| Aug 9, 2009
Bloomsbury: 222 pp., $18
Travel writing is a category filled with subsets and divisions, but there are two principal modes. The first is that of discovery -- a voyager sets out to find a place that he or she has never...
| 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...
| 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....
| Mar 29, 2009
Translated from the Spanish
by William O'Daly
Copper Canyon Press: 96 pp., $15 paper
"World's End," originally published in Spanish in 1969, toward the end of the career of the great poet Pablo Neruda (he died in 1973, soon...
| Apr 5, 2009
For most people, spending time with a violent, Tabasco-guzzling Oregon anarchist, a teenage member of the Aryan Brotherhood, opera-loving lawyers whose dog fatally mauled an innocent woman and an eternally wired, drugged-out Hollywood agent would not be...
| Apr 26, 2009
In my neighborhood in San Francisco, the economic recession gets told more by what you don't see than what you do see. There are fewer parking spaces on the street at night because fewer people are going out. There are no foreclosure notices attached to...
| Aug 18, 2010
The concluding volume in the magisterial historical tetralogy Richard Rhodes calls "The Making of the Nuclear Age" bears a weighty subtitle that hints at its somewhat discursive nature.
"The Twilight of the Bombs: Recent Challenges, New Dangers, and...
| Aug 29, 2010
Reporting from Maui —
We've been batting our way through W.S. Merwin's yard for a couple hours, swatting mosquitoes in the streambed under the dark wet canopy of towering, philodendron-draped mangoes and looking at some 700 species of palm trees,...
| Oct 3, 2010
Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 314 pp., $26
What is it, exactly, that makes reading Adam Phillips such a refreshing, rewarding and invigorating experience? A psychoanalyst who splits his time between his private practice and his...
| Jul 2, 2010
Late spring, give or take a couple of weeks, traditionally marks the end of the theater season. And while taking stock of the last year, I'd like to make note of a group of plays I caught in Hollywood — Helen Mirren in "Phèdre," Richard Griffiths...
| Mar 18, 2009
In today's guest post, our Shallow Thought Wednesday guru, John Lindner, examines a not-so-shallow question concerning the complexities of love, and quotes my favorite poet to boot. At least I think he's my favorite poet. EL......