Chris Schwartz’s father’s Prozac dosage must have been incorrect, because he awoke one morning to discover that the right side of his face had gone numb.” The Sleeping Father (Soft Skull Press, October 2003) by Matthew Sharpe. Third book, second novel. Agents: Leslie Falk, David McCormick. Editor: Richard Nash.
“The markets never rest / Always they are somewhere in agitation” The Strange Hours Travelers Keep (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, November 2003) by August Kleinzahler. Eleventh book, poetry. Agent: None. Editor: Jonathan Galassi.
“If you listen, you can hear it.” If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things (Mariner Books, November 2003) by Jon McGregor. First book, novel. Agent: Jin Auh. Editor: Anton Mueller.
“Seven years ago, before Julie and I divorced, I sat smoking a cigarette on the oak-shaded porch of our tan stucco house in St. Paul, relaxing before I bused to my one-to-nine shift at the Electric Fetus, a big independent record store in Minneapolis.” Jesus Sound Explosion  (University of Georgia Press, September 2003) by Mark Curtis Anderson. First book, memoir. Agent: None. Editor: Nicole Mitchell.
“My mother had just moved to New York City from Eau Claire in 1949, when she met Marie Kelso.” My Cold War (ReganBooks/HarperCollins, September 2003) by Tom Piazza. Sixth book, first novel. Agent: Amy Williams. Editor: Cal Morgan.
“Now they were starting.” The Great Fire (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, October 2003) by Shirley Hazzard. Ninth book, fifth novel. Agent: Lynn Nesbit. Editor: Jonathan Galassi.
“The women’s legs are spread wide open, so I hum.” Love (Knopf, October 2003) by Toni Morrison. Tenth book, eighth novel. Agent: Amanda Urban. Editor: Robert Gottlieb.
“Before I speak, can I say one thing?” This Is My Voice (Eastern Washington University Press, October 2003) by Jonathan Penner. Fifth book, second short story collection. Agent: None. Editor: Joelean Copeland.
“We have made our lives far away from our small city but we just can’t get used to being away from it, and we like to nurture nostalgia when it has been a while since we’ve been back, so sometimes we exaggerate our accent when we talk among ourselves, and use the common words and expressions that we’ve been storing up over the years and our children can vaguely understand from having heard them so often.” Sepharad (Harcourt, December 2003) by Antonio Muñoz Molina. Eighteenth book, ninth novel. Translated from the Spanish by Margaret Sayers Peden. Agent: Howard Morhaim. Editor: Drenka Willen.
“Unable to restrain myself, I have sat down to record the history of my first stops on life’s career, though I could have done as well without it.” The Adolescent (Everyman’s Library, November 2003) by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Fifteenth book, novel. Translated from the Russian by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. Agent: None. Editor: LuAnn Walther.
“That one night in the middle of the summer / when people move their chairs outside / and put their TVs on the porch / so the dark is full of murmuring blue lights.” What Narcissism Means to Me  (Graywolf Press, November 2003) by Tony Hoagland. Third book, poetry. Agent: None. Editor: Jeff Shotts.