You Deserve Nothing

You Deserve Nothing

Alexander Maksik

Literature & Fiction / Travel / Nonfiction

William Silver is a talented and charismatic young teacher. His unconventional methods raise eyebrows among his colleagues and superiors, but his students are devoted to him. He brings ideas into the classroom that profoundly affect how they conduct their lives. His discussions of Camus, Faulkner, Sartre, Keats and other kindred souls breathe life into his students' sense of social justice and their capacities for philosophical and ethical thought. But unbeknownst to his adoring pupils, Silver proves incapable of living up to the ideals he encourages in others. Emotionally scarred by failures in his personal life and driven to distraction by the City of Light's overpowering carnality and beauty, Silver succumbs to a temptation that will change the course of his life. His fall will render him a criminal in the eyes of some, and human, all too human, in the eyes of others.In Maksik's stylish prose, Paris is sensual, dazzling and dangerously seductive. It serves as a fitting...
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A Marker to Measure Drift

A Marker to Measure Drift

Alexander Maksik

Literature & Fiction / Travel / Nonfiction

A hypnotic, spellbinding novel set in Greece and Africa, where a young Liberian woman reckons with a haunted past.  On a remote island in the Aegean, Jacqueline is living alone in a cave accessible only at low tide. With nothing to protect her from the elements, and with the fabric between herself and the world around her increasingly frayed, she is permeated by sensory experiences of remarkable intensity: the need for shade in the relentless heat of the sun-baked island; hunger and the occasional bliss of release from it; the exquisite pleasure of diving into the sea. The pressing physical realities of the moment provide a deeper relief: the euphoric obliteration of memory and, with it, the unspeakable violence she has seen and from which she has miraculously escaped.Slowly, irrepressibly, images from a life before this violence begin to resurface: the view across lush gardens to a different sea; a gold Rolex glinting on her father’s wrist; a glass of gin in her mother’s best crystal; an adoring younger sister; a family, in the moment before their fortunes were irrevocably changed. Jacqueline must find the strength to contend with what she has survived or tip forward into full-blown madness.Visceral and gripping, extraordinary in its depiction of physical and spiritual hungers, Alexander Maksik’s A Marker to Measure Drift is a novel about ruin and faith, barbarism and love, and the devastating memories that contain the power both to destroy us and to redeem us. ReviewAdvance Praise for A Marker to Measure Drift “Gorgeously written, tightly wound, with language as precise as cut glass, Alexander Maksik’s A Marker to Measure Drift is a tour de force. Maksik renders the soul of his heroine, a Liberian refugee, with stark honesty so that we understand both the brutality of what she has run from and the terror she experiences as she tries to build her life back. I was undone by this novel. I challenge anyone to read it and not come away profoundly changed.”      —Marisa Silver, author of Mary Coin and The God of War“This novel is spellbinding. In its tenderness, grandeur and austerity, it reminds us that there is no country on earth as foreign, as unreachable, as the frantic soul of another human being.”      —Susanna Sonnenberg“A Marker to Measure Drift is a haunting, haunted novel. Things get stripped down to essentials—food, water, where to sleep for the night, a state of solitary desperation brought on by the most profound kind of loss. Every line of this excellent novel rings true as Maksik leads us toward the catastrophe at the story’s core. This is one of those books that leaves you staring into space when you finish, dazed from the sheer power of what’s been said.”        —Ben Fountain“A moving, deeply felt and lyrical novel about past and present.”      —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)“A vivid depiction of disillusionment, shock, and resilience . . . Sheds light on a setting great in both its beauty and violence . . . An exploration of terrible brutality and the effort it takes to survive.”      —Library Journal“Readers will be rewarded by Maksik’s gorgeous and evocative prose.”      —Publishers WeeklyAbout the AuthorAlexander Maksik is the author of the novel You Deserve Nothing and a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His writing has appeared in The Best American Nonrequired Reading, Harper’s, Tin House, Harvard Review, The New York Times Magazine, Salon, and Narrative Magazine, among other publications, and has been translated into more than a dozen languages. He lives in New York City.
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Shelter in Place

Shelter in Place

Alexander Maksik

Literature & Fiction / Travel / Nonfiction

Set in the Pacific Northwest in the jittery, jacked-up early 1990s, Shelter in Place, by one of America's most thrillingly defiant contemporary authors, is a stylish literary novel about the hereditary nature of mental illness, the fleeting intensity of youth, the obligations of family, and the dramatic consequences of love. Joseph March, a twenty-one-year-old working class kid from Seattle, is on top of the world. He has just graduated college and his future beckons, unencumbered, limitless, magnificent. Joe's life implodes when he starts to suffer the symptoms of bipolar disorder, and, not long after, his mother kills a man she's never met with a hammer. Joe moves to White Pine, Washington, where his mother is serving time and his father has set up house. He is followed by Tess Wolff, a fiercely independent woman with whom he has fallen in love. The lives of Joe, Tess, and Joe's father fall into the slow rhythm of daily prison visits followed by beer and pizza at...
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