Tag Archives: spring 2011

THE BOX: Tales from the Darkroom

Günter Grass Translated by Krishna Winston Houghton Mifflin Harcourt ($23) by Joshua Willey Günter Grass’s most recent opus is a miniature epic, packing an amazing amount of material into a single afternoon’s read. The Nobel Prize winner here writes in an elliptical, fragmentary mode; there is so much to read between the lines that his […]

GROWING UP PSYCHIC: From Skeptic to Believer

Michael Bodine Llewellyn Worldwide ($16.95) by Kelly Everding If you’ve ever watched Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal, a reality TV show that helps children who suffer through the uninvited attention of ghosts, you know that a common theme runs through each show: fear and helplessness followed by eventual acceptance, empowerment, and confidence. And that is […]

ANIMATING SPACE: From Mickey to Wall-E

J. P. Telotte The University Press of Kentucky ($40) by Emy Farley To paraphrase one of the great critiques of reviewing, writing about a visual medium is like dancing about architecture—a challenge, to put it mildly. But like Wile E. Coyote’s relentless pursuit of the Roadrunner, J. P. Telotte enthusiastically attempts the impossible—discussing the importance […]

THE PREPARATION OF THE NOVEL: Lecture Courses and Seminars at the Collège de France (1978–1979 and 1979–1980)

Roland Barthes Translated by Kate Briggs Columbia University Press ($29.50) by Spencer Dew What is published here are the posthumously “established” notes for Roland Barthes’s lectures of a two-part course called “The Preparation of the Novel,” along with a brief assortment of related materials—a series of photographs, by Nadar, of people known by Proust, accompanied […]


HEMINGWAY So Far from Simple Donald F. Bouchard Prometheus Books ($19) ALBERT CAMUS Elements of a Life Robert Zaretsky Cornell University Press ($24.95) by John Pistelli Borges says somewhere that all literary classics finally end up as children’s books. The works of Ernest Hemingway and Albert Camus seem to have met this fate: the bare […]

OUR SAVAGE ART: Poetry and the Civil Tongue

William Logan Columbia University Press ($29.50) by John-Ivan Palmer William Logan has been called by Slate “the most hated man in American poetry . . . [and] its guiltiest pleasure.” He’s been threatened by a few angry poets and banned from certain newspapers for lavishing scorn on what he considers prize-winning phonies and crowd-pleasing flyweights. In his […]


Orhan Pamuk Harvard University Press ($22.95) by Spencer Dew In the 2009 Norton Lectures at Harvard, collected in this volume, Orhan Pamuk articulates what he calls “the most important things I know and have learned about the novel,” exploring issues of form and technique but also the ethical and political functions of literature. He frames […]


Jón Kalman Stefánsson Translated by Philip Roughton MacLehose Press (£12.00) by Amy Henry Our existence is a relentless search for a solution, what comforts us, whatever gives us happiness, drives away all bad things. Some travel a long and difficult road and perhaps find nothing at all . . . the rest of us admire […]


Bret Easton Ellis Knopf ($24.95) by Josepha Gutelius Bret Easton Ellis has a dazzling arsenal of skills, no question about it. In his latest novel, Imperial Bedrooms, his dialogue has all the pitch-perfect suggestiveness of Don DeLillo, and the plot is, on one level, a whodunit, chockablock with sinister characters and mysterious disappearances. His choice of […]