult-education students botch their attempts at rudimentary piano but succeed in a halting, awkward romance; a fascinated and murderous Creature welcomes the first human visitors to his Black Lagoon; and in the title story, the stupefyingly huge airship Hindenburg flies to its doom, representing in 1937 mankind''s greatest yearning as well as its titanic failure. Generous in scope and astonishing in ambition, Shepard’s voice never falters; the virtuosity of Love and Hydrogen cements his reputation as, in the words of Rick Bass, “a passionate writer with a razor-sharp wit and an elephantine heart”—in short, one of the most powerful talents at work today.

The O. Henry Prize Stories 2013

release date: Jan 01, 2013
The O. Henry Prize Stories 2013
Presents a collection of short stories judged to be the best in America and Canada for 2012, along with essays by three distinguished writers and jurors on their favorite pieces.

Master of Miniatures

release date: Jan 01, 2011
Master of Miniatures
Fiction. "As in Nosferatu, with its smartly imagined life of the German film director F. W. Murnau, here Shepard considers the Japanese special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya and his cinematic inventions for the science-fiction movie we know as Godzilla. And like many of Shepard''s stories, MASTER OF MINIATURES limns the intense and alienated world of a focused expert obsessed with his field of endeavor, at a cost to his marriage and children. For Japanese survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the fifties, America itself seemed king of the monsters, to be looked at with fear and awe. This is a poignant and important story that seems to me a summation and condensation of many themes that have preoccupied Shepard before. Like a diamond held aloft, each turn of this tale in his deft hand flashes still more light"—Ron Hansen.

Tin House

release date: Jan 05, 2007
Tin House
The literary magazine people are talking about

Love & Hydrogen

release date: Jan 01, 2004
Love & Hydrogen
A new collection of short fiction encompasses both previously unpublished stories, as well as selections from The New Yorker, Playboy, and other magazines and fourteen works from Battling Against Castro and other anthologies.

Batting Against Castro

release date: Jan 01, 1996
Batting Against Castro
A first collection of short stories by the author of Kiss of the Wolf includes fourteen tales ranging in setting from a winter-league baseball camp in pre-revolutionary Cuba to a postapocalyptic frontier in the American South to the set of Murnau''s classic film, Nosferatu. 15,000 first printing.

Gojira

release date: Jan 01, 2010
Gojira
The novella "Gojira: King of the Monsters" presents a fictionalized account on the personal and professional struggles of special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya during the production of Godzilla (Gojira, 1954).
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