Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin

When the blind man arrived in the city, he claimed that he had traveled across a desert of living sand.” The Brief History of the Dead (Pantheon, February 2006) by Kevin Brockmeier. Fifth book, second novel. Agent: Jennifer Carlson. Editor: Edward Kastenmeier.

“The heat of the sun seemed to split the earth open.” The House of Scorta (MacAdam/Cage, January 2006) by Laurent Gaudé. Third book, novel. Translated by Stephen Sartarelli and Sophie Hawkes. Agent: None. Editor: Jason Wood.

“I was looking for a quiet place to die.” The Brooklyn Follies (Henry Holt, January 2006) by Paul Auster. Twenty-eighth book, twelfth novel. Agent: Carol Mann. Editor: Jennifer Barth.

“This is the moment when you see again / the red berries of the mountain ash / and in the dark sky / the birds’ night migrations.” Averno (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, February 2006) by Louise Glück. Twelfth book, eleventh poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Jonathan Galassi.

“Purple, in fact, they sprint up the length of our street / and back down through a pair of bicycle tires, / then run themselves to ground amid the heat / of broken flag and flagstone and cement.” Parallel Play (Graywolf Press, January 2006) by Stephen Burt. Third book, second poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Jeffrey Shotts.

“There were three girlfriends and they were walking down a trail that led to a lake.” The Thin Place (Little, Brown, January 2006) by Kathryn Davis. Sixth book, novel. Agent: Jin Auh. Editor: Pat Strachan.

“The bearded ladies were dancing in the mud.” The Amalgamation Polka (Knopf, February 2006) by Stephen Wright. Fourth book, novel. Agent: Melanie Jackson. Editor: Gary Fisketjon.

“It is easy for a life to become unblessed.” Eat the Document (Scribner, February 2006) by Dana Spiotta. Second book, novel. Agent: Melanie Jackson. Editor: Nan Graham.

“My father once asked me if I knew where yonder was.” A Plea for Eros (Picador, December 2005) by Siri Hustvedt. Seventh book, third essay collection. Agent: Amanda Urban. Editor: Frances Coady.

“The valley is a woman lying on her back, legs spread wide, her geography wet by a constant rain.” Behold the Many (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, February 2006) by Lois-Ann Yamanaka. Eighth book, sixth novel. Agent: Susan Bergholz. Editor: John Glusman.

“The really ironic thing is, I hadn’t been thinking about sex at all.” Good Women (Mariner Books, January 2006) by Jane Stevenson. Sixth book, second novella collection. Agent: Joy Harris. Editor: Jane Rosenman.