Acclaimed essay collection from a “living master of the American language”

In his books and in a string of wide-ranging and inventive essays, Luc Sante has shown himself to be not only one of our pre-eminent stylists, but also a critic of uncommon power and range.

Kill All Your Darlings is the first collection of Sante’s articles—many of which first appeared in the New York Review of Books and the Village Voice—and offers ample justification for this high praise. Sante is best known for his ground-breaking work in urban history (Low Life), and for a particularly penetrating form of autobiography (The Factory of Facts). These subjects are also reflected in several essays here, but it is the author’s intense and scrupulous writing about music, painting, photography, and poetry that takes center stage.

Alongside meditations on cigarettes, factory work, and hipness, and the critical tour de force, “The Invention of the Blues,” Sante offers his incomparable take on icons from Arthur Rimbaud to Bob Dylan, René Magritte to Tintin, Buddy Bolden to Walker Evans, Allen Ginsberg to Robert Mapplethorpe.

“Burning passion and a prose style to die for.”—William Gibson

“Sante has a talent for the striking, impressionistic insight and the ability to write transcendental prose.”—The New York Times Book Review

“One of the handful of living masters of the American language, as well as a singular historian and philosopher of American experience.”—Peter Schjeldahl (The New Yorker)

“Whatever the topic and mood, these essays are a pleasure . . . deserves the broadest possible readership.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Creative social critic Sante has electrifying things to say about intriguing subjects, but it is his feint-and-jab prose that makes him noteworthy. At once tough in his thinking, empathic in his analysis, and liberated in expression, Sante selects barbed details, tunes in to danger and suspense, and dispenses wry humor and sure insight.—Booklist

Luc Sante’s books include Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York, Evidence, and The Factory of Facts. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books and has written about books, movies, art, photography, and music for many other periodicals. Sante has received a Whiting Writer’s Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Grammy (for album notes).

Pieces, 1990-2005
by Luc Sante
Introduction by Greil Marcus

Paperback, 300 pages