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Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin

Dear L- / You asked for a little compass." The Narrow Road to the Interior (Norton, July 2006) by Kimiko Hahn. Seventh book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Jill Bialosky. Publicist: Winfrida Mbewe.

"The Alexander, with its cargo of convicts, had bucked over the face of the ocean for the better part of a year." The Secret River (Canongate, May 2006) by Kate Grenville. Tenth book, sixth novel. Agent: Barbara Mobbs. Editor: Tad Floridis. Publicist: Tad Floridis.

"In the summer of my fifteenth year, I made a solo flight from Babbington, New York, on the South Shore of Long Island, to Corosso, New Mexico, in the foothills of the San Mateo Mountains, on the banks of the Rio Grande, in a single-seat airplane that I had built in the family garage." Taking Off (St. Martin's Press, July 2006) by Eric Kraft. Tenth book, ninth novel. Agent: Noah Lukeman. Editor: George Witte. Publicist: Thomas Semosh.

"In an age of bare hands / and cast iron, // the clamp-on meat-mincer, / the double flywheeled water-pump," District and Circle (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, May 2006) by Seamus Heaney. Twentieth book, thirteenth poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Jonathan Galassi. Publicist: Ethan Rutherford.

"When he looks at his hand, he sees the hand he remembers-ropy branching veins, a ridge of waxy skin on the inside of the wrist where he fumbled a glowing iron rod at his father's forge one afternoon in 1966." The Inhabited World (Houghton Mifflin, July 2006) by David Long. Sixth book, third novel. Agent: Sally Wofford-Girand. Editor: Heidi Pitlor. Publicist: Holly Bemiss.

"John Briggs sat on his porch on a dreary hot August day with a glass of ice water sweating in his hand, listening to opera on the radio." Gallatin Canyon (Knopf, July 2006) by Thomas McGuane. Fourteenth book, second story collection. Agent: Andrew Wylie. Editor: George Andreou. Publicist: Gabrielle Brooks.

"It was amazing how different the world appeared once shifted back an hour." Crows Over the Wheatfield (William Morrow, June 2006) by Adam Braver. Third book, novel. Agent: Nat Sobel. Editor: Henry Ferris. Publicist: Ben Bruton.

"When the stray, bighearted, mixed-breed female birthed twenty-four puppies all the exact size of a canned Vienna sausage, Watt Pinson made the mistake of calling up a friend of a friend who had an acquaintance at the local news station sixty miles away." Drowning in Gruel (Harcourt, June 2006) by George Singleton. Fifth book, fourth story collection. Agent: Liz Darhansoff. Editor: Andre Bernard. Publicist: Tricia van Dockum.

"My family has a grand tradition." Hillbilly Gothic: A Memoir of Madness and Motherhood (Free Press, July 2006) by Adrienne Martini. First book, memoir. Agent: Elizabeth Kaplan. Editor: Leslie Meredith. Publicist: Jill Siegel.

"She was running late, always running late, a failing of hers, she knew it, but then she couldn't find her purse and once she did manage to locate it (underneath her blue corduroy jacket on the coat tree in the front hall), she couldn't find her keys." Talk Talk (Viking, July 2006) by T. C. Boyle. Eighteenth book, twelfth novel. Agent: Georges Borchardt. Editor: Paul Slovak. Publicist: Holly Watson.

"The problem was, Megan had just taken the second half of the ecstasy when her father called with the news." The Abortionist's Daughter (Knopf, June 2006) by Elisabeth Hyde. Fourth book, novel. Agent: Molly Friedrich. Editor: Jordan Pavlin. Publicist: Tessa Shanks.

"When I walk into a bookstore, any bookstore, first thing in the morning, I'm flooded with a sense of hushed excitement." The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop (Graywolf Press, June 2006) by Lewis Buzbee. Third book, first essay collection. Agent: None. Editor: Fiona McCrae. Publicist: Mary Matze.

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