| 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...
| 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...
| May 4, 2007
THE tale of a superhero, a '70s drug dealer, or a plot to destroy the world it's not.
Alice Munro's "The Bear Came Over the Mountain," which isn't really about a bear and does not feature a mountain, is the story of an elderly couple — a once-...
| 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 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...
| 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,...
| 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...
| 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 4, 2008
Playing With the Grown-Ups
Doubleday/Nan A. Talese: 272 pp., $24
"She does have children, you know," Kitty's magisterial grandfather would tell potential suitors who called looking for Kitty's beautiful mother, Marina. Kitty grew...