Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin

There are books that we skim over happily, forgetting one page as we turn to the next; others that we read reverently, without daring to agree or disagree; others that offer mere information and preclude our commentary; others still that, because we have loved them so long and so dearly, we can only repeat word by word, since we know them, in the truest sense, by heart.” A Reading Diary: A Passionate Reader’s Reflections 0n a Year of Books (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, October 2004) by Alberto Manguel. Tenth book, fourth essay collection. Agent: Bruce Westwood. Editor: Jonathan Galassi.

“Looking back on it now, I don’t think I was ever actually ‘sex shy’ (to use one of Prok’s pet phrases), but I’ll admit I was pretty naïve when I first came to him, not to mention hopelessly dull and conventional.” The Inner Circle (Viking, September 2004) by T.C. Boyle. Sixteenth book, tenth novel. Agent: Georges Borchardt. Editor: Paul Slovak.

“The first time, he was fishing with Danny.” The Secret Goldfish (Fourth Estate, September 2004) by David Means. Third book, short story collection. Agent: Andrew Wylie. Editor: Courtney Hodell.

“The train eased to a stop at Soul City, and Cadillac Jackson smoothed off into a new life.” Soul City (Little, Brown, September 2004) by Touré. Second book, first novel. Agent: Sarah Lazin. Editor: Reagan Arthur.

“Great Leo roared at my birth, / The windowpanes were lit / With stars’ applausive light, / And I have heard that the earth / As far away as Japan / Was shaken again and again / The morning I came forth.” Collected Poems (Knopf, August 2004) by Donald Justice. Ninth book, seventh poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Deborah Garrison.

“Is there a god of the gulf between a man / and a horse?” A Companion for Owls: Being the Commonplace Book of D. Boone, Long Hunter, Back Woodsman, &c. (Harcourt, September 2004) by Maurice Manning. Second book, poetry collection. Agent: None.
Editor: Andre Bernard.

“On the day I most want to remember, I’m wearing a strand of jet-black beads and a peasant dress that whips around my ankles in a late-spring wind.” Surrendered Child: A Birth Mother’s Journey (University of Georgia Press, October 2004) by Karen Salyer McElmurray. Second book, first memoir. Agent: Patty Moosbrugger. Editor: Nicole Mitchell.

“there was a woman who hit her head / and ever after she could see the sharp / wing of things” Mercy (BOA Editions, September 2004) by Lucille Clifton. Thirty-fourth book, twelfth poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Thom Ward.

“The eyes close and the gilded flesh / leaves messages in its spiraling, leaves / us astounded at the festive lethargy, at the body’s / reckless, pliant, beautiful lessening” Fall (Wesleyan University Press, September 2004) by Amy Newman. Third book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Suzanna Tamminen.

“I live with my father, Ray Nickel, in that low brick bungalow out on highway number twelve.” A Complicated Kindness (Counterpoint, October 2004) by Miriam Toews. Fourth book, third novel. Agent: Carolyn Swayze. Editor: Ellen Garrison.

“Drew Hagel was going to be late for the banquet.” Human Capital (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, October 2004) by Stephen Amidon. Sixth book, fifth novel. Agent: Henry Dunow. Editor: Lorin Stein.