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William T. Vollmann

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Top William T. Vollmann Articles see all

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  • California and the literature of water

    California and the literature of water
    On a recent visit to New York, I found myself in a conversation with an East Coast writer about William T. Vollmann’s “Imperial” — a monumental study of water politics and Southern California’s Imperial County — when he said, “I’m so sick of you Californians and your obsession with water. When will you get over it?”
  • Cracker crackles with alt-rock and country grooves

    The distance between Berkeley and Bakersfield, Calif., is 276.4 miles. For David Lowery, the two places have been so influential for his band that Cracker recently stretched its new music into a two-CD set titled "Berkeley to Bakersfield." The first...

    Ghosts soar in William Vollmann's hefty 'Last Stories'

    Ghosts soar in William Vollmann's hefty 'Last Stories'
    It has been a season of giants in the arts. In New York, Jeff Koons' "Split-Rocker," a 37-foot-tall foliage sculpture of a rocking horse made up of 50,000 flowering plants, has given Kara Walker's sphinx, a 35-foot-tall sculpture made of an estimated 40...

    Review: 'The Dream of the Great American Novel' by Lawrence Buell

    Review: 'The Dream of the Great American Novel' by Lawrence Buell
    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...

    The great American novel? What's that?

    The great American novel? What's that?
    Can we finally get beyond the Great American Novel? It’s the fantasy of an earlier America, like Manifest Destiny. And yet, to read Harvard professor Lawrence Buell’s “American Literature’s Holy Grail: Franzen, DFW and the Hunt for...