Articles by Bill Morris

March 22, 2012

John Leonard Died for Our Sins 6

I’m glad I haven’t read anything Leonard wrote about Nixon after 1975. My guess is it would be like watching someone empty an Uzi into a lifeless Clydesdale.

February 27, 2012

Scott Donaldson on the “Impossible Craft” of Writing Biography 11

“If you fall in love with your subject, you can so identify with your subject that you lose something of your own self to it. The first two biographers of Malcolm Lowry who was a suicide, they both killed themselves. Maybe they had that inclination to begin with. But that can happen.”

February 21, 2012

Blink vs. Think: When a Movie Bewitches A Writer 9

Geoff Dyer, Don DeLillo, and Jonathan Lethem, for all their differences, have one thing in common. Each became bewitched by a movie that spoke so forcefully to him that he watched it again and again until it revealed all of its secrets.

February 8, 2012

Hatchet Job Prize 0

Turns out Americans aren’t the only ones who adore snark. The novelist and critic Adam Mars-Jones has won the first Hatchet Job prize from the British website Omnivore for his blistering takedown of Michael Cunningham’s latest novel, By Nightfall. Mars-Jones beat out Geoff Dyer’s slam of Booker Prize winner Julian Barnes’s The Sense of an […]

January 11, 2012

Staff Pick: John Jeremiah Sullivan’s Pulphead 16

Every word I say or write about John Jeremiah Sullivan’s Pulphead turns instantly to mush. Yes, he’s that good.

January 4, 2012

Nihilists Have Feelings, Too: Michel Houellebecq’s The Map and the Territory 8

Michel Houellebecq may be a petty misanthrope and an average prose stylist, but he can also be drop-dead funny.

December 10, 2011

A Year in Reading: Bill Morris 0

This year I read a book that was so good it gave me that sick-sweet feeling of envy-awe when I finished the last page. Damn, I thought, I wish I’d written that!

November 21, 2011

Battle of the Heavyweights: Errol Morris vs. Susan Sontag 6

Book lovers love to watch two heavyweights slug it out. Bloodshed, though not necessary, is always welcome.

November 4, 2011

A Small Gallery of Literary Giants 24

Since I’m convinced that people tend to be more interesting once they’re dead, obituaries have always been my favorite part of the newspaper. So whenever a noteworthy writer died, I started drawing the picture that accompanied the obit, eventually adding drawings of noteworthy long-dead writers. Here, then, is a gallery of a few of those literary giants, along with brief explanations of what was going through my head as my pen was fashioning their heads.

November 2, 2011

William Kennedy’s Long Dry Spell Ends with Chango’s Beads and Two-Toned Shoes 3

Along the way there will be a duel, a failed assassination attempt, gun-running, Santeria rituals, kidnapping, torture, scorching sex, and, finally, a coveted interview with Fidel Castro. The storytelling has the irresistible pull of a riptide.