| Mar 13, 2011
The Year I Fell in Love and Went to Join the War
Deb Olin Unferth
Henry Holt: 212 pp., $24
In the 1980s, Central America was astir with civil unrest, in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua. While nation-states and their proxies intervened...
| Apr 14, 2011
To face death without the architecture of belief may be devastating, but when endured by gifted writers, it results in a potent genre: the memoir of loss. There was Joan Didion's "The Year of Magical Thinking," about the death of her husband, which won...
| May 15, 2011
Say Her Name
Grove Press: 350 pp., $24
Death has taken a conspicuous place in the recent works of several writers. Joan Didion lost her husband and wrote about it, as did Joyce Carol Oates. Elizabeth McCracken lost a baby; Christopher...
| May 15, 2011
When National Book Award-winning novelist William T. Vollmann went to Japan this spring to report on the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant from inside the contamination zone, he did what any journalist would do. He bought a dosimeter to chart the...
| May 22, 2011
1974: Unhappy at summer camp, I holed up in my bunk and read Philip Roth's "Portnoy's Complaint" and Bernard Malamud's "The Natural." The camp might have been awful, but the books were anything but.
1980: In June, I attended a writers conference at UC...
| May 28, 2011
— What makes Jane Fonda say "wow"? A bigger-than-capacity crowd of more than 200 booksellers waiting to hear about her latest, "Prime Time: Creating a Great Third Act," a rousing manual for aging well.
FOR THE RECORD:
| Mar 18, 2012
The Guardians: An Elegy
Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 128 pp., $20
For more than a year, I've been on a reader's grief patrol. Memoir about a mother dying of cancer? Story of a husband's stroke? Taking care of a declining relative on a...
| Apr 7, 2012
| 12:09 PM
The death of popular artist Thomas Kinkade is certain to ignite controversy regarding the painter’s legacy. Known for his renderings of luminous landscapes and street scenes, often captured at twilight, the so-called painter of light, a Christian...
| Apr 15, 2012
Abuse, betrayal, addiction and grief form the base for memoirs these days — even beautiful ones like Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking. But Swim: Why We Love the Water, by pioneering TV news correspondent Lynn Sherr, breaks from the...
| Nov 30, 2011
The Age of Movies
The Selected Writings of Pauline Kael
Edited by Sanford Schwartz
Library of America, $40
Witty, entertaining and often exhilarating, this wide-ranging collection of pieces captures the film critic at her best.
| Dec 7, 2011
| 7:50 AM
It Chooses You, by Miranda July (McSweeney's, 2011)
The filmmaker/artist/poet/fiction writer Miranda July is well-known for her movies, whose moods share a kind of charming sincerity with that of her other work. Last month, July's first attempt at...