SHHH: The Story of a Childhood
$18 HOLIDAY SPECIAL - $8.88
SHHH tells the incredible story of Raymond Federman's escape from the round-up of French Jews in Paris in 1942, during the Holocaust. As French police came up the stairs to the family's apartment, Federman's mother said, "Shhh," and pushed the then-14 year-old boy into a closet. The other members of his family, his father, mother, and two sisters, perished in Auschwitz.
But no story by Federman has ever been simply told, and SHHH is no exception. Defying conventions of both the memoir and the novel, Federman tells stories of his childhood that may or may not be true, but can never simply be called false, either. The result is a complex and masterful work by a writer whose final works may be his best an author who, while too avant-garde for the tastes of American publishers, is considered a major writer in Germany, France, and elsewhere in the world, and has had a small but dedicated following in the US for more than three decades.
"In Chut, Federman tells the final chapter of the biography he has been recalling for some forty years. The original 'shhh' of his mother as she pushed him into the closet. To the question 'why me?' he still doesn't have an answer, but he dedicates the book to this person who saved him. And he tries to rebuild his childhood with blocks of words. This childhood is inevitably full of holes not only because he doesn't remember it entirely, but also because he makes digressive lists of things to remember and then forgets things off them. He makes lists, promises to tell other stories later, doesn't tell them but then benefits from the non-telling to make a poem. In short, full-blown 'Federmanism.' With contempt for chronology, he describes a childhood without beginning or end." - Le Monde (Paris), July 11, 2008, in a review of Chut, the French version of the text Federman has "transacted" into English as SHHH.
PUBLICATION OF SHHH: THE STORY OF A CHILDHOOD IS SUPPORTED IN PART BY A GRANT FROM THE MELODIA JONES CHAIR OF ROMANCE LANGUAGES AT UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO.
The Twilight of the Bums
by Raymond Federman and George Chambers, illustrated by T. Motley
More than 80 riffs, rants, and microfictions by two old bums, er, that is, MASTERS - perfectly complemented by the avant-comic artistry of T. Motley.
Renowned throughout Europe and with books translated into 14 langauges, Raymond Federman is considered a major figure in world literature. In The Twilight of the Bums he teams with fellow-innovative fiction pioneer George Chambers (the two share the same birthday and shoe size), for a collaborative send-up of buddy-fictions from Waiting for Godot on down. At turns tender, hilarious, iconoclastic, and maddening, Twilight of the Bums is exemplary of the lettres de merde style Federman has designated laughterature.
"Stan & Oliver. Frog & Toad, Bud & Lou, The Sunshine Boys, Bill & Ted, Bouvard & Pécuchet - but most of all Vladimir & Estragon - stand behind this book like defrocked priests at an inquest. Old men rule!, at least in the glimmer of a watery eye and inconstant heart." Charles Bernstein
George Chambers was born in Cambridge, Mass., in 1931. He is the author of four previous books, including Null Set (Fiction Collective, 1977).
Raymond Federman was born in Paris, France, in 1928. He is the author of over 20 individual titles in English, including the novels Double or Nothing, Take it or Leave it, Smiles on Washington Square, and Aunt Rachel's Fur, and two books published by Starcherone, The Voice in the Closet and My Body in Nine Parts.
T. Motley wasn't born at all but sprang fully formed out of an inkstand. The creator of Hector, Aline the Alien, and many more comics and characters, he has been creating comics for over 20 years. More of his work can be seen at tmotley.com. He lives in Brooklyn.
ISBN-13 978-0-9788811-3-9. 120 oversized (8.5"x11") pages.
Print run: 2,000. Price: $16.00
Official release: May 15, 2008
Contact: Ted Pelton, Starcherone Books, PO Box 303, Buffalo, NY 14201. email@example.com
My Body in Nine Parts
For over thirty years, Raymond Federman has been dazzling readers with his unique brand of "surfiction" - throwing words all over the page and inserting himself into every fiction, often through such zany alter egos as Moinous and Namredef. Now comes the greatest self-referential work of all as Federman spins all manner of tales off various parts of his own body, recounting his childhood in France, adult life in the US, Jewish heritage, and career as a writer, with no effort made to distinguish between fact & fiction, memory & imagination.
Previously published in France as Mon corps en neuf parties, Federman's masterpiece is now available for the first time in English in an oversize 7x10 inch edition, with augmented translation by the author and ten photographs by photographer Steve Munez.
"A man of such joyful vitality that he will sweep anyone away." L'Humanité (France)
"Raymond Federman, inarguably one of the most significant vanguard writers of the second half of the twentieth century and first years of the twenty first, here writes through and about the text of the body in order to celebrate how after forty every piece of us is an achievement and a nearly unbelievable fiction, and to offer us an hilariously digressive and wildly exuberant Fuck-You to the idea of aging." Lance Olsen
"One could expect Federman's text to be narcissistic and self-absorbed -- but Federman's an artist, and his meditations go all over the place. On speaking French-accented English and being accused of speaking English-accented French; on his large, Semitic nose and the insults it's been forced to endure; on the distinct characters of his ten toes -- Federman's work always takes on larger issues of exile and home, nature and nurture - with disarming humor." Janet Holmes, Humanophone.com
"Raymond Federman's My Body in Nine Parts once again shows why he's widely considered to be the most radically innovative and narcissistic (in the best sense of the word) of all contemp-orary American authors. I realize that my own body parts are far less memorable than Federman's, but nonetheless I would like to add: TWO THUMBS UP!" Larry McCaffery
The Voice in the Closet
The Voice in the Closet is at the very center of the work of the work of Raymond Federman, a writer whose worldwide importance is unquestioned. The Voice in the Closet is a 20-page single-sentence text which simulaneously tells and refuses to allow a simple telling of the author's most formative experience: how, as a 14 year-old boy, when the French police came to his family's parents' apartment to initiate their deportation to the death camps, Federman's mother pushed him into a closet where he was able to escape detection and thus lived while his parents and two sisters were put to death.
"The Voice in the Closet astonishes . . . nothing in his previous work prepares us for the obsessive immediacy of this." Peter Quartermain
Reprinted from the long out-of-print Coda Press edition of 1979, Starcherone Books's edition also includes reproductions of two collage paintings by artist Terri Katz Kasimov, from her Federman Series, as well as an introduction by Gerard Bucher and a note on the text by Starcherone founder and director, Ted Pelton.