Edward Gorey

edwardgoreyBy now you’ve probably noticed that Edward Gorey’s name pops up frequently in the Bas Bleu catalog. We are, obviously, fans. But just in case your knowledge of the man is limited to the items you see in our pages, we thought we’d share a brief biography of the author/illustrator whose work was hailed by New Yorker literary critic Edmund Wilson as “equally amusing and sombre, nostalgic at the same time as claustrophobic, at the same time poetic and poisoned.” Continue reading

What Makes a Classic a Classic?

Each year as we prepare for Bas Bleu’s Tournament of Classics, we ask ourselves: What, exactly, constitutes a classic book? Laura Miller recently posed the question in her column at Salon, admitting the issue is “one of the most acrimonious, endless and irresolvable discussions in the literary world.” We don’t disagree, but for those of us who spend our days surrounded by books, we believe it’s still a question worth asking. Continue reading

April Book a Month: Hons and Rebels (Also, the Elite 8!)

HonsAndRebelsAs part of our 2014 Book a Month program, each month we’re offering discussion questions about the featured work—for book clubs as well as thoughtful individuals. You may use the questions to reflect back on each book once you’ve finished it or to guide you as you read. Either way, we hope these features will enrich your reading experience. (We’ll do our best to avoid plot spoilers, but you should proceed with caution!) 

If there is a more fascinating family than the Mitfords in recent history, we have yet to meet them! Our April selection, Hons and Rebels, is the “fabulously true story” of Jessica “Decca” Mitford, the fifth of six aristocratic English sisters whose personal and political scandals during the early- and mid- twentieth century continue to captivate us today. In this “gloriously entertaining” memoir, Decca recounts her unconventional childhood, her elopement with Winston Churchill’s nephew, and their adventures in Spain and the United States. Continue reading