| Jan 18, 2009
We're asking a lot of Barack Obama, just to right the sinking ship of American politics. Can we expect him to save American culture as well? Can a president spin that much gossamer from his oratory? Can the American people make better books, movies and...
| 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...
| Dec 29, 2008
Even in casual conversation, British author Neil Gaiman sometimes sounds as if he's narrating some dark fairy tale -- his sentences slither across old stone floors or flit on gossamer wings. He also happens to live in a rambling Minnesota manse that...
| Dec 6, 2009
In 1969, 600 million people -- one-fifth of the world's population -- watched the live television broadcast of the moonwalk. Leading art book publisher Taschen has not let the 40th anniversary go unheralded; its book " Norman Mailer, MoonFire: The Epic...
| 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...
| Apr 11, 2010
The voice explains a lot. You think, how could any woman live with the famously moody writer Norman Mailer for 33 years, and then you hear Norris Church Mailer's soft, authoritative, Marilyn Monroe-ish voice, with its 61-year-old Arkansas twang still...
| Feb 21, 2010
The Room and the Chair
Alfred A. Knopf: 316 pp., $25.95
Lorraine Adams is a singular and important American writer. "The Room and the Chair" establishes this without question: It is remarkable for its ambitions and its...
| Apr 12, 2010
It will be interesting to see what kind of reception awaits Karl Marlantes' very fine Vietnam War novel, "Matterhorn." The American public's desire to read about that war has never been more than lukewarm. And Marlantes' epic story of U.S. Marines...
| Nov 1, 2009
The Suicide Run
Five Tales of the Marine Corps
Random House: 198 pp., $24
The business -- and I use the word advisedly -- of posthumous publication is a troubling one. We honor our dear dead. Yet there are certain kinds of attention...
| 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...
| 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...