Tag Archives: winter 2008


TOO COOL TO BE FORGOTTEN Alex Robinson Top Shelf Productions ($14.95) SKYSCRAPERS OF THE MIDWEST Joshua W. Cotter AdHouse Books ($19.95) BOTTOMLESS BELLY BUTTON Dash Shaw Fantagraphics ($29.99) by Eric Lorberer The coming-of-age story is one of the great chestnuts of literature. One of its perennial problems, however, is that even when told in the […]

A SCHOLAR’S TALE: Intellectual Journey of a Displaced Child of Europe

Geoffrey Hartman Fordham University Press ($24.95) by Spencer Dew “What haunts a memoir that does not have the excuse of a significant personal conversion, revelation, exculpation, is the nexus of the life and the work,” says Geoffrey Hartman, and it is this nexus that he explores in his slim memoir, a reflection on his years […]

WET MOON: Volumes 1–4

Sophie Campbell Oni Press ($14.95 each) by John Pistelli A white woman in her early twenties, extremely thin, pierced, tattooed and with a Chelsea cut, kneels with her feet tucked under her and begins to pull her shirt over her head. Her back to us, she looks over her shoulder, aware of being watched, the expression […]

THE YEAR OF HENRY JAMES: The Story of a Novel

David Lodge Penguin Global ($18) by Jerome Klinkowitz It would be easy to dismiss David Lodge’s new book as the whinings of a prickly Englishman about how his novel Author, Author (2004) failed to make the 22-title longlist for Britain’s prestigious Man Booker Prize. He’d been on the five-volume shortlist twice before, in 1984 with Small World and four […]

REBORN: Journals & Notebooks 1947–1963

Susan Sontag edited by David Rieff Farrar, Straus and Giroux ($25) by Megan Doll Writer and activist Susan Sontag (1933–2004) was an uncommonly visible and telegenic public intellectual. When she died in 2004, Sontag left behind a large and varied body of work, a tribute to her myriad faculties and interests. Her journals and notebooks, […]


Lionel Trilling New York Review Books ($15.95) by Alison Liss In one of the final essays of The Liberal Imagination, Lionel Trilling, mulling over the reasons for reading literature in light of its historical context, writes of the poet that “he may be used as the barometer, but let us not forget that he is also […]

CORRESPONDENCE: Georges Bataille and Michel Leiris

edited by Louis Yvert and translated by Liz Heron Seagull Books ($29.95) by Jeremy Biles “Intimacy is violence,” French writer Georges Bataille proclaimed in his book Theory of Religion, “and it is destruction, because it is not compatible with the positing of the separate individual.” Though the context of this comment is Bataille’s elaboration of a […]

THE ANGEL OF GROZNY: Orphans of a Forgotten War

Åsne Seierstad Basic Books ($25.95) by Ellen Frazel Åsne Seierstad has risked her life several times to write about the devastation of war within countries such as China, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Her international best seller The Bookseller of Kabul sparked a lawsuit against her, with the eponymous bookseller claiming that the book attacked and defamed his […]


Thomas Dumm Harvard University Press ($23.95) by Spencer Dew “I suspect that if you have picked up this book, you are asking pertinent questions about what it means to be lonely, and in turn I believe that it is my charge to explain myself to you as fully as I can in order for you to […]

GERTRUDE BELL: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations

Georgina Howell Farrar, Straus and Giroux ($15) by Victoria Erhart Georgina Howell’s Gertrude Bell is two books in one. On the surface, the subject is the life of archaeologist and British political officer Gertrude Bell. While rich in details, however, Howell’s biography comes no closer to answering the nagging questions that fan interest in Bell eight decades […]