| Feb 4, 2015
| 10:30 AM
I first encountered Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" in ninth grade. Like so many others, I was struck not just by the book's vivid narrative of racial justice, but also by its nuance: the inner life of its narrator and its deft portrayal of small-...
| Jan 26, 2015
| 5:07 PM
Making a movie about the late novelist and essayist David Foster Wallace would seem challenging on several counts. First there's the issue of turning a writer's craft into the stuff of fresh cinema. Then there's the issue of taking this particular...
| Jan 16, 2015
| 8:00 AM
Did postmodernism kill literary satire? I've been wondering about this in the wake of the terror attacks on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, known for its caricatures of the prophet Muhammad; one appears on the cover of the current issue,...
| Jan 7, 2015
| 10:51 AM
Paul Thomas Anderson says the first teacher he fell in love with was David Foster Wallace.
The novelist who would go on to write "Infinite Jest" taught an English class at Emerson College in the early 1990s. Anderson, who would go on to direct the films...
| Dec 30, 2014
| 3:04 PM
The history of literature is full of late bloomers: Henry Miller, author of three failed novels before he published “Tropic of Cancer” at 43; Raymond Chandler, who was 51 when he debuted with “The Big Sleep” in 1939. It puts the...
| Dec 24, 2014
| 8:15 AM
Lots of Biblio Awards still to hand out, not a lot of space to put them in. It's like the orchestra is already warming up to shoo me off the stage of 2014's year in reading.
Quiet down woodwinds: I've got more to say!
Character I'd Most Like to...
| Dec 18, 2014
| 2:55 PM
In these last days of 2014, it seems like the delicate, freedom-hugging art of narrative storytelling has exploded in our faces. Not unlike the head of a certain political leader in a fictional movie now not coming to a theater near you.
| Dec 4, 2014
| 7:01 AM
Now that David Foster Wallace is gone, I think Lydia Millet is the American writer with the funniest, wisest grasp on how we fool ourselves. Take this passage about a Tough Mudder-style competition, from her new novel "Mermaids in Paradise":
| Nov 26, 2014
| 11:48 AM
Who I am
Ryan Patrick Sullivan from Crystal Lake.
One unique thing about me
I first fell in love with books when my Grandma Billie read me "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" when I was about 5. Her voice and Mark Twain's words filled my spongy brain...
| Dec 2, 2014
| 9:25 AM
J.K. Rowling and David Foster Wallace haven't got much in common. Wallace wrote complex, challenging novels, topped off by the footnote-thick "Infinite Jest." Rowling created Harry Potter, the boy wizard star of mega-bestselling books for kids.
| Sep 22, 2014
| 4:07 PM
If you happened to click Monday on the Richmond Standard, a community news site for that Bay Area locality, you would have come upon a fairly snarky piece about 170 activists ("some from Richmond") who took a train cross-country to participate in the...