Recent Articles

March 9, 2011

Experimental Champions: Three European Masterworks Worth Reconsidering 8

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European writers have the ability (perhaps the freedom) to be applauded as experimentalists, while also being championed by the literary establishment.

March 8, 2011

Late American Novel Love 0

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The brief excerpt of The Late American Novel that appeared in the New York Times Magazine this past weekend was also the first appearance of “A Tiny New Culture Section With No Name,” part of the Magazine’s redesign. At the Magazine’s “behind-the-scenes” blog, Editor Adam Sternbergh talks about the tiny new section and has some […]

March 8, 2011

Tuesday New Release Day: Obreht, Edgarian, Brooks, Gordon, McEwan, Skloot 1

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New this week is The Tiger’s Wife, the hotly anticipated debut of Téa Obreht, the youngest of the New Yorker’s 20 Under 40 from last year. Also new in the fiction aisle is Carol Edgarian’s Three Stages of Amazement. David Brooks’s latest pop sociology effort The Social Animal is now out — this one, excerpted […]

March 8, 2011

Round One of the Rooster 0

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With the preliminaries out of the way, The Morning News Tournament of books unveils its first head-to-head matchup today, Teddy Wayne’s Kapitoil versus Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom. Don’t miss the commentary that accompanies each judgment (some say it’s the best part of the whole thing.)

March 8, 2011

Grief, the Cruel and Fickle Muse 21

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Grief, all of a sudden, is hot.  Books by authors who have lost a loved one are becoming so common they’re now a classifiable snowflake in the unending blizzard of memoirs.

March 7, 2011

ROOSTER! 0

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Did you forget that The Morning News Tournament of Books starts today? If so, I bet you’re glad you saw this reminder. Have fun.

March 7, 2011

For Sonny – With Love and Sympathy: Kenneth Slawenski’s J.D. Salinger: A Life 15

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Before I say anything about Slawenski’s compelling but adoring biography of Salinger, I have a question: does anyone really, really understand just why Seymour Glass blows his brains out at the end of  “A Perfect Day for Bananafish”?

March 7, 2011

The Memory That Never Was: Joshua Foer’s Moonwalking With Einstein 1

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Given enough time, all science writing—no matter how casually or clinically it is presented—winds up being wrong. Likewise, any work of participatory journalism that finds the undertaking more interesting than the author is bound for obscurity.

March 5, 2011

In Which Samuel Beckett Didn’t Intend To Be A Writer 0

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“He was a great exploiter.” From This Recording, Samuel Beckett’s recollections of James Joyce, in his own words.

March 5, 2011

Charlie Sheen’s Poetry 1

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It was probably inevitable that someone would turn the ravings of Charlie Sheen into found poetry. But unlike similar collections “by” Donald Rumsfeld and Rod Blagojevich, this one offers us the opportunity to compare it to the real thing – Sheen’s early ’90s chef d’oeuvre, A Peace of My Mind.