Tag Archives: winter 2005


Charles Burns Pantheon ($24.95) by David Kennedy-Logan With only a cursory flip through the pages, Charles Burns's epic graphic novel Black Hole might seem to be a schlocky horror comic with antecedents such as EC's Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror from the fifties, or the gleefully crude and lascivious underground "comix" movement of the sixties. The […]


Edited by Steven Brower and Nora Guthrie Rizzoli ($45) by Charles Homans Woody Guthrie's visual art may have originated in the same place and time as the music that made him famous: Shorty Harris's drug store in Pampa, Texas, circa 1929. Between intermittent shifts as a soda jerk, the 17-year-old Guthrie painted murals of desserts and […]


Edited by Mac Montandon Thunder Mouth Press ($16.95) by N. N. Hooker Image is a complicated business, particularly when selling authenticity. "Part of my character and personality and image that I have cultivated is that I do not endorse products." Waits successfully sued Frito-Lay for an unauthorized imitation. "I hate it when I hear songs […]

THEORY'S EMPIRE: An Anthology of Dissent

Edited by Daphne Patai and Will H. Corral Columbia University Press ($29.50) by Raphael Allison Theory's Empire announces itself as a long-awaited and much-belated response to the repressive orthodoxy of Theory, Theory "emblazoned with a capital T." Theory with a capital T refers in this case to a generalized reduction of the ideas of writers like […]

LIKE A FIERY ELEPHANT: The Story of B.S. Johnson

Jonathan Coe Continuum ($29.95) by Scott Esposito Why has Jonathan Coe—author of several distinguished, if decidedly non-experimental, novels—spent the last seven years writing a biography of B. S. Johnson, a writer who tried to write books that made Ulysses look like a starched shirt? And does this odd coupling result in a worthwhile book? The answer to […]


Lynn Crawford Black Square Editions ($11.95) by Jim Feast In her new work of short stories, Fortification Resort, Lynn Crawford seems more in tune with the French New Novelists of the 1960s, such as Alain Robbe-Grillet and Nathalie Sarraute, than with the more formalist Oulipo school with which she is sometimes associated. The New Novelists employed […]


Octavia E. Butler Seven Stories Press ($24.95) by Shannon Gibney Octavia E. Butler's Fledgling offers a new vision of the Other, one which is grounded as firmly in biology as it is in technological experimentation. In this sense, Butler's fourteenth book covers similar ground as her acclaimed book Dawn and her Parable series, but in exploring the theme of an […]


John Berger Pantheon ($24) by John Toren Today's culture, instead of facing mysteries, persistently tries to outflank them. —John Berger At the age of 80, John Berger retains the curiosity, originality, and daring that have made him one of the Western world's most engaging thinkers for nearly half a century. To describe him as a […]


Mark Helprin Penguin Press ($27.95) by Nicole Duclos You would never guess it by his fiction, but Mark Helprin is a conservative. Had I known this ahead of time, it's quite possible that I never would have read him. Having not known, the opposite has happened—Helprin is one of the very few living authors that […]


Jonathan Skinner Palm Press ($15.95) by Francis Raven Jonathan Skinner's Political Cactus Poems is a slim but relatively ambitious contribution to the field of contemporary experimental ecopoetics, a field for whose resurgence Skinner's journal Ecopoetics ("dedicated to exploring creative-critical edges between making and ecology") is largely responsible. Skinner's poetry is an ecopoetics for this new century, in that it […]