| Dec 20, 2009
During the last decade, more than ever before, writers faced the challenge of cutting through the noise. The new millennium began with the enduring influence of W.G. Sebald: his marriage of word and image somewhere deep in the reader's subconscious; his...
| Nov 8, 2009
Too Much Happiness
Alfred A. Knopf: 320 pp., $25.95
"No way this could be seen as probable or possible, unless you think of a blow between the eyes, a sudden calamity," muses the narrator of "Fiction," one of the 10 masterly...
| May 4, 2007
THE tale of a superhero, a '70s drug dealer, or a plot to destroy the world it's not.
Alice Munro's "The Bear Came Over the Mountain," which isn't really about a bear and does not feature a mountain, is the story of an elderly couple — a once-...
| 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,...
| Feb 15, 2009
Important Artifacts and Personal Property From the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry
Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux: 136 pp., $18 paper
Brilliant. It is quite simply...
| 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,...
| Dec 6, 2009
The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Doubleday)
A struggling young writer in 1920s Barcelona accepts a lucrative, diabolical assignment commissioned by a shadowy client.
The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker (Simon & Schuster)
Meet Paul Chowder, a poet,...
| Jan 19, 2008
The Senator's Wife
By Sue Miller
Knopf, 306 pages, $24.95
Sue Miller's eighth novel and third within the past six years, "The Senator's Wife" is a leisurely, meticulously constructed tale that builds inevitably, even relentlessly, to a striking, life-...
| Jan 23, 2008
THIS year's nominations for original and adapted screenplay ask the question why -- as in, why do we need a Y chromosome? In an unprecedented surge of recognition for female creative forces, the academy chose to nominate four women for individual...
| Feb 19, 2008
Oscar-nominated screenwriter Tamara Jenkins has some mixed feelings about the remarkability of this year's female-flush original screenplay category.
"It's a complicated feeling to be singled out because of gender. Sometimes you bristle under the...