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Nov 2, 2018, 10:09am Top

An e-mail just received promoting LOA membership renewal contains this passage about forthcoming works:
"... the first ever single-volume edition of Herman Melville’s complete poems, two groundbreaking novels by African American author Ann Petry, and a trio of beloved children’s classics by Frances Hodgson Burnett—with their original illustrations painstakingly restored. Other volumes in production collect writings by William Bradford, Jean Stafford, S. J. Perelman, Booth Tarkington, John Williams, and Constance Fenimore Woolson. And I’m pleased to note that we have finally secured the rights to publish the first volume in the long-awaited LOA edition of Ernest Hemingway’s novels and stories."
Some of the items had already been announced, but some are new. Hemingway!!!!! :-)

Nov 2, 2018, 11:07am Top

Hemingway is encouraging: not unprecedented, plenty of other marquee names in LOA's catalogue. But encouraging that LOA is seen as much of an honour to the author as it is an honour for LOA to republish beloved works.

I say this as a lukewarm reader of Hemingway.

Nov 2, 2018, 3:27pm Top

On Hemingway: probably similar to the Fitzgerald volume--is stuff starting to come out of copyright? A contents guess:

Some accounting for the stories from Three Stories and Ten Poems (1923), in our time (1924) and In Our Time (1925)
The Torrents of Spring (1926)
The Sun Also Rises (1926)
Men Without Women (1927)

A Farewell to Arms (1929)
Winner Take Nothing (1933)
Four Stories (Francis Macomber, Snows of Kilimanjaro, etc.) (written 1936; published 1938 in The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories)
To Have and Have Not (1937)

The Fifth Column (1938) This is a play. Will it be orphaned? It has now been produced.
For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940)
Across the River and Into the Trees (1950)
The Old Man and the Sea (1952)
9 Uncollected Stories published in EH's lifetime (1938-57)

A major problem with Hemingway are the posthumous works. I don't know if LOA is even interested and it would have to be a long while from now unless the estate and Scribner are really ready to play ball:

Islands in the Stream (1970)
The Garden of Eden (1986)
True at First Light (1999)
Stories collected in UK Everyman's edition:
Drafts and Fragments published in The Nick Adams Stories (1972)
Stories first published in The Complete Short Stories (1987)
Juvenalia and Pre-Paris Stories

Death in the Afternoon (1932)
Green Hills of Africa (1935)
A Moveable Feast (1964) and please, the 1964 edition.
By-Line: Ernest Hemingway (1967) or more likely a new, larger selection of journalism

The Dangerous Summer (1985) full manuscript of 1960 Life articles; possibly covered above in journalism (and they were published during his lifetime).
Under Kilimanjaro (2005) the journal version of True at First Light

Edited: Nov 3, 2018, 12:34am Top

Podras: I fall into the same "camp", I believe. Lukewarm in regards to the majority of Hemingway's writing. There are numerous short stories -- and a handful of novels -- that I believe are masterful, but they aren't the usual suspects (even Updike picked "The Killers", a story everyone and his grandma anthologized, for The Best American Short Stories of the Century).

bsc20: Obviously, LOA is gonna try and do right by Hemingway, as well as show due diligence to a writer who looms large in "the canon"; a writer who, undoubtedly, influenced just a lot of others who followed in his footsteps.Stories like "A Clean, Well-lighted Place", Hills Like White Elephants", "The Snows of Kilimanjaro", "My Old Man", "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" and, yes, even "The Killers" are worth collection in an LOA volume or three. And, THE SUN ALSO RISES and THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA should definitely make the cut. I'd also include A FAREWELL TO ARMS and FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS. Essays? A MOVEABLE FEAST, for sure. After that, BY-LINE... and perhaps one other.

For a guy who was known to ,be succinct in his writing, he sometimes could have used a better editor (the last three lines of "Big Two-Hearted River Part 1", for instance, come off less like a poetic litany and more like...well, over-writing).

If LOA publishes everything but his laundry list, that's cool. If it doesn't, from my standpoint, then just the essentials will be terrific.

Nov 3, 2018, 8:55pm Top

Although he’s in an entirely different category than Hemingway, I am very happy to see S.J.Perlman on this list. He was one of the great humorists of the 20th century - and so far, of that group only Thurber has been given an LOA volume. Like Hemingway, Perlman wrote an awful lot, much of which probably would not merit republication, so an edited volume of his work would be ideal. Unlike Hemingway, his work is not currently in print, so having an LOA edition is vital to preserving his work.

Nov 3, 2018, 10:31pm Top

Delighted, thrilled, relieved to hear that Ernest Hemingway is coming to the LOA.

Dec 5, 2018, 4:34pm Top

A fundraising letter from LOA in yesterday's mail listed some forthcoming volumes, including some of those mentioned in the email discussed in first post in this thread, but added the following enigmatic phrase: "and writings on democracy, women's suffrage, and the nuclear age." These sound like anthologies, but it is not clear whether they will be special publications or main series volumes. Hopefully we'll get a better picture before too long of what these volumes will include beyond the rather vague characterizations in the letter.

Jan 1, 2:22am Top

A volume of Frances Hodgson Burnett's works, now scheduled for Sept. 2019, was a surprise until I looked him up and saw that he did much of his writing in the U.S. Perhaps there is hope yet for LOA volumes of P. G. Wodehouse's best work. :-)

Jan 1, 12:25pm Top

Everyman’s has a best of Wodehouse out.

Edited: Jan 1, 1:27pm Top

Is there anything by William Bradford other than Of Plymouth Plantation? Or at least that's really worth publishing? Seems like a full volume of Bradford would be shorter than the LoA standard.

Anyway, I'm glad to see Constance Fenimore Woolson getting some attention. In fact, I'd love to see a multi-volume set of the complete Woolson canon. It's a shame that she's just remembered (at least primarily) for the suicide that forever traumatized dear old Henry James.

ETA: Of course, I'd even more love to see a multi-volume set of the complete Sarah Orne Jewett canon. The single-volume LoA is pitifully inadequate (but then, I'm a nut on Maine literature). There's a near-complete online collection at the Sarah Orne Jewett Text Project, but online collections are just so dangerously ephemeral.

Jan 2, 10:43pm Top

>10 CurrerBell:

The William Bradford volume will include Bradford and other Pilgrim writers--sort of like what was done for the surprisingly popular Capt. John Smith volume.


Edited: Jan 8, 12:50pm Top

The 2019 Subscription Customization form is up on LOA's subscribers page. It includes an entry for Constance Fenimore Woolson, hinted at above (see >1 Podras.:) but not yet formally announced.

Jan 9, 4:43pm Top

>12 Podras.: Podras,

Belated thank you for noticing and posting

Feb 21, 3:06am Top

An article in LOA's Reader's Almanac, Library of America honored with Los Angeles Times Innovator’s Award for bringing cultural heritage “into the future”, contains the information at the end that a new special edition, American Birds: A Literary Companion, will be published in 2020.

Feb 21, 10:47am Top

>14 Podras.:

That sounds intriguing from the title, I've read in the past few years a couple books on birds and am curious what the LOA has assembled.

Mar 21, 11:27am Top

Will there be more L'Engle volumes to come?
The Crosswicks Journals?
Austin family series?

Sorry if this is answered elsewhere, but I could not find anything indicating future plans.

May 5, 8:56pm Top

Amazon is now showing John Updike: Novels 1968-1975, which includes the novels Couples, Rabbit Redux, and A Month Of Sunday’s. It is listed as LOA #326, with a release date of 1/7/20 according to Amazon.

Sorry if it’s already been noted somewhere, but I haven’t noticed it being mentioned anywhere.

May 7, 7:50am Top

Yeah, and if the STAFFORD collection is #324, the WOOLSON is #327 and the new UPDIKE is #326...what's inside #325?

May 7, 9:48am Top

>18 Truett:
#325 is the Joan Didion volume.

May 21, 7:14pm Top

I just received a fund raising letter from LOA that mentions forthcoming authors LOA will be publishing. Many we already know about, but there are some new authors, too. Among them are "an inaugural volume of Robert Stone's darkly brilliant novels", "Richard Hofstadter's classic writings on American politics", and "Jonathan Schell's writings on peace and nuclear war". There will also be "a timely survey of American Conservatism". Also acknowledged is John Updike's next volume containing Rabbit Redux.

May 22, 7:19am Top

Podras: Many thanks for the heads up! I'll gladly pass on the "survey on conservatism" since I've had my fill of that in American politics and society; the Schell volume sounds like a winner, as does the Hofstadter book. And, of course, Updike (even though I'm not as big a fan as you and a few others, his writing was sublime). But, for me, the big, BIG news is the inclusion of Robert Stone. Even one volume of his novels (A HALL OF MIRRORS, DOG SOLDIERS, A FLAG FOR SUNRISE...DAMASCUS GATE) would be terrific, but knowing that there will be two or more is excellent. (Icing on the cake would be a decision to include a volume collecting short stories and nonfiction, especially BEAR AND HIS DAUGHTER and PRIME GREEN). Groovy.

May 22, 9:51am Top

The Hofstadter, Schell, and Updike volumes all seem worthy but are not exciting to me personally.

I'm unfamiliar with Robert Stone, so that's more interesting! Thanks for the hints on where to start looking, Truett.

May 22, 4:33pm Top

elenchus: my pleasure. And thank _you_ for pointing out what I obviously missed in another thread (the Didion, 325 -- an essential part of any library!). :) Stone is a little "thicker" reading than Updike (steak, instead of prime rib): more complex plots, more political machinations. A HALL OF MIRRORS takes on the 1960s Civil Rights era, and arch-conservatism in the USA and their influence on the media (a monster that keeps shambling no matter how many stakes are put through its many hearts); DOG SOLDIERS revisits the same era, with its ex-marine protagonist getting involved in the drug trade (Stone, ex-Navy and merchant marine, knew Ken Kesey and others fairly well); A FLAG FOR SUNRISE takes on America's involvement in Central America; and in DAMASCUS GATE a journalist gets involved in political intrigue and terrorist plots in Jerusalem and Gaza. And PRIME GREEN is a memoir that covers the sixties, and Stone's time in the Navy, hanging out with Kesey, reporting on the Vietnam War, etc.

May 25, 1:00am Top

In post No. 7 in this thread I noted that an earlier fundraising letter mentioned, enigmatically, “writings on democracy, women’s suffrage, and the nuclear age.” I now wonder whether the first and third of these topics were references to the forthcoming volumes by Hofstadter and Schell, respectively. I’m very much looking forward to both.

May 25, 1:32pm Top

It sounds right, esp the Jonathan Schell for "nuclear age", though his writings easily apply to "democracy", as well.

Edited: May 28, 5:29am Top


Any word, yet, on:
1) another volume of O'Hara novels (perhaps A RAGE TO LIVE, TEN NORTH FEDERICK and FROM THE TERRACE)?
2) The next Shirley Jackson volume?
3) The Donald Bartheleme volume or volumes?

Sep 21, 4:30pm Top

I've just received a fund-raising letter from LOA soliciting donations for Lift Every Voice, "... a groundbreaking publishing and public programming initiative that celebrates and explores the voices of African American poets as never before." Part of that program is the release of a new LOA volume, African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song. The volume is to be released to the general public in September 2020. Donors of $100 or more will receive a courtesy volume in advance of the general release. So far, this appears to be a members only offer.

Nov 2, 11:24am Top

The flier that accompanied LOA's recent Joan Didion: The 1960s & 70s volume says that it is the first of a three volume edition of her works. There's no word on when the other volumes are planned for release.

Nov 16, 7:28pm Top

The latest (Fall 2019) newsletter from LOA contains this note about Wendell Berry: "Future volumes in the Library of America Wendell Berry edition will collect the remainder of the fiction as well his (sic) poetry." Three volumes down and x to go.

Nov 21, 8:31pm Top

>10 CurrerBell: Woo-HOOOO! The Woolson volume is now available for immediate online order from LoA prior to its bookstore arrival on February 4 next year.

Nov 21, 10:21pm Top

>30 CurrerBell:

The Woolson volume looks to be right in the wheelhouse of LOA: an once-influential and accomplished writer's whose works are lost on the average US reader today. I'd never heard of her, look forward to reading your review and (perhaps) picking up the volume myself.

Nov 22, 12:30am Top

>31 elenchus: I've read her "Lake-Country Sketches" (the Great Lakes area, rather gothic in tone, 4½**** review) and her "Southern Sketches" (Reconstruction Era, 4**** review) on Kindle, but I could use a reread after a half-dozen years. She also wrote a number of "Americans abroad" types of stories (often compared to her friend Henry James) which I've never read, and this LoA edition could be a really nice compendium of her stories.

Woolson committed suicide by defenestration in Venice at the age of 53, apparently while of "unsound mind" and in serious pain while suffering from influenza. A very unfair image developed of Woolson as a wannabe whose primary historical interest was her death that forever traumatized poor dear old Henry.

She also wrote several novels along with some poetry and travel writings. I see some interesting comparisons/contrasts between her and Sarah Orne Jewett.

Woolson was a distant relative of James Fenimore Cooper.

Nov 22, 1:15pm Top

Ah, appreciate you pointing out those reviews of the individual collections: I'm actually most interested in her regional stuff, both for its treatment of racism in U.S. culture and for the Great Lakes stuff (I'm in Chicago and spent high school years outside Detroit so while the UP is quite distinct, still it's part of the region I identify with).

Nov 25, 8:14am Top

>32CurrerBell: interesting that you write "Woolson committed suicide..." I don't know much about her beyond what I've read online -- the LOA site included -- but no one seems to know for sure that it was suicide. Is there a source you've read wherein someone witnessed her jumping? (I know she was depressed, but she was also pretty sick -- the flu. Without seeing the actual site of the event, I can imagine someone -- not thinking clearly -- sitting on a window ledge, to catch a breeze while overheated from fever, perhaps; or even a few other knuckle-headed, but thoroughly human, things that she could have done to lose her balance and fall from the window (it's unusual, but it has happened -- and occasionally, still does).

Nov 29, 7:47pm Top

I just got another fund-raising flier from LOA with teasers about forthcoming volumes. Someone who hadn't been mentioned before is E. O. Wilson, a noted biologist/ecologist. A piece by him was included in American Earth.

Another teaser that isn't so specific is "volumes exploring the foundational texts that define our democracy". That is a pretty fuzzy description, but I'm guessing that the volumes may be anthologies of essays written over the years focusing on the Constitution, Bill of Rights, etc. along the lines of The Lincoln Anthology (main series volume #192), The Mark Twain Anthology (#199), or American Earth (#182). Based on my track record about such guesses in the past, I'm probably way off the mark, but it's fun to speculate. Besides, that sounds like a really good idea.

This page from LOA's web site has been updated with some new titles, too, since I last saw it. The African American Poetry volume is slated for September next year.

Nov 29, 9:51pm Top

>35 Podras.:

Good news about the future inclusion of E. O. Wilson. He is so prolific that it is hard to guess what works of his might be included in one or more LOA volumes. But I might guess they would be among the following: On Human Nature, Biophilia, The Diversity of Life, Naturalist (his autobiography), Consilience, The Future of Life, The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth, and Half-Earth. There are others that could be included. Some of his well-known books are more technical and, in my opinion, unlikely to be included by LOA, such as The Theory of Island Biogeography, The Insect Societies, Sociobiology, and The Ants.

Nov 30, 12:08am Top

Podras: thanks, as always, for the heads up about forthcoming volumes.

Regarding the newsletter: besides the silver-spoon-neediness of "well-to-do" types wanting their photos printed (used to run into that a LOT when writing/photographing for a city magazine in the USA), the most cringe-worthy part of the newsletter is the fact that they list the names of the contributors followed by their donation amounts! WTAF? I believe there's a high-falutin' word for that. Oh, yeah: gauche.

DCLOYCESMITH: if you're reading, and (of course) care to answer, I'd love the enlightenment. What's the difference between LIBRARY OF AMERICA, EVERYMAN'S LIBRARY and MODERN LIBRARY? Other than the fact that they aren't limited to USA authors, is it strictly that the latter two aren't non-profit? (That would explain how they often obtain titles from authors like Toni Morrison and Ray Bradbury, etc. They published a few by O'Hara before LOA picked him up). I noticed the quality of the books seems to be quite similar: all of the on the high quality side, of course. For some reason, it seems as if the owners (?) or publishers of Everyman's and Modern seem to overlap in some areas (maybe not).

Dec 2, 5:34pm Top

Truett, Everyman's and Modern Library are now both part of the vast Random House empire. RH not only has these lines but also distributes Penguin Classics, NYRB, and even LOA. Since I buy a lot from all five, I tend to keep tabs on this.

Everyman's used to be an independent UK-only line published by Dent, but Knopf bought and relaunched it in the US and UK in 1991. Some UK titles are not available in the US due to exclusive publishing agreements here (Hemingway with Scribner, etc). This is my go-to for non-US authors with the exception of works in translation. Here I pick and choose depending on whether they are using a centuries-old public domain translation or something more recent/full/accurate. Quality is generally good but there have been some rumblings about glue being used from time to time. Until Random House took over Knopf in about 2002, the US editions did not have dust jackets. The UK editions mostly did but the gilding on the spines differed slightly between US and UK editions of the same book. After 2002 new titles have had dust jackets and the older ones seem to get them once they are reprinted, if they ever are (still waiting on Tristram Shandy and several others). Introductions are scholarly and there is substantial other apparatus to assist the reader.

Modern Library is an original Bennett Cerf/Random House baby that, like Everyman's in the UK, provided pocket size hardcovers for the US market. Sometime in the 1990s Random House relaunched the line in the attractive goldish-green covers. While the paper quality and at times the binding did not reach Everyman's standards, they had a somewhat greater 20th century focus, especially of authors RH already had. So you would get a Frederick Exley, a Gore Vidal, William Styron, etc. Introductions tend to be brief and biographical.

Two things have happened in the new century. Random House bought Knopf and has been in a lengthy process of making Everyman's its go-to line for hardcover classic reprints while Modern Library has essentially been converted over to paperback, with a just few titles still available in hardcover. This means that Everyman's publishes at least as many titles in its Contemporary Classics line (orange dust jacket spines) as it does material from before the 20th century. (Apparently for them Joyce and Forster are "contemporary.")

And in all these cases, as I think DCS has confirmed before, those titles for which Random House already has the rights via its various imprints are the ones you will see if they are not in public domain. Since Random House is an ever-growing leviathan with huge reach and several imprints at its disposal, they will not soon lack for contemporary material for Everyman's to publish. Peter Carey and Lorrie Moore, for example, are on the way.

LOA does not have exclusive rights to anyone except in the case of special publications. The main line is all public domain or negotiated additional publishing rights (likely the publisher will get a cut in a licensing agreement, thus keeping the price point for books by recent authors high). This is how, for example, the Criterion Collection operates in film even though it is for-profit. Everything is licensed.

Dec 2, 6:00pm Top

>38 bsc20:

Modern Library was begun in 1917 by Boni & Liveright. Cerf bought it from them in 1925.

Knopf was acquired by Random House in 1960, not 2002.

And Random/Knopf relaunched Modern Library and Everyman's hardbacks in the early/mid 1990s not in the 'new century'. I remember ordering stock and putting up displays.


Isn't one of the differences that LOA volumes are freshly edited, whereas ModLib and EvLib are essentially reprints?

Dec 2, 10:06pm Top

36 Crypto-Willobie

Points 1 and 2 well taken. In 2002 the dust jackets began to appear more regularly, but not because of acquisition.

Point 3: I mentioned Modern Library's hardcover reboot in the 1990s. The change in the 2000s was to move the line to paperback. I remember well stocking those new Modern Librarys in the 90s. It is a shame the hardcovers are becoming extinct. I tend to grab them when I see them in used shops, where they still stand out.

Dec 3, 1:47am Top

Adding to the above comments:

The goals of the series are quite different. Everyman's Library and Modern Library were both established to make available to "everyday" readers canonical and essential works, mostly from the "Western Canon" (as it was conceived a century ago). There were a handful of authors that had most of their works eventually published in the series (Dickens comes to mind, with introductions written by G. K. Chesterton), but otherwise the focus was on singular works in individual volumes.

LOA was founded not only to publish landmark American works and keep them in print but also to include a comprehensive selection (or a generous selection) of the writings of those authors--rather than simply their best-known work or works. Although the mission has expanded since then to include genre and themes, the focus on omnibus editions remains.

Just one example: Melville. In the original Everyman's Library line-up, there were three volumes: Typee (1907), Omoo (1908), and Moby-Dick (1907). Typee and Omoo, formerly considered his masterpieces, fell out of public and critical favor and at the late twentieth-century there were just two Everyman Library's volumes for Melville: Moby-Dick and his shorter fiction (including Billy Budd). There have never, I believe, been Everyman's Library editions of Mardi, White-Jacket, Pierre, Confidence-Man, etc. In fact, when the LOA editions were published in the 1980s, many of Melville's "other" works were out of print.

Until recently, with the exception of trilogies and story/essay anthologies, Everyman's and Modern Library published individual works. Thus, the original Everyman's volume had The Rights of Man--but nothing else by Paine was in the series. Common Sense was added to the recent edition, so the reader now gets two works in one volume. (Still no Age of Reason, though.) And so on.

The differences explain, in part, why LOA would not have survived as a profit venture. The best-known and most-read works are, obviously, more likely to sell. Even then, both Everyman's and Modern Library had difficult periods over the century, and both were nearly terminated--or greatly curtailed--at various times. At one point, Everyman's had 1,200 volumes; now there are under 500. Trust me: nobody was counting coin at the LOA when we published a one-volume collection of three novels by Charles Brockden Brown. (Although I'm happy to say that volume is in its third printing.) I don't believe there has ever been a hardcover edition of CBB in either of the other two series.

None of this should be taken to minimize the importance of our "competitors"; in fact, Random House was one of several companies that helped prop up the LOA during its early years, along with Time-Life Books, Book-of-the-Month Club, and several other firms. And I own and treasure dozens of Modern Library and Everyman's Library editions and recommend them often. All three series serve different purposes and audiences, and we complement and amplify one another's efforts, both editorially and commercially.


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