Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin

He nearly called you again last night.” Seven Types of Ambiguity (Riverhead, December 2004) by Elliot Perlman. Third book, second novel. Agent: Sarah Chalfant. Editor: Susan Lehman.

“I am so sorry to be the one to tell you this, but you will never be happy.” Torture the Artist (MacAdam/Cage, October 2004) by Joey Goebel. Second book, novel. Agent: None. Editor: Kate Nitze.

“I’ve just rung at my apartment and a strange man answered.” Out of My Head (Other Press, December 2004) by Didier van Cauwelaert. Fourteenth book, novel. Translated by Mark Polizzotti. Agent: Lucinda Karter. Editor: Stacy Hague.

“I told you last night that I might be gone sometime, and you said, Where, and I said, To be with the Good Lord, and you said, Why, and I said, Because I’m old, and you said, I don’t think you’re old.” Gilead (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, November 2004) by Marilynne Robinson. Fourth book, second novel. Agent: Ellen Levine. Editor: Jonathan Galassi.

“Toussaint sat hunched forward, consumed by his shadow, which the firelight threw huge and dark and shuddering behind him on the glistening wall.” The Stone That the Builder Refused (Pantheon, November 2004) by Madison Smartt Bell. Fifteenth book, tenth novel. Agent: Jane Gelman. Editor: Dan Frank.

“When I was in my second year of university, aged nineteen, my studies ground to a halt.” The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios (Harcourt, December 2004) by Yann Martel. Second book, first short story collection. Agent: Jackie Kaiser. Editor: Ann Patty.

“The garments worn in flying dreams / were fashioned there— / overcoats that swooped like kites, / scarves streaming like vapor trails, / gowns ballooning into spinnakers.” Streets in Their Own Ink (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, November 2004) by Stuart Dybek. Fifth book, second poetry collection. Agent: Amanda Urban. Editor: Elisabeth Sifton.

“When I was seven, I was plucked from my uneventful life deep in darkest Massachusetts and dropped into a Tang Instant Breakfast Drink commercial.” Magical Thinking (St. Martin’s Press, October 2004) by Augusten Burroughs. Fourth book, first essay collection. Agent: Christopher Schelling. Editor: Jennifer Enderlin.

“Only a remnant of life / left in the ill-fated confines / of the animal cage where / the Eden weasel languidly wheels / and eats what Eden weasels eat.” The Eye Like a Strange Balloon (Grove Press, November 2004) by Mary Jo Bang. Fourth book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Lindsey Sagnette.

“Katya said ‘If you’re going to stay here for more than a few days while I’m at work, it’s probably a good idea to have someone else in the area to talk to occasionally.’” Old Friends (Melville House, October 2004) by Stephen Dixon. Twenty-third book, ninth novel. Agent: None. Editor: Dennis Loy Johnson.

“Let us call our man, the hero of this story, Kingbitter.” Liquidation (Knopf, October 2004) by Imre Kertész. Seventh book, novel. Translated by Tim Wilkinson. Agent: Petra Christina Hardt. Editor: Carol Janeway.