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James Marcus

July 16 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Magic City Books is proud to welcome James Marcus for an in-store event to celebrate his new book, Glad to the Brink of Fear: A Portrait of Ralph Waldo Emerson on Tuesday July 16 at 7:00 pm. This free event will be hosted in the Algonquin Room at Magic City Books, 221 E Archer Street.

Ralph Waldo Emerson remains one of the presiding spirits of American culture more than two centuries after his birth. Marcus as written a “tremendous and relevant book that has all the variation and unpredictability of the essay as practiced by Ralph Waldo Emerson himself.” –Rick Moody, author of The Long Accomplishment

Joining James Marcus in conversation will be J.C. Hallman author of six books including Say Anarcha, winner of the 2024  Phillis Wheatley Book Award.

Glad to the Brink of Fear is available now at Magic City Books and online at: https://magiccitybooks.square.site/product/glad-to-the-brink-of-fear/2355.

About Glad to the Brink of Fear

An engaging reassessment of the celebrated essayist and his relevance to contemporary readers

More than two centuries after his birth, Ralph Waldo Emerson remains one of the presiding spirits in American culture. Yet his reputation as the starry-eyed prophet of self-reliance has obscured a much more complicated figure who spent a lifetime wrestling with injustice, philosophy, art, desire, and suffering. James Marcus introduces readers to this Emerson, a writer of self-interrogating genius whose visionary flights are always grounded in Yankee shrewdness.

This Emerson is a rebel. He is also a lover, a friend, a husband, and a father. Having declared his great topic to be “the infinitude of the private man,” he is nonetheless an intensely social being who develops Transcendentalism in the company of Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Bronson Alcott, and Theodore Parker. And although he resists political activism early on–hoping instead for a revolution in consciousness–the burning issue of slavery ultimately transforms him from cloistered metaphysician to fiery abolitionist.

Drawing on telling episodes from Emerson’s life alongside landmark essays like “Self-Reliance,” “Experience,” and “Circles,” Glad to the Brink of Fear reveals how Emerson shares our preoccupations with fate and freedom, race and inequality, love and grief. It shows, too, how his desire to see the world afresh, rather than accepting the consensus view, is a lesson that never grows old.

James Marcus is an editor, translator, and critic who has written and lectured widely on Emerson. His essays and criticism have appeared in leading publications such as The New Yorker, the Times Literary Supplement, and Harper’s Magazine. He is the author of Amazonia: Five Years at the Epicenter of the Dot.com Juggernaut.


July 16
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Magic City Books


Magic City Books
221 E. Archer St.
Tulsa, OK 74103 United States
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