Hesperus brings you an eclectic mix of books this month, from Japanese detective fiction to memoirs inspired by having Virginia Woolf as a boss. Has your interest been piqued?
The Devil’s Disciple by Shiro HamAo
Translated by James K. Vincent
Prosecutor Tsuchida, I am being held here as a murderer. But the truth is that I am probably not that murderer. That’s right. Probably.
Shimaura Eizo is sitting in jail awaiting trial for the murder of a beautiful young woman. Meanwhile his erstwhile lover and initiator into a sinister way of life has risen in the ranks of the legal profession and is now the prosecutor on the case. Spinning a complex web of events and influences in this chilling murder mystery, Hamao probes the notion of guilt – both psychological and legal. The Devil’s Disciple is published here alongside ‘Did He Kill Them?’, a haunting tale of a love affair turned sour.
On Reading by Marcel Proust and John Ruskin
Foreword by Eric Karpeles
By reading great authors, Proust contends, we not only learn of great ideas, but are enriched by the fruits of the world’s most inspirational minds. In particular, Proust admired Ruskin, and in translating Ruskin’s works into French, he provided copious annotations about the relationship between the writer and his readers. This book includes some of those annotations, along with a key Ruskin essay, ‘Of Kings’ Treasuries’, and some of Proust’s own writings about reading, collected in one volume for the first time.
A Boy at the Hogarth Press by Richard Kennedy
Introduction by John Randle
I know I was expected to say something brilliant for the benefit of the group that had collected round us. The truth was that I had only really read Orlando, Mrs Dalloway and The Common Reader… I said I didn’t think she created character as well as a writer like Turgenev. I could see this didn’t go down at all well and felt rather like Peter denying Christ.
In 1926, following a rather unsuccessful education at Marlborough College, sixteen year old Richard Kennedy was put firmly under the wing of Leonard Woolf as his new protege at the Woolfs’ printing press. Some forty years later, and by then a professional illustrator, he wrote his recollections of his time with Virginia and Leonard Woolf in candid and often hilarious detail. He tells of the success that Virginia enjoyed, of their chaotic office with its collapsing shelves and of his own often hapless attmpts to keep pace with the literary giants around him.
Our July titles are available from the end of July. So if your interest has been piqued – and I assume it has! – look out for our July books online or at your local bookshop.