In Memoriam

April 19, 2010

Emilie 20


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


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


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


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


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


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


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 […]

January 28, 2009

John Updike, 1932 – 2009 1


When other writers at a 1986 PEN panel on “How the State Imagines” were lamenting Cold War militarism, John Updike offered a hymn of praise for the U.S. Postal Service: “I never see a blue mailbox without a spark of warmth and wonder and gratitude that this intricate and extensive service is maintained for my […]

January 27, 2009

John Updike RIP 0


As many have likely already heard, John Updike died today. The New York Times and innumerable other outlets are remembering his gargantuan contribution to American letters. We’ve talked about Updike many times here at the Millions; for starters, there was Corey Vilhauer on the Rabbit Angstrom novels, James Hynes on Rabbit at Rest, and Hamilton […]

January 4, 2009

Remembering Glenn Goldman and Book Soup 1


Glenn Goldman, founder and owner of Book Soup, an independent book store in West Hollywood died yesterday. Goldman died of pancreatic cancer, an illness that came on suddenly, and he leaves behind two sons and his store. Glenn created, almost out of nothing, a great treasure of a book store that has meant a lot […]