Instant Lives

Hardcover sale price: $13.95 (Regularly $19.95)

A humor classic—fractured biographical moments from the lives of great writers and composers.

Loosely based on historical anecdotes, this is a collection of mostly imagined encounters between literary figures and their real or imagined family members, friends, and bitter enemies. In Howard Moss’s satirical voice and Edward Gorey’s twenty-five deadpan illustrations, we see Jane Austen wielding artful passive aggression and Sense and Sensibility galleys, the Alcott girls sculpting fudge, the rise of Emily Dickinson’s ruthless witch hazel business, among other delights.

Perfect for those who love literature too much to hold it closely to actual facts.

Godine, Publisher is distributed to the trade by Two Rivers Distribution, an Ingram brand. For more info, click here.

Howard Moss was the poetry editor of The New Yorker for almost forty years, a role that he used to promote the work of then-little-known poets like Anne Sexton, Richard Wilbur, and Sylvia Plath. Hugely influential on American poetry as we know it today, Moss was also a poet himself, as well as a literary critic and professor at Vassar.

Edward Gorey is the author and illustrator of many books, including The Unstrung Harp (1953), The Doubtful Guest (1957), The Gashlycrumb Tinies (1963), and the Amphigorey collections. His house on Cape Cod is now a museum open to the public.