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Contemporary best-sellers this week

By Harriet Staff

Seasons change. And with the coming of autumn we see familiar top-titles drop from the best-seller list as others rise to the top. Staying strong this week at #1 is Natasha Threthewey’s Thrall, while Philip Appleman’s Perfidious Proverbs and Other Poems holds on to the #2 slot. Sharon Olds’s Stag’s Leap claims coveted territory on the list, taking the #3 spot in paperback and bounding onto the list in hardcover at #6. John Koethe’s ROTC Kills rises rapidly from #16 to #5 in only two weeks. Missing from the top five for the first time in recent memory are two best selling giants: Mary Oliver and Billy Collins. Moving on to what’s new this week, Frederick Seidel’s Nice Weather has an impressive debut coming in at #7. Michael Robbins in the Chicago Tribune writes: “Seidel’s darkness has little of Frost’s dignity or Dickinson’s enigma. Whether he’s mourning his dead dog or comparing the earthquake in Haiti to his fear of the dentist, his poems are soaked in the impious immediacies of the vernacular.” Also new to the list is Jane Springer’s Murder Ballad, which enters the list at #19. Of Springer’s latest, her publisher writes: “On one hand Murder Ballad is a fierce critique of Jane Springer’s Southern inheritance, on the other these poems quickly reveal the enigmatic beauty and sharply ironic humor contained in the still-relevant colloquialisms that often shape her characters. Her loose definitions of Southern-isms are the jumping-off place for the masterful poet as she leaps, narrates, and redefines the American South.” Finally, Nathalie Handal’s Poet in Andalucía debuts at #22. About Handal’s latest, Melissa Studdard writes: “Known as a poet on the move, Handal writes in Arabic, Spanish, Ladino Catalan, and woven fragments of other languages essential to her heritage and travels. In Poet in Andalucía, we see Handal, a current New York resident, as stationary as she may ever get as she sojourns in southern Spain and northern Morocco to recreate Federico García Lorca’s Poeta en Nueva York in reverse, in the process interweaving, channeling, conversing with, and honoring Lorca’s poetic vision.”

Posted in Uncategorized on Friday, September 14th, 2012 by Harriet Staff.