| Oct 5, 2010
| 6:26 PM
'The Thieves of Manhattan: A Novel'
By Adam Langer Spiegel & Grau, 259 pp., $24
By their chunky glasses, facial scruff, skinny jeans, and iPhones you shall know them: New York’s latest crop of aspiring male fiction writers, fresh from the provinces...
| Oct 25, 2010
| 5:36 PM
"Muriel Spark: The Biography"
By Martin Stannard
W.W. Norton. 656 pages. $35
By nearly any measure Muriel Spark was a major 20th-century writer -- of longer fiction (twenty two novels); short fiction (sixty+ stories, published and republished in six...
| May 4, 2008
In the long and often embarrassing history of intellectuals' attempts to grapple with pop culture, there are, at least, a few high points. One of them is the work of the late Leslie Fiedler, the garrulous and provocative critic of literature who could...
| Nov 14, 2010
Mark Twain was not quite 50 when he published "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" in February 1885, and in so doing, changed American literature. Until then, many of our writers had flirted with vernacular expression, most notably Thomas Paine, whose...
| May 16, 2010
The Eyes of Willie McGee
A Tragedy of Race, Sex, and Secrets in the Jim Crow South
Harper: 404 pp., $26.99
In Jim Crow's dark closet, countless skeletons lie moldering and forgotten. For every "cold case" prosecution that brings a doddering...
| Sep 2, 2007
They wait like pilgrims, queuing silently, bearing volumes for inscription and awaiting a chance to touch the hem of his garment.
They're not Franciscans approaching Assisi but earnest readers rushing bookstores and cultural temples for word -- wisdom,...
| Jul 12, 2009
Jonathan Ames may be the closest thing our generation gets to Norman Mailer. Literally a literary pugilist -- his essay of a boxing bout with another writer is included -- he's got an ever-present, outsized sense of himself. He's willing to have...
| Mar 30, 2008
These days, with a recession on the way, housing prices tanking, the Dow out of control and an unpopular war that won't seem to end, a lot of Americans are feeling uneasy and confused. Recent surveys show a majority think the nation is on what pollsters...
| Oct 18, 2009
The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis
Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 740 pp., $30
These days, when literature springs from mere experience and memoirs are justified by a change in eating habits, it seems fitting to remark on the heritage of...
| May 30, 2010
Missing a Beat
The Rants and Regrets of Seymour Krim
Edited and with an introduction by Mark Cohen
Syracuse University Press: 296 pp., $29.95
We hear a disproportionate amount from the writers who "made it." The ones who hustled, stroked the right...
| Jun 27, 2010
The 10 photographers in "Engaged Observers," opening June 29 at the Getty Museum, are at once storytellers, witnesses, advocates for justice, investigative journalists, consciousness raisers, evidence gatherers and educators. They're also something...