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Harry Mathews

Harry Mathews (1930–2017) was born in New York. A founding editor of the literary journal Locus Solus , he wrote novels, poetry, short fiction, essays, and translations from the French. His many books include Cigarettes (1987), The Sinking of the Odradek Stadium (1999), and The Human Country (2002).


The Solitary Twin

Fiction by Harry Mathews

with a contribution by John Ashbery

John and Paul were also visitors to the town. They were twins, as identical as can be. They wore the same clothes, chino trousers and open-neck sweaters, in John’s case adorned with a faded maroon neckerchief. Both were addicted to the shellfish harvested year-round from the rocks and sands of the coast: little clams, winkles, cockles, crabs, and above all sea urchins–their dessert, as both said. They drank only McEwan’s India pale ale and smoked the same thin black Brazilian cigars ...

So begins the great writer Harry Mathews’s nal novel, The Solitary Twin, a rollicking yet incredibly moving story of two young men who come to a picturesque beach town. Seen prismatically through the viewpoints of the town's residents, they offer a variety of worldviews. Yet are they really twins or a single person?

Harry Mathews, the first American member of the French avant-garde literary society Oulipo, and long associated with the New York School of Poets, passed away this year, and The Solitary Twin is his last novel. “I believe this novel is his nest,” his friend John Ashbery has declared.


Available: March 27 2018


Exercises in Style: 65th Anniversary Edition

Fiction by Raymond Queneau

translated by Barbara Wright and Chris Clarke
with a contribution by Ben Marcus, Blake Butler, Amelia Gray, Jesse Ball, Harry Mathews, Lynne Tillman, Shane Jones, Jonathan Lethem, Enrique Vila-Matas and Frederic Tuten

On a crowded bus at midday, Raymond Queneau observes one man accusing another of jostling him deliberately. When a seat is vacated, the first man appropriates it. Later, in another part of town, Queneau sees the man being advised by a friend to sew a new button on his overcoat. Exercises in Style, Queneu’s experimental masterpiece and a hallmark book of the OULIPO literary group, retells this unexceptional tale in ninety-nine exceptional ways, employing writing styles such as the sonnet and the alexandrine, onomatopoeia and even Cockney.

A 65th Anniversary Edition includes twenty-five exercises by Queneau never before published in English translated by Chris Clarke, as well as new exercises by contemporary writers Jesse Ball, Blake Butler, Amelia Gray, Shane Jones, Jonathan Lethem, Ben Marcus, Harry Mathews, Lynne Tillman, Frederic Tuten, and Enrique Vila-Matas.