| Sep 2, 2007
They wait like pilgrims, queuing silently, bearing volumes for inscription and awaiting a chance to touch the hem of his garment.
They're not Franciscans approaching Assisi but earnest readers rushing bookstores and cultural temples for word -- wisdom,...
| Jul 12, 2009
Both Ways Is the
Only Way I Want It
Riverhead: 224 pp., $25.95
If that pebble rolling around in your shoe were in fact a diamond, it would still cause a blister. And so it is with the stories of Maile Meloy's collection, "Both...
| Sep 27, 2009
We board the Brown Line at its farthest northwest stop, Kimball. We're headed downtown. We're on a mission to prove that Audrey Niffenegger, who grew up in Evanston with few friends and is at work on a novel about a 9-year-old girl...
| Mar 8, 2009
"I shall not, for example, try to evoke a rhetorical chiaroscuro of an intellect suspended in the twilight of the last divine monarchy, exposed to the philosophies of anarchy, communism and socialism, stricken by a loss of free speech; an intelligence...
| Mar 29, 2009
Patrick White, the first great novelist to come out of Australia, was born in 1912, won the Nobel Prize in 1973, died in 1990 and his work promptly dropped from fashion. His style of narrative-driven psychological modernism seemed outmoded, perhaps,...
| Sep 7, 2010
| 10:09 AM
Before the advent of these Canadian fiction masters, the only other inroads on American culture made by our neighbor to the north was a feeble attempt, when the British Army came down across the border and held a river crossing at Schuylerville, New...
| Sep 12, 2010
Selected Poems and Commentaries
Harvard University Press: 530 pp., $35
I'm just a regular reader, you say. I read for pleasure. Why should I read the commentaries of critic Helen Vendler on the "epigrammatic, terse, abrupt,...
| Sep 30, 2010
| 12:03 PM
"The Wild Child"
By T.C. Boyle Viking. Pp. 304. $25.95
T.C. Boyle's volume of his collected stories first appeared in 1998, a book that included nearly seven hundred pages of his short fiction. Today, more than ten years and four volumes and dozens and...
| Oct 5, 2010
| 6:26 PM
'The Thieves of Manhattan: A Novel'
By Adam Langer Spiegel & Grau, 259 pp., $24
By their chunky glasses, facial scruff, skinny jeans, and iPhones you shall know them: New York’s latest crop of aspiring male fiction writers, fresh from the provinces...
| Oct 30, 2010
Not a short story, not quite a novella — wasn't that a Britney Spears song? — the oxymoronic long short story is an underemployed literary form. (For argument's sake, let's say the long short story ranges from 30 to 60 pages.) F. Scott...
| Aug 1, 2010
A Brother's Memoir
Mikhail Chekhov, translated from the Russian by Eugene Alper
Palgrave Macmillan: 230 pp., $25
Anton Chekhov's life is well documented: When he died of consumption in 1904 at age 44, he was honored all over the world....