| Apr 26, 2008
By Art Winslow
Christopher Benfey, a scholar of Emily Dickinson and Gilded Age America, would not have his book "A Summer of Hummingbirds" had Dickinson not responded to a small floral painting sent to her in 1882 by writing an eight-line poem in...
| Mar 24, 2008
Cut off from the world, even in parts of his own home, Aitzaz Ahsan did what many of his compatriots do in times of personal and political crisis: He wrote a poem.
Months of house arrest had left the celebrated lawyer enraged over his isolation and the...
| Jun 6, 2008
| 9:17 AM
June 8, 2008
Editor's Note: It's a perennial question for the summer months, what to read? Here you'll mind more than 50 titles in fiction andononfiction, organized according to the months when they'll be published. Books are listed in alphabetical...
| Jun 12, 2008
The classic authors who appear as fictionalized characters in "Wild Nights!" (Ecco, 256 pages, $24.95) aren't the ones most of us met in Intro to American Literature.
Edgar Allan Poe copulating with a one-eyed amphibian? Mark Twain pursuing pubescent...
| Jun 15, 2008
The holy grail of the author's own collector's quest is the 1961 1s 3d Parliamentary Conference stamp, which he recalls as being "the most beautiful small object I had ever seen" as a boy. On this stamp, the head of the queen, which should by rights...
| Feb 2, 2008
By Richard M. Cook
Yale University Press, 452 pages, $35
'I love to think about America," Alfred Kazin, 26, recorded in his journal in February 1942. He was finishing his canonical study of modern American literature, "On Native Grounds,"...
| Sep 20, 2009
When I was in my early 20s, living in Berkeley and drifting toward a PhD in Russian literature, I started writing poetry. It was a completely unexpected development. I definitely hadn't been one of those kids in high school who worked for the literary...
| Sep 27, 2009
The Wilderness Warrior
Theodore Roosevelt and the
Crusade for America
Harper: 960 pp., $34.99
Reviewing several Roosevelt biographies in 1920, H.L. Mencken reported that he had found more "gush" than "sense." Douglas Brinkley's...
| Oct 4, 2009
Daunting as it may be to assemble a centuries-spanning assessment of any country, even one with a fairly linear march through history, how does one approach a culture as unstable, contradictory and contested as ours? Where do you start? Where do you stop?...
| Oct 19, 2008
When John Adams, the celebrated composer who is to his adopted California as Sibelius is to Finland, decided to write a memoir of his life and music, he realized there was virtually no model for his project.
"Most composers," he said over lunch at an...
| Dec 20, 2009
It was already clear, in December of 1999, that books were a dying species. Already more people seemed interested in producing novels than consuming them, and when it came to serious works, there seemed more fascination with the writer than the writing....