| Feb 1, 2009
Al Alvarez: "The Biggest Game in Town" (Picador)
Back in the early 1970s, Al Alvarez wrote "The Savage God," a study of suicide which contributed in no small part to the mythology that came to surround his friend, the great poet Sylvia Plath. A poet...
| Feb 15, 2009
Graywolf: 78 pp., $20
There are poets who show us the exterior world and poets who ferry news of their inner turmoil. Yet very few possess the double vision required to do both. Sylvia Plath surveyed and stoked the fires...
| Sep 13, 2009
Emily Brontë died in 1848, aged 30, leaving only one published book and some poems. That book, of course, is "Wuthering Heights" (recently issued in new editions, by Penguin and HarperCollins), a novel so strange and powerful that it sinks into the...
| Oct 14, 2009
Tad Friend's "Cheerful Money: Me, My Family, and the Last Days of Wasp Splendor" is a memoir of growing up in the once unassailable American ruling class -- and of a long personal struggle to shed some of the emotional baggage such a lineage conferred....
| May 24, 2009
Will You Take Me as I Am
Joni Mitchell's Blue Period
Free Press: 240 pp., $24.99
When Joni Mitchell thinks about confession, two things come to mind: witch hunts and Catholic priests. To be held up as the exemplar of confessional...
| Nov 15, 2008
Francesca Lia Block is a Los Angeles writer with a unique voice that blends lush imagery, hip fairy tales and punk poetic lyricism. She is best known for her "Weetzie Bat" books, which premiered in 1989 and drew critical acclaim and a rapturous fan base...
| Dec 29, 2007
Among the major notables who passed from the scene this year, three of the most famous -- two masters of cinema and a genius of football -- died on the same day: July 30.
Two others -- a historic Russian leader and a U.S. chronicler of war -- left us...
| May 11, 2008
Guy de Maupassant, translated from the French by Douglas Parmée
NYRB Classics: 126 pp., $14 paper
"AFLOAT" WAS originally published as "Sur l'eau," Guy de Maupassant's log of his travels along the French Riviera on his yacht in 1887. He was...
| Aug 17, 2008
The poet Weldon Kees was born in Beatrice, Neb., in 1914, though what's best known about him is that on July 18, 1955, his car was found abandoned with the keys still in the ignition in a parking lot on the Marin County side of the Golden Gate Bridge....
| Sep 14, 2008
"Born Standing Up" by Steve Martin (Scribner)
Here's Steve Martin, describing his first appearance on "The Tonight Show": "What happened while I was out there was very similar to an alien abduction: I remember very little of it, though I'm convinced it...
| Sep 17, 2009
| 8:53 AM
Slaugterhouse 90210, a tumblr blog and column at Details, takes images from pop culture and captions them, hysterically, with literary quotes. A picture of Crockett (Don Johnson) and Tubbs (Philip Michael Thomas) from "Miami Vice" is accompanied by...