Launched on July 1, 1916—98 years ago today—the Battle of the Somme has come to epitomize the madness of the First World War. Almost 20,000 British soldiers were killed and another 40,000 were wounded that first day, and there were more than one million casualties by the time the offensive halted.
In The Great War, cartoon journalist Joe Sacco depicts the events of the battle’s infamous first day in a monumental, wordless 24-foot panorama, “exacting in every damning detail, magnificent in its tragic way” (Jeff Shesol, New York Times Book Review).
This July our Norton Critical Editions will be debuting a new look. Our last major cover redesign was in 1987, so we’re excited to debut our new covers. If you’re an avid collector, your shelves will soon contain four distinct iterations of the classic Norton Critical Editions.
Leonardo da Vinci worked on the Mona Lisa for 15 years. By the time he died—May 2, 1519—he still didn’t consider it finished.
What else could we expect from the guy who said, “Art is never finished, only abandoned.”
“To me, the things that are suspenseful, that I find frightening, aren’t someone jumping out of a closet or those kind of big scares, but instead that slow build of dread, and [Highsmith] does that really well. She kind of takes you by the hand and walks you toward the cliff.”
Months and months and months, and then a week ago I submitted the final draft of the book I’ve been working on, and this morning, it goes into production. Relieved to say: Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter will be out early next year from W. W. Norton.
Unless of course we are all compelled by Nina’s sparkling prose to quit our jobs and become carpenters ourselves. But no, we must resist the urge. The books must be made!
Joe Sacco is up for an LA Times Book Prize with The Great War. (They’ve shoehorned him in with the Graphic Novels, as there’s not 24-Foot-Long Panorama category. Not yet, anyway.) To celebrate, take a look at this bonus footage from the short documentary about The Great War—in which Sacco explains his obsession with the Battle of the Somme.
AKHIL SHARMA — ON TOUR FOR FAMILY LIFE
“Family Life is a dark and thrilling accomplishment by a wildly gifted writer.”—Ann Packer
On the cover of this weekend’s New York Times Book Review Sonali Deraniyagala, the author of Wave, weighs in on Akhil Sharma’s new novel:
Family Life is devastating as it reveals how love becomes warped and jagged and even seemingly vanishes in the midst of huge grief. But it also gives us beautiful, heart-stopping scenes where love in the Mishra family finds air and ease…I found Family Liferiveting in its portrayal of an immigrant community’s response to loss…But where Family Life really blazes is in its handling of Mrs. Mishra’s grief. Sharma is compassionate but unflinching as he tells of this mother’s persistent and desperate efforts to cope over the years.