Alive in Shape and Color:
17 Paintings by Great Artists and the Stories They Inspired
Lawrence Block, Editor
Pegasus Books, 2017
In his brilliant follow-up to In Sunlight or In Shadow, Lawrence Block has gathered together the best talent from popular fiction to produce an anthology as inventive as it is alluring, including Joyce Carol Oates, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, David Morrell, and Jeffery Deaver.
Even before Lawrence Block could rest on his laurels from In Sunlight or In Shadow, a question arose. What would he do for an encore?
Any number of artists have produced evocative work, paintings that could trigger a literary response. But none came to mind who could equal Hopper in turning out canvas after canvas. If no single artist could take Hopper’s place, how about a full palette of them? Suppose each author was invited to select a painting from the whole panoply of visual art—From the cave drawings at Lascaux to a contemporary abstract canvas on which the paint has barely dried.
And what a dazzling response! Joyce Carol Oates picked Le Beaux Jours by Balthus. Warren Moore chose Salvador Dali’s The Pharmacist of Ampurdam Seeking Absolutely Nothing. Michael Connelly, who sent Harry Bosch to Chicago for a close look at Nighthawks, has a go at The Garden of Earthly Delights by Harry’s namesake Hieronymous Bosch. S. J. Rozan finds a story in Hokusai’s The Great Wave, while Jeffery Deaver’s “A Significant Find” draws its inspiration from—yes—those prehistoric cave drawings at Lascaux. And Kristine Kathryn Rusch moves from painting to sculpture and selects Rodin.
In artists ranging from Art Frahm and Norman Rockwell to René Magritte and Clifford Still, the impressive concept goes on to include Thomas Pluck, Sarah Weinman, David Morrell, Craig Ferguson, Joe R. Lansdale, Jill D. Block, Justin Scott, Jonathan Santlofer, Gail Levin, Nicholas Christopher, and Lee Child, with each story accompanied in color by the work of art that inspired it.
In Sunlight or In Shadow:
Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper
Lawrence Block, Editor
Pegasus Books, 2016
A truly unprecedented literary achievement by author and editor Lawrence Block, a newly-commissioned anthology of seventeen superbly-crafted stories inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper, including Jeffery Deaver, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, Lee Child, and Robert Olen Butler, among many others.
“Edward Hopper is surely the greatest American narrative painter. His work bears special resonance for writers and readers, and yet his paintings never tell a story so much as they invite viewers to find for themselves the untold stories within.”
So says Lawrence Block, who has invited seventeen outstanding writers to join him in an unprecedented anthology of brand-new stories: In Sunlight or In Shadow. The results are remarkable and range across all genres, wedding literary excellence to storytelling savvy.
Contributors include Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Olen Butler, Michael Connelly, Megan Abbott, Craig Ferguson, Nicholas Christopher, Jill D. Block, Joe R. Lansdale, Justin Scott, Kris Nelscott, Warren Moore, Jonathan Santlofer, Jeffery Deaver, Lee Child, and Lawrence Block himself. Even Gail Levin, Hopper’s biographer and compiler of his catalogue raisonée, appears with her own first work of fiction, providing a true account of art theft on a grand scale and told in the voice of the country preacher who perpetrated the crime.
Dark City Lights:
New York Stories
Lawrence Block, Editor
Three Rooms Press, 2015
Famed detective and mystery writer Lawrence Block (A Walk Among the Tombstones, 8 Million Ways to Die) takes the helm as guest editor for DARK CITY LIGHTS, the fourth edition of the Have a NYC series. Twenty-three thrilling, hilarious and poignant short stories–all based in New York City–written by new and acclaimed fiction masters, including Robert Silverberg (Hugo and Nebula Award multiple winner; grand master of SFWA); Ed Park (author, Personal Days; senior editor, Amazon’s literary imprint, Little A); Jim Fusilli (rock and pop music critic, Wall Street Journal; author, Closing Time and A Well-Known Secret); Parnell Hall (author, Last Puzzle & Testament); SJ Rozan (Edgar, Shamus, Anthony, Nero and Macavity award-wining author); Brian Koppelman (co-writer, Ocean’s 13 and Rounders); Elaine Kagan (author, No Good-Byes; actress, GoodFellas), and more. A brilliant book that redefines the New York of today–and tomorrow.
Kenneth Wishnia, Editor
PM Press 2015
Jewish Noir is a unique collection of new stories by Jewish and non-Jewish literary and genre writers, including numerous award-winning authors such as Marge Piercy, Harlan Ellison, S.J. Rozan, Nancy Richler, Moe Prager (Reed Farrel Coleman), Wendy Hornsby, Jonathan Santlofer, Charles Ardai, and Kenneth Wishnia. The stories explore such issues as the Holocaust and its long-term effects on subsequent generations, anti-Semitism in the mid- and late-twentieth-century United States, and the dark side of the Diaspora (the decline of revolutionary fervor, the passing of generations, the Golden Ghetto, etc.). The stories in this collection also include many “teachable moments” about the history of prejudice, and the contradictions of ethnic identity and assimilation into American society.
“A Simkhe” (A Celebration), first published in Yiddish in the Forverts in 1912 by one of the great unsung writers of that era, Yente Serdatsky. This story depicts the disillusionment that sets in among a group of Russian Jewish immigrant radicals after several years in the United States. This is the story’s first appearance in English.
“Trajectories,” Marge Piercy’s story of the divergent paths taken by two young men from the slums of Cleveland and Detroit in a rapidly changing post-World War II society.
“Some You Lose,” Nancy Richler’s empathetic exploration of the emotional and psychological challenges of trying to sum up a man’s life in a eulogy.
“Her Daughter’s Bat Mitzvah,” Rabbi Adam Fisher’s darkly comic profanity-filled monologue in the tradition of Sholem Aleichem, the writer best known as the source material for Fiddler on the Roof (minus the profanity, that is).
“Flowers of Shanghai,” S.J. Rozan’s compelling tale of hope and despair set in the European refugee community of Japanese-occupied Shanghai during World War II.
“Yahrzeit Candle,” Stephen Jay Schwartz’s take on the subtle horrors of the inevitable passing of time.
The Rich and The Dead
Nelson DeMille, Editor
Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Book Group 2011
Selected by Nelson DeMille, a collection of mystery/thriller short stories focused on the wealthy upper echelons from some of today’s top writers.
The truly wealthy live in another world. From their multi-national businesses to their palatial mansions to their exotic vacations at glamorous places all around the world, they do everything in a big way. And sometimes, that even includes crime. In this anthology, you’ll read about a wealthy writer who plots murder his hopeless agent, an aging actress who clings to her past of wealth and fame, and a spoiled rich boy who steps into dangerous territory with his mean antics, among others. The Rich and the Dead features mystery and crime stories set among the upper crust of society, going behind the scenes of the lifestyles of the two percent of the world that controls sixty percent of its riches–and just how far they’ll go to stay on top.
New Jersey Noir
Joyce Carol Oates, Editor
Akashic Books 2011
“This anthology is a collection of stories from all around New Jersey and is a representation of the richness of experiences with a twist: It’s not all glass skyscrapers and clouds. This anthology gives voice to stories that don’t make polite society, as most of us urban Jersey kids wouldn’t. It’s a thrilling read that brings shadows to life.”
—Susan Justiniano, included in NPRs Book Picks for All 50 States
“Oates’s introduction to Akashic’s noir volume dedicated to the Garden State, with its evocative definition of the genre, is alone worth the price of the book . . . Poems by C.K. Williams, Paul Muldoon, and others–plus photos by Gerald Slota—enhance this distinguished entry.”
“It was inevitable that this fine noir series would reach New Jersey. It took longer than some readers might have wanted, but, oh boy, was it worth the wait . . . More than most of the entries in the series, this volume is about mood and atmosphere more than it is about plot and character . . . It should go without saying that regular readers of the noir series will seek this one out, but beyond that, the book also serves as a very good introduction to what is a popular but often misunderstood term and style of writing.”
—Booklist, Starred Review
“A lovingly collected assortment of tales and poems that range from the disturbing to the darkly humorous.”
Featuring brand-new stories (and a few poems) by: Joyce Carol Oates, Jonathan Safran Foer, Robert Pinsky, Edmund White & Michael Carroll, Richard Burgin, Paul Muldoon, Sheila Kohler, C.K. Williams, Gerald Stern, Lou Manfredo, S.A. Solomon, Bradford Morrow, Jonathan Santlofer, Jeffrey Ford, S.J. Rozan, Barry N. Malzberg & Bill Pronzini, Hirsh Sawhney, and Robert Arellano.
From the introduction by Joyce Carol Oates:
“The most civilized and ‘decent’ among us find that we are complicit with the most brutal murderers. We enter into literally unspeakable alliances—of which we dare not speak except through the obliquities and indirections of fiction, poetry, and visual art of the sort gathered here in New Jersey Noir.”
No Rest For The Dead
Touchstone/Simon & Schuster 2011
In this New York Times bestseller, twenty-six renowned thriller authors team up to create a first-rate serial novel—a collaboration that combines the skills of America’s greatest storytellers to produce a single gripping, spellbinding mystery.
“The lineup of writers who have contributed to this mystery is akin to the Murderers’ Row of the 1927 New York Yankees. There is not a weak spot in the bunch.” —David Baldacci, from the Introduction
Alexander McCall Smith. Sandra Brown. Faye Kellerman. J.A. Jance. Jeffery Deaver. Kathy Reichs. Lisa Scottoline. Jeff Lindsay.These are only a handful of the names thatmake up the all-star lineup of authors behindNo Rest for the Dead, a tale ofvengeance, greed, and love that flows seamlessly,in the words of David Baldacci, “as it passes fromone creator’s mind to the next.”
When Christopher Thomas, a ruthless curator at San Francisco’s McFall Art Museum, is murdered and his decaying body is found in an iron maiden in a Berlin museum, his wife, Rosemary, is the primary suspect, and she is tried, convicted, and executed. Ten years later, Jon Nunn, the detective who cracked the case, is convinced that the wrong person was put to death. In the years since the case was closed, he’s discovered a web of deceit and betrayal surrounding the Thomases that could implicate any number of people in the crime. With the help of the dead woman’s friend, he plans to gather everyone who was there the night Christopher died and finally uncover the truth, suspect by suspect. Solving this case may be Nunn’s last chance for redemption…but the shadowy forces behind Christopher’s death will stop at nothing to silence the past forever.
In this innovative storytelling approach, each of these twenty-five bestselling writers brings their distinctive voice to a chapter of the narrative, building the tension to a shocking, explosive finale. No Rest for the Dead is a thrilling, page-turning accomplishment that only America’s very best authors could achieve.
Christmas at The Mysterious Bookshop
Otto Penzler, Editor
Vanguard Press 2010
Each year, for the past seventeen years, Mysterious Bookshop proprietor Otto Penzler has commissioned an original Christmas story by a leading suspense writer. These stories were then produced as pamphlets, just 1,000 copies, and given to customers of the bookstore as a Christmas present. Now, all seventeen tales have been collected in one volume, showcasing the talents of:
Mary Higgins Clark
Thomas H. Cook
Edward D. Hoch
S. J. Rozan
Donald E. Westlake
Some of these stories are humorous, others suspenseful, and still others are tales of pure detection, but all of them together make up a charming collection and a perfect Christmas gift for all ages.
A Hell of a Woman: An Anthology of Female NoirMegan Abbott, Editor Busted Flush Press 2007“A Hell of a Woman is not only an exceptionally entertaining anthology, it’s an invaluable resource that will be cherished by aficionados of the genre.”—Paul Goat Allen, Chicago TribuneA collection of twenty-five original female noir stories by some of today’s top crime writers, including Vicki Hendricks, Sara Gran, Christa Faust, Naomi Hirahara, Charlie Huston, and more. Includes a special fifty-page appendix of essays on female noir pioneers.
Megan Abbott asked a number of male writers to choose a woman character from a film noir and write about them for her women’s anthology, A Hell of a Woman. I immediately thought of Marilyn Monroe in her darkest, sexiest role, Rose Loomis in Niagara. I also had to include Faye Dunaway as Evelyn Mulwray in Chinatown, one of my all-time favorite movies, a neo-noir classic as disturbing as it is brilliant. I drew both actresses alongside a short essay about their characters in each film.