Articles by Thomas Beckwith

August 12, 2014

“Strings unleashing” 0

“I have tried them all, The cotton, the nylon, absorbing water, rolling in sand, sticky flakes of broken glass. We all drown in the end.” Anne Sexton’s summer bikini tips.

August 12, 2014

Children of the East 0

Following its interview with Yelena Akhtiorskaya, Bookforum published its review of the author’s debut novel, Panic in a Suitcase. As in many other books that take place in the post-Cold War age, the plot centers on a group of Ukrainian immigrants, fresh out of the former Soviet Union, who set up new lives in America. However, despite the […]

August 12, 2014

A Side of Poetry 0

Fifty years ago, Frank O’Hara released Lunch Poems, a collection of remarkably informal poetry that rebuked the more academic verse of his day. As a tribute, Dwight Garner writes about the importance of the book in the Times, arguing that O’Hara’s grasp of the zeitgeist is the reason he appeared on Mad Men. For more on the poet’s legacy, take a look […]

August 12, 2014

Papismo 0

Legend has it that Hemingway, after reading a review of his work that he didn’t like, strode into the reviewer’s office and slapped him across the face with a book. Upset over a line that questioned his bravado — the line compared his writing style to “wearing false hair on the chest” — Hemingway tore […]

August 12, 2014

Tuesday New Release Day: Murakami; Williams; Steinke; Cao; Bausch; Flanagan; Row 0

Haruki Murakami’s latest (which we reviewed) is out this week, as is a new edition of Augustus, the 1973 National Book Award winner by Stoner author John Williams. Also out: Friendswood by Rene Steinke; The Lotus and the Storm by Lan Cao; Before, During, After by Richard Bausch; The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard […]

August 11, 2014

Park Life 0

Coincident with the release of her new novel, Marie-Helene Bertino published an excerpt in the latest issue of Granta. It features, among other things, a character using the phrase “better-him-than-me kind of park.” You could also read Bertino’s interview with Jessica Gross, which followed the publication of her debut book of short stories.

August 11, 2014

The Art of Showing Off 0

If you enjoy showing the world how much you like to read, you’re in luck: The Paris Review and the LRB are asking people to submit photos of themselves reading either magazine as part of their new contest. All you have to do is post the image on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #ReadEverywhere, and […]

August 11, 2014

“All dialogue? Really?” 1

Seeing as the latest Dave Eggers book consists of all dialogue, it’s a good time to look back on the history of all-dialogue novels. Alexander Kalamaroff, writing for The Rumpus, identifies a few examples, among them The Waves by Virginia Woolf and numerous works in Sixty Stories by Donald Barthelme.

August 11, 2014

War and ??? 0

Nowadays, we take it as a given that Tolstoy’s fame was guaranteed by his talent, but many of his contemporaries thought he’d never get a readership outside his native Russia. Why? His writing, as Rosamund Bartlett puts it in a comparison with Turgenev, was “unpolished, more uncompromising and altogether more Russian” than his peers’. If you generally […]

August 6, 2014

Everyone Is Looking: On American Expat Literature 1

It’s impossible, of course, to sum up the vast breadth of expat literature, but we can still make out, in these stories, how we and a great deal of Europe have interpreted our character as a nation.