The dazzling art of Boston’s Sister Corita
The question that arises when you consider the dazzling screenprints of the late Boston artist Sister Corita Kent is: how could an artist so good be so ignored?
Author John Burnham Schwartz on adapting his novel, Reservation Road
Rage itself becomes a monster.
King to C5:
Kasparov comes to Harvard
Greengard, no less eager to make a good local impression, had called Kasparov “the Bill Belichick of chess.”
Ha Jin retraces his journey
It’s difficult to think of an American writer with a story more inspiring than Ha Jin’s.
As Nick Hornby and Irvine Welsh face 50, two of Brit Lit’s standard-bearers stare down middle age in very different ways
Nick Hornby’s new novel is about a boy.
About a Boy
. Irvine Welsh’s new short story collection is filthy. Not
Rebecca Barry’s bar stories
A man walks into a bar.
Tom Perrotta keeps his characters company through the bumps and bumbles of American life
As a reader of fiction, at this point in life I’m sort of in my late Imperial phase — a sensationalist, easily distracted, with a vulgar appetite for brilliance.
Blessed be He:
One Jew’s struggle with God
Shalom Auslander’s memoir,
, begins with a hoot of a first chapter, one that’s sure to be quoted on nationwide Jewish e-mail chains.
Richard Russo’s family tidings
The cast of
Bridge of Sighs
— Russo’s first novel since his 2001 Pulitzer winner,
— may have benefitted from a refresher course with Emerson.
From Marco Polo to Twain and Shackleton, with a bit of Pico Iyer
Now that the jungle is withdrawing, and the wilderness is tenanted, the brief of the travel writer has altered somewhat.
Two new takes on global warming
Environmental interest groups, Shellenberger and Nordhaus claimed, simply don’t dream big enough to address the multifaceted monster that is global warming.
''Things'' we love:
Writers extol sacred objects of everyday use — and uselessness
Until I was 14, I spent nearly every Saturday evening wading through a wealth of antique objects in my grandmother’s small apartment in the Baltimore suburbs.
CAITLIN E. CURRAN
Touched by grace:
Andre Dubus’s unending gifts
This, around November, when New England’s bones start to show — and I realized my heart was beating faster. The story had quickened my pulse.
When the Nirvana explosion rocked Boston
In his newly published
The Sound of Our Town: A History of Boston Rock & Roll
contributor Brett Milano explores the evolution of the local music scene.
Ann Patchett’s Boston allegory
Like the American naturalists of the last century, Ann Patchett examines race and class in her new novel,
Everybody say, ‘Arragh’:
Two excellent books about pirates
Each of these books bears a tongue-in-cheekily arcane subtitle.
Garrison Keillor on his new novel of Lake Wobegon
“Evelyn was an insomniac so when they say she died in her sleep, you have to question that.”
War, peace, and Robert Pinsky:
The season's fiction, non-fiction, and poetry
Every few years, a fall publishing season emerges that should remind us that Boston could be the literary epicenter of America.
Talking to Himself:
Alan Alda talks to us about his new memoir and what it means to live a successful life
There’s a scene in Alan Alda’s new memoir that’s hard to forget: Hawkeye, age eleven, shooting terminally ill rabbits to a bloody, dusty death.
Colin Cotterill’s Dr. Siri novels
Dr. Siri Paiboun has a sense of proportion.
The kids are not all right:
The authors of Restless Virgins talk about the underbelly of teen culture at Milton Academy
If you lived in Massachusetts you heard about it.
In search of Kerouac:
‘Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?’ . . . Lowell?!
Ashare drops me off, frantic Matt Ashare from my paper, swilling coffee in a ceramic mug at the wheel of his sulky-blue Saturn Ion and ranting about dogfighting.
Why can’t more writers be smart enough to be beautiful, handsome, or at least cute
When I saw Marisha Pessl in the
New York Times
Style Section, meticulously posed on an antique chair wearing a pair of high heels and a coy smile, I cringed.
The amazing art of ‘Mingering Mike’
To any true vinyl obsessive, a rare musical artifact — and the story behind it — is often as compelling as the sound in its grooves.
Bouncers tell all:
Tales from behind the velvet rope
A young man of my acquaintance, a callow pube of a London club-goer, got himself bounced not long ago from an establishment on the King’s Road.
Wall of shame:
A definitive life of Phil Spector
In a moment of weakness, he licensed the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” for an ad for the erectile-dysfunction drug Cialis.
Ted Hughes and Les Murray
Les Murray and Ted Hughes, though they dwelled in each other’s antipodes, had plenty in common.
Dead white females:
From Fall Out Boy to One Night in Paris, modern pop culture is what it is today thanks to 10 long-expired ladies
Can you remember the last time you curled up under the covers with Marcel Proust’s I
n Search of Lost Time
Deneuve demystifies — and enchants
Deneuve has been in the public eye long enough to know that only damn fools reveal themselves to the public.
Jon Katz, Mark Doty, and their best friends
, dog decades, dog centuries . . . where will this madness end?
The Golden Age of Comics:
Comic critic Douglas Wolk on Reading Comics
Ever wondered what would happen if the famed
’ Comic Book Guy held a master’s in literary criticism?
Breaking the spell:
Harry Potter’s story comes to an end — but will readers, or reading, ever be the same?
How did a “children’s story” become the literary epic of our time?
Bound and gagged:
Lisa See gets tied up in the Qing
Girl meets boy; girl loses boy; girl wins boy back. It’s an old story, and it usually works, even when it’s set halfway around the world and the girl and boy are 17th-century Qing Dynasty aristocrats.
Miranda July’s performance pieces
In photographs, indie wünderwaif Miranda July stares back at us with big, wet blue eyes, curls dangling about her face, lips glistening and parted just so.
When G.I. Gurdjieff came to Boston
Was Georges Ivanovitch Gurdjieff a charlatan?
Barbara Kingsolver grows her own
In 2005, author Barbara Kingsolver moved her family from Tucson to a farm in Virginia to embark on a year-long experiment of returning to nature.
Summer reads to cool off with
“Summer joys are spoilt by use,” wrote John Keats, meaning the less you do between June and August, the better.
The man who knew too much:
Philip K. Dick enters the Library of America
Around the age of 13, Philip K. Dick started having a recurring dream.
Ice and fire:
Ice Cream’s cold contemporary art, Burning Man’s hot stuff
Burning Man began as a San Francisco pyromaniacs’ beach party in 1986.
Sifting the trash heap:
Things I love about the gold and the garbage in comics
There’s an image in an old
comic book by Jim Starlin that sums up a lot of the peculiar, shared pleasure of reading comics.
Frederick Taylor’s Berlin story
In the center section of Frederick Taylor’s book about the Berlin Wall, there’s a November 1989 photograph of rows of Berliners straddling the high cement barrier.
A worthy life of Kingsley Amis
Eight hundred pages long, with another 200 pages of notes,
The Life of Kingsley Amis
is stunningly comprehensive.
Gumshoes and golems:
Michael Chabon’s Alaskan-Yiddish noir
Michael Chabon has boundary issues.
After the Gold Rush:
Michael Ondaatje’s memory plays
Michael Ondaatje builds his new novel,
, around a triad of characters.
The further adventures of Austen wanna-bes
No sooner had I finished last week’s review than Shannon Hale’s
turned up on my desk.
What would Jane do?:
A guide to Miss Austen's world
You’ll learn how to dress, how to pay a morning call, how to behave at a dinner party.
This life of Donne leaves out the art
John Donne’s poetic reputation was in pretty bad shape till T.S. Eliot came along.
The diamond patriot:
Bill Nowlin's Ted Williams at War
The plane shook. The cockpit coruscated with distress lights. And Ted Williams realized the landing gear was stuck.
Don’t be afraid of the Dark:
Murakami’s noirish novel is playful, too
The typical Haruki Murakami protagonist is torn between women who are unattainably gorgeous and those who are just unbelievably cute.
An excerpt from Murakami's
Charles McCarry looks back at the Nazis — and ahead to Bush?
The politics of celebrated spy-novel writer (and one-time deep-cover CIA operative) Charles McCarry aren’t simplistic.
Going under Down Under:
Richard Flanagan’s fish in a barrel
Everybody loves an outlaw, and Richard Flanagan is no exception.
Death becomes him:
Nathan Englander returns . . . at last
The combination of a gift for narrative, a proclivity for pathos, and a lode of arcane knowledge is put to great use in Nathan Englander’s first novel.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., 1922-2007:
The man who fell to earth
By the time he died on April 11 at the age of 84, Kurt Vonnegut was lauded more as a cultural icon than for literary accomplishment.
Over the top:
Rick Veitch sends Sgt. Rock to ‘Afbaghistan’
“Your life. Your war.”
One hell of a socialite:
Pat Montandon's eccentric new memoir
Summer of ’63 with Sinatra, three-times a divorcee, and a gold cape cut from the curtains of the old San Francisco opera house.
Traveling with architecture
Most travel guides are little more than lists of colorless places in which to waste your money and sanitized tourist traps in which to waste your time.
Engine of dreams:
Tatyana Tolstaya lives up to her name
Reviews of Tatyana Tolstaya are stuffed with adjectives that strain to capture the vigorous joy of her prose or the terrible engine of her imagery.
Sorting out the life and career of Leni Riefenstahl
It’s tempting to see two new biographies of Leni Riefenstahl and assume they’ll push the envelope, and expose the dirt about her personal life.
Two novels about the war at home
It’s perhaps understandable that what we think of as “the war novel” has become synonymous with stories set in the midst of combat.
Some 'Poetry Month' bon-bons
In honor of poetry month, these books have been plucked from the torrent.
Heart of the matter:
Doc Pomus’s blues
Even among the oddballs of the music business, Doc Pomus was unusual.
Jerusalem Jane Doe:
Yehoshua’s undead in Israel
Israeli writer A.B. Yehoshua’s
A Woman in Jerusalem
is an odd, perplexing novel — but also shrewd and profound.
Lethem heads to the Left Coast
For his rock-and-roll novel
You Don’t Love Me Yet
, Brooklyn author Jonathan Lethem went west. No, not to Staten Island. Think farther. A lot farther. Los Angeles.
In Bods we trust:
Kennedy’s new book explores the first F-to-M sex change
Issues of identity have captivated Somerville author Pagan Kennedy since her days as an Allstonite ’zine pioneer back in the mid ’80s.
Mary Ann Sorrentino on the right to choose
Long-time abortion rights advocate Mary Ann Sorrentino didn’t write
The A Word
to change anyone’s pro-life stance.
Chabon, Murakami, Bukowski, and more
April comes like an idiot, Edna St. Millay wrote, babbling and strewing flowers.
Critic Rob Sheffield comes to terms with the death of his musical soul mate in Love Is a Mix Tape
If every generation has its
, its tragic tale of romance and loss, then Rob Sheffield’s
Love Is a Mix Tape
is that book for those who came of age with indie rock.
The who behind What:
Podcast: Dave Eggers, Samantha Power, and Valentino Achak Deng discuss What Is the What
Listen to a discussion with Dave Eggers, Samantha Power, and Valentino Achak Deng, recorded at Harvard's Memorial Hall on February 26, 2007
Chris Adrian reckons with human suffering in his new book The Children’s Hospital
Chris Adrian is trying to figure out how to bring people back to life.
How the writer of a generation stopped speaking for himself
If Dave Eggers’s career is any indication, the best way to become a writer of importance is to convince everyone you’re a self-indulgent jerk and then pull the rug out from under them.
It’s all true:
A year in non-fiction
Here’s a selection of non-fiction books that the Phoenix liked this year, in alphabetical order by author.
Tales of the times:
A year in fiction
Here, listed alphabetically by author, are 10 of the best fiction and poetry books the
wrote about in 2006.
More the mystery:
Kate Atkinson’s fear of genre
What’s the big deal about Kate Atkinson? If you read the rapturous reviews of her previous novel,
, you’d conclude she had written an engrossing mystery that was, you know, more than just a mystery.
Our real founding father?:
A lawyer’s story of John Cooke
It’s just plain too bad John Cooke is not around anymore.
Thomas Pynchon’s up Against the Day
Maybe writers should avoid the light, whether describing its effect or analyzing its nature, and instead leave it to experts like painters and physicists to worry about.
OUTSIDE THE FRAME
posted at 7:18 PM / 10.26.2007
posted at 6:23 PM / 10.24.2007
More Lust, More Caution: Ang Lee II
posted at 6:11 PM / 10.10.2007
Cautionary tale: Lee on "Lust"
posted at 4:38 PM / 10.5.2007
BOOKS: WORD UP
This Thing Is A Lot Like That Thing
posted at 3:53 PM / 10.19.2007
Friday Literary Links: Ungrateful Edition
posted at 12:26 PM / 10.12.2007
Wednesday: Iron Chef Morimoto at the BU Barnes & Noble
posted at 6:30 PM / 10.9.2007
Angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night
posted at 11:13 AM / 10.5.2007
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