In Memoriam

February 7, 2011

Brian Jacques, R.I.P. 1

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Brian Jacques, whose Redwall series beginning with Redwall and Mossflower figured prominently in my life as a young reader, has died.

October 13, 2010

Carla Cohen, You Will Be Missed 1

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The secret of the store’s success has been that the owners loved books and weren’t afraid to have opinions or share them with their customers.  And the customers responded to that passion.

July 20, 2010

Conversations with Harvey Pekar 0

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I started reading Harvey Pekar’s comic book series American Splendor in high school, when I was anxious about my future and frustrated by my present. Little did I know then, Pekar would soon become a friend and a confidant of sorts.

April 19, 2010

Emilie 20

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My magnificent agent died a few days ago. Her name was Emilie Jacobson, but her colleagues called her Emmy. She found me in a slush pile.

February 4, 2010

On Rereading J.D. Salinger 1

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It occurs to me that I’m judging Holden more like an old friend than a character in a novel. This is perhaps the largest compliment I can pay him, and Salinger, too.

January 28, 2010

J.D. Salinger, 1919-2010 13

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Though it has been talked about as the greatest vanishing act in the history of American letters, Jerome David Salinger’s career also turns out to be one of the major triumphs.

November 9, 2009

Claude Levi-Strauss, 1908-2009 2

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Levi-Strauss’ most important ideas would become so ubiquitous that you probably already know them, even if you don’t know you know.

October 11, 2009

Requiescat in pace, TriQuarterly 1

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TriQuarterly, the long-running trail-blazing literary journal more or less dreamed into existence by the late Charles Newman, is apparently no more, due to budget cuts at Northwestern University. Newman’s foreword to his first issue as editor, reprinted at A Public Space, should be required reading for anyone thinking about the purpose and future of the […]

September 14, 2009

Jim Carroll, 1950 – 2009 4

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in the subculture of which Jim Carroll was a sort of poet laureate – one of them, anyway – the movie of The Basketball Diaries registers only as a minor souvenir.

July 7, 2009

Vasily Aksyonov, Giant of Russian Literature, Dies at 76 0

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It would be a shame if the death of the Russian novelist Vasily Aksyonov yesterday got lost in the welter of cultural losses that surrounds it. Aksyonov is one of the towering literary figures of the postwar era – one who might have been more widely recognized as such were it not for the strictures […]