| May 25, 2013
| 11:36 AM
The intersection of visual art and language in a graphic novel tilts the reading experience. The reader has no choice but to slide into the author's more specifically defined — and designed — world. The hallmarks of great literature are the...
| Oct 17, 2013
| 12:17 PM
Boston was a rough-and-tumble city when I knew it in my teens and early 20s. It was, as Seth Mnookin suggests in “Our Boston: Writers Celebrate the City They Love” (Mariner: 354 pp., $16 paper), defined by “the Combat Zone and Filene&...
| Oct 20, 2013
There are passages of observation so closely controlled and beautiful in "Cartwheel," the second novel by Jennifer duBois, that what she describes seems as if it will stay described for good. Of a Boston train station, she writes that "the clean sheets of...
| Oct 22, 2013
| 1:34 PM
On his book tour, the tables have been turning on John Freeman: A parade of luminous authors are interviewing him. He's already sat down for public conversations with Teju Cole, Geoff Dyer, Aleksandar Hemon, and Marilynne Robinson, and on Tuesday night,...
| Oct 24, 2013
| 8:54 AM
Writers have always had a problematic relationship with money, never more so than in this increasingly freelance economy. Jane Friedman and Manjula Martin have launched Scratch magazine -- which defines itself as a site about the intersection of writing...
| Aug 1, 2013
Who is an author you'd like to meet, dead or alive?
I'd love to spend a day with John Updike in his prime, when he was cranking out poems, essays, short stories, and wonderful novels like Rabbit is Rich, just to see how he did it. (When I mentioned this...
| Jan 3, 2014
| 7:00 AM
Sheldon Cooper, top nerd on "The Big Bang," jokes about neutrinos. So did John Updike in the witty short poem "Cosmic Gall," printed in 1960 in the New Yorker. But Canadian astrophysicist Ray Jayawardhana suggests we take them seriously indeed in...
| Dec 1, 2013
A pop-up book and a smartphone prop. A pretty little poncho and a sturdy, stylish tripod. A comfy new pillow and a little lamb that lulls you to sleep. These are some of the finds that just might wind up on your wish list — or your shopping list for...
| Dec 6, 2013
| 6:05 AM
Sex that compares to supernovas, solar systems, quarks and atomic nuclei? Oh my.
Such is the (possibly over-)heated prose of UMBC professor Manil Suri, whose literary description of the sexual act in his novel "The City of Devi" was so overwhelming in...
| Dec 15, 2013
Here at the editorial board of The Sun, we like to give Columbia a little good-natured ribbing from time to time. James Rouse's planned community has gotten enough critical accolades in the national press since its opening in 1967 — for its...
| Feb 21, 2014
This is an ambitious work about an enduring ambition — "The Dream of the Great American Novel." As Lawrence Buell's title suggests, there's something both wide-eyed and not-quite-actual about the idea of the G.A.N., an abbreviation first coined by...