Recent Articles

May 11, 2011

Joyce Carol Oates Explains 0

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Our review of A Widow’s Story took Joyce Carol Oates to task for not mentioning that she had remarried not long after the death of her husband. In the New York Review of Books, Julian Barnes recently made the same point. Responding to the Barnes review, Oates defended her choice, but diplomatically added, “In retrospect […]

May 11, 2011

Fighting Words 0

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Mark McGurl author of the book that got everyone talking about MFA programs, The Program Era, mounts a spirited defense against Elif Batuman’s much discussed review of the book. Among his ripostes: “One can be all for the deflation of liberal pieties without being a gleeful ignoramus about it, as though literary journalism needs its […]

May 11, 2011

‘Was Guilt Innocent?’ The Books of Harry Mulisch 7

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The Assault, probably Harry Mulisch’s most well known work, is to my mind the best account ever written of being a non-Jew in an occupied Nazi territory.

May 10, 2011

Tuesday New Release Day: Larson, Nesbø, Brown, Earle, Udall, Marlantes 0

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Purveyor of popular nonfiction Erik Larson has a new book out this week, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin. The Snowman by Jo Nesbø is a new entry in the increasingly popular Scandinavian thriller genre. Inward-looking graphic novelist Chester Brown’s latest, Paying for It is out, and […]

May 10, 2011

The Dog Massage 3

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I am an old dog, yes, but like to think that I’m open to new tricks.

May 9, 2011

He Was Water: Kenyon Grads Remember David Foster Wallace’s Commencement Speech 21

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Did Wallace’s speech resonate on the hot Ohio morning when he delivered it to the assembled student, or did it get lost amid the hurrah of a graduation weekend?

May 6, 2011

New Helen DeWitt 1

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Millions fave Helen DeWitt’s new novel Lightning Rods now has a cover and is available for pre-order. Look for it in October.

May 6, 2011

Will Ferrell Channels Raymond Carver — And It Works! 12

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The 10th Tribeca Film Festival was a richly musical affair. Nearly lost in this pleasing din were two quiet movies, a feature and a documentary, that grew, respectively, out of a work of literature and the misguided urge to lionize writers.

May 5, 2011

Empathy for the Devil? 1

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Ruth Franklin of TNR probes the weaknesses of American novels about terrorism.

May 5, 2011

Again, I Ask You: Is Big Back? 0

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Filmmaker/novelist John Sayles has written a freaking huge novel revisiting the historical moment of Ragtime and Against the Day. Published by McSweeney’s (“We Print Enormous Books”), it’s getting strong pre-pub reviews.