| 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 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 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...
| 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.
| Jan 16, 2009
Hortense Calisher, a prize-winning writer and former president of PEN known for her dense prose in such works of fiction as "False Entry" and "In Greenwich There Are Many Gravelled Walks," has died in New York City. She was 97.
Calisher died Tuesday in...
| 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...
| Jan 4, 2009
"The Journals of John Cheever" edited by Robert Gottlieb (Vintage)
"Good Friday. I neither fast nor make any observations of this somber time. I roam from the post office to the church, unsober. The central altar is dark, but on the left the priest has...
| 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...
| 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...