| 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...
| Jan 1, 2008
WHEN was the last time you heard anyone get excited about a new film critic? That was my reaction when "Michael Clayton" director Tony Gilroy began raving to me about the review he'd seen on YouTube. "It was terrific," he said. "I sent it to George...
| May 6, 2009
Some years ago, when they still lived in Malibu, the late John Gregory Dunne and his wife, Joan Didion, entertained a prominent magazine journalist and author at dinner. It was December and, afterward, they invited their guest to accompany them to their...
| Aug 2, 2009
"Inherent Vice" is Thomas Pynchon doing Raymond Chandler through a Jim Rockford looking glass, starring Cheech Marin (or maybe Tommy Chong). What could easily be mistaken as a paean to 1960s Southern California is also a sly herald of that era's end....
| Sep 18, 2009
In the prologue to "Nothing Was the Same," Kay Redfield Jamison writes, "It has been said that grief is a kind of madness. I disagree. There is a sanity to grief, in its just proportion of emotion to cause, that madness does not have."
| Mar 22, 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: 129 pp., $18 paper
In a 1979 New York Review...
| Dec 20, 2009
This is a decade that ended much as it began: with anxiety over technology and a feeling that the world as we know it might be coming to an end. Remember? Ten years ago, we were dealing with Y2K anxiety, and even the most skeptical of us -- if we're...
| Dec 20, 2009
In 1958, Malcolm Cowley edited the first collection of interviews with contemporary authors from the pages of the Paris Review. Over the intervening half-century, the Review has packaged up more than a dozen additional volumes of this material, most...
| Dec 20, 2009
It was already clear, in December of 1999, that books were a dying species. Already more people seemed interested in producing novels than consuming them, and when it came to serious works, there seemed more fascination with the writer than the writing....
| Oct 24, 2010
The Breaking of Eggs
Penguin: 342 pp., $15 paper
In his debut novel, "The Breaking of Eggs," British writer Jim Powell surveys an impressive breadth of time — and trains his focus on a small slice. The book's historical...
| Sep 16, 2010
During the all-too-brief life of their physically disabled son, Jesse, who died in his sleep five years ago at the age of 17, the actors Marianne Leone (who played the mother of actor Michael Imperioli on HBO's "The Sopranos") and Chris Cooper (an Academy...