| Apr 24, 2011
Otherwise Known as the Human Condition
Selected Essays and Reviews
Graywolf: 422 pp., $18 paper
"Almost as soon as I began writing for magazines and newspapers," Geoff Dyer tells us in the introduction to "Otherwise Known as the Human...
| Dec 26, 2010
Saul Bellow, edited by Benjamin Taylor
Viking: 608 pp, $35
Saul Bellow, being Saul Bellow, coined literary profit from emotional tumult. From personal pain came self-exploration and impish bons mots, poured into the heightened confessional of...
| May 20, 2011
| 1:58 PM
"Work, as you will see, is imagined broadly in these stories - as labor, as chores, as business, as duty, as habit, as memory, as art, and as priestly avocation," writes Richard Ford in his introduction to this wonderful anthology of stories about work,...
| Nov 16, 2010
| 10:20 AM
Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant was once something only people in John Cheever stories would do, those lonely souls who were cut off from their families or who had drunk away their fortunes.
Now everybody's doing it. Or at least a lot...
| Apr 11, 2012
| 1:09 PM
Beer makes men smarter-- well, kind of--according to a study conducted at the University of Illinois in Chicago.
Researchers found that men who consumed a couple of beers were better at solving brain teasers than men who were completely sober.
| May 18, 2012
| 11:25 AM
Earlier this year, when Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a 100-book required reading list for his compatriots, it provoked anxiety, rekindling memories of Soviet-era censorship. The furor underscored an important point: that literature plays a...
| Dec 23, 2009
This has turned out to be a bang-up year for literary biography, with notable new accounts of the lives of Arthur Miller, John Cheever, Arthur Koestler and, particularly, Joseph Frank's magisterial single-volume distillation of his long years of work on...
| Nov 29, 2009
While assembling my notes for a review of the Library of America anthology "American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny" (Library of America, two volumes, edited by Peter Straub: "From Poe to the Pulps," 746 pp., $35; "From the 1940s to Now," 714 pp....
| Apr 25, 2010
Aside from their proximity in age, and the fulsome praise they got for their debut novels, Salvador Plascencia and Michael Jaime-Becerra would appear to have little in common as writers.
Plascencia's "The People of Paper," which was published in 2005...
| Dec 6, 2009
The Battle for America 2008: The Story of an Extraordinary Election by Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson (Viking)
A richly reported, closely observed account of the clash of ideals and gallery of historic candidates leading up to the election of a lifetime....
| Dec 6, 2009
1Comfortably over a thousand pages, "The Complete Stories of J.G. Ballard" "The Complete Stories of J.G. Ballard" (Norton: 1,216 pp., $35) isn't just a doorstop but the door itself, a portal to the worlds that Ballard (who died this year) hatched in his...