If the short documentary posted earlier on Joe Sacco’s The Great War, a 24-foot panorama of the first day of the Battle of the Somme, was somehow not epic enough for you, the Paris Metro has an installation of Sacco’s wordless depiction on an even grander scale currently on display at the Montparnasse-Bienvenüe station, the fourth busiest station in the system.
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).
Watch this short documentary to learn more.
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.
ALEXI ZENTNER — ON TOUR FOR THE LOBSTER KINGS
“Brutal and beautiful.” — Publishers Weekly
6/3 — Newton, MA — Newtonville Books *
6/4 — Brookline, MA — Brookline Booksmith *
6/5 — Portland, ME — Letterpress Books *
6/6 — Newburyport, MA — Jabberwocky Bookshop *
6/9 — Hastings-on-Hudson, NY — Spoken Interludes (ticketed) ¶
6/10 — New York, NY — McNally Jackson †
6/11 — Brooklyn, NY — Greenlight Bookstore †
* - with Andre Dubus III
† - with Téa Obreht
¶ - with Andre Dubus III and Marcie Cuff
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.”
Watch Joe Sacco explain how The Great War—which is now a finalist for an LA Times Book Prize—came about. (Like all great ideas, it involves drunken darts-playing.)
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!
Follow carpentrix now, if you aren’t already.
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
4/9 — New York, NY — Asian American Writers’ Workshop
4/14 — New York, NY — The Center for Fiction, with George Packer
4/15 — Cambridge, MA — Harvard Book Store
4/16 — Princeton, NJ — Princeton Public Library
4/22 — Albany, NY — New York State Writers Institute
4/24 — New York, NY — McNally Jackson, with Nell Freudenberger
5/5 — Washington, DC — Politics and Prose
5/6 — Philadelphia, PA — Free Library of Philadelphia
5/7 — New York, NY — Lower East Side Tenement Museum
5/8 — New York, NY — KGB Bar, Behind the Book Reading Series
5/9 — Brooklyn, NY — BookCourt