New List added to Sources: Robert Nedelkoff

A new list of neglected books added to Sources: Robert Nedelkoff.

Archivist Robert Nedelkoff, who’s written on neglected books for McSweeney’s and other magazines offered an even dozen recommendations to the Editor not long after this site opened.

Among these is Operators And Things by Barbara O’Brien, of which he writes,

When I came across an Ace paperback edition of this book, published in the early 1960s, I at first thought I was reading one of Philip K. Dick’s greatest achievements. It opens with a solemn introduction by a psychiatrist explaining that this is the story of a young woman who not only has managed to cure herself of schizophrenia, but has written well of the experience. The next chapter reads like a breezy magazine article about mental illness. Then we’re plunged into the story: a woman, apparently in her late 20s, wakes up to find three people standing by her bed: an old man, a boy, and a weird-looking, long-haired man. She is a “Thing,” an automaton, like most everyone else on earth. The old man has been her “Operator” – one of the handful of people who “own” and control everyone else on earth. He is handing her over to the control of the long-haired man, who has decided a) to make her aware of her status as a Thing and b) to have her walk away from her job and get on a Greyhound bus – the only way to go for a smart Operator, because the drivers are all Operators themselves and are contractually obligated not to interfere with the chattelship of Things. Then the book gets really unpredictable….

Valancourt Books added to Publishers

Just added to the Publishers page:

The Valancourt Books, www.valancourtbooks.com.

Founded by James D. Jenkins, Valancourt Books is named after the hero of The Mysteries of Udolpho, Ann Radcliffe’s classic Gothic novel, and specializes in quality reprints of rare 18th and 19th century literature. It has launched three series:

  • Gothic Classics, which “exhumes great novels from the 18th and 19th centuries and endeavours to make them accessible to a new generation of readers.” “We strive,” writes the publisher, “to select the most important and entertaining books, and to reprint them in the most attractive and affordable editions possible. Each volume is newly designed, with stylish cover art, and each includes a new introduction and notes to put the work in context for 21st century readers.”

  • Irish Classics, which kicked off with a reissue of Bram Stoker’s The Snake’s Pass (1890), “Stoker’s first novel and his only book set in his native Ireland.” According to the publisher, “Future volumes in the series will feature works by Charles Maturin, Regina Maria Roche, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu and others.”

  • Valancourt Classics, “which reprints the truly great books of the 18th and 19th centuries which for whatever reason have fallen out of print or been otherwise forgotten by the literary establishment. Each book in this series features an in depth introduction and extensive notes and appendices for modern readers, students, and scholars.” The first two books in this series are Ann Radcliffe’s Gaston de Blondeville (1826) and The Magic Ring (1825) by Baron de la Motte Fouqué.