Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin

I wake to the drone of an airplane engine and the feeling of something warm dripping down my chin.” A Million Little Pieces (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, April 2003) by James Frey. First book, memoir. Agent: Kassie Evashevski. Editor: Sean McDonald.

“This is how it goes: a boy named Iglaf, whose parents had immigrated from Estonia in the 1940s after much trouble in their native land, met a girl named Swan at a potluck supper and open mike poetry reading in the basement of the Estonian Church on Broadview the summer of 1969.” Bad News of the Heart (Dalkey Archive, April 2003) by Douglas Glover. Eighth book, fifth short fiction collection. Agent: None. Editor: John O’Brien.

“In the field of traumas come the base savannas—crosshairs tighten / on the flaring pink of the evening.” A Carnage in the Lovetrees (University of California Press, April 2003) by Richard Greenfield. First book, poetry. Agent: None. Editor: Laura Cerruti.

“When I arrived at the Institute, my name was still Alice, I was still the daughter of an entomologist and a population control activist, I was still a dropout student of social work and a former waitress at a western-themed steakhouse, I was still the product of one divorced academic family, various embassy school systems, two state colleges, three-quarters of an overpriced graduate program, and a long, humiliating indoctrination by the American restaurant service industry.” The Effect of Living Backwards (Putnam, July 2003) by Heidi Julavits. Second book, novel. Agent: Henry Dunow. Editor: Aimee Taub.

“Here is what we know, those of us who can speak to tell a story: On the afternoon of October 21st, my wife, Lexy Ransome, climbed to the top of the apple tree in our backyard and fell to her death.” The Dogs of Babel (Little, Brown & Co., June 2003) by Carolyn Parkhurst. First book, novel. Agent: Douglas Stewart. Editor: Asya Muchnick.

“If the light were good I could see everything.” Eating in the Underworld (Wesleyan University Press, April 2003) by Rachel Zucker. First book, poetry. Agent: None. Editor: Suzanna Tamminen.

“Like a match struck in a darkened room: Two white girls in flannel nightgowns and red vinyl roller skates with white laces, tracing tentative circles on a cracked blue slate sidewalk at seven o’clock on an evening in July.” The Fortress of Solitude (Doubleday, September 2003) by Jonathan Lethem. Ninth book, sixth novel. Agent: Richard Parks. Editor: Bill Thomas.

“Life is a bird.” Tales of Protection (Harcourt, April 2003) by Erik Fosnes Hansen. Translated from the Norwegian by Nadia Christensen. Second book, novel. Agent: Anneli Hoier. Editor: Jennifer Charat.

“A cool breeze carried the smell of fall’s first fires into our half-packed living room, setting motes tumbling in a late-afternoon shaft of sunlight.” Nature Lessons (St. Martin’s Press, April 2003) by Lynette Brasfield. First book, novel. Agent: Betsy Amster. Editor: Jane Rosenman.

“Never was there such a ship.” Signal & Noise (Picador, May 2003) by John Griesemer. Second book, novel. Agent: Bill Klegg. Editor: Josh Kendall.

“I could stay here humming / and amuse myself with the window.” Big Back Yard (BOA Editions, April 2003) by Michael Teig. First book, poetry. Agent: None. Editor: Thom Ward.