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He's all Dwight

Remembering Dwight Macdonald's work
Throughout the 1940s, 50s, and '60s, Dwight Macdonald was one of the nation's most provocative and original literary, political, and cultural critics.
By: PETER KADZIS  |  October 20, 2011


Interview: Karen Russell talks to the animals

Frustrated vet
Florida native Karen Russell burst on the scene in 2007 with an unbelievably likeable and charming book of short stories, St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves .
By: EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  October 13, 2011


Russell Banks bares the soul of a sex offender in Skin

Minor problems
When it comes to reprobate or ostracized characters, Russell Banks has no fear.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  October 12, 2011


Interview: Talking The Wire with Robert F. Chew

A bold Proposition
Like many cast members on HBO's The Wire, Robert F. Chew is originally from Baltimore and therefore has firsthand experience with much of the urban decay the show depicts.
By: RYAN STEWART  |  October 12, 2011


Interview: Jennifer Egan's anti-nostalgic look back

Time traveler
Forget Jonathan Franzen. For those counting, Jennifer Egan may be a better contender for the greatest American author of her generation.
By: THOMAS PAGE MCBEE  |  October 12, 2011


Interview: Chuck Klosterman Made Visible

An interview with the essayist-cum-novelist
Over the past decade, Chuck Klosterman's five books have earned a huge and devoted following — and a much smaller (though no less vocal) band of haters who feel he's biggest douchebag in the world.  
By: STEVE ALMOND  |  October 12, 2011


Kate Beaton's twisted take on the world — with more butts

Bizarre history
I see the world in a different way after looking at a Kate Beaton strip. I think she's a genius.
By: KELLY LINK  |  October 12, 2011


A conversation between Richard Russo and Andre Dubus III

Blue-collar poetry
The novelists Richard Russo and Andre Dubus III might have first met each other at the Newburyport Book Festival in 2006, but they might not have — they hit it off so well that neither of them can quite remember. They've been friends ever since.
By: EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  October 12, 2011


Eugenides's updated Austen

Jeffrey does Jane
For his long-awaited third novel, Jeffrey Eugenides goes back to look at love in the '80s — and apparently decides that it's a lot like love in the early 19th century.
By: SHARON STEEL  |  October 12, 2011


How Lee Child — and the Reacher Creatures — conquered thriller lit

Earlier this year, Random House held a Jack Reacher look-alike contest.
By: EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  October 05, 2011


Young Adulteration

Kid lit, cultural literacy, and the rise of books that are fun to read
In the late 1980s, when I was nine or 10, my mom bought me my own copy of A First Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: What Our Children Need To Know .
By: EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  September 21, 2011


Their cheating hearts

Literary Lites
When Kristina Newman-Scott took over as director of programs for the Boston Center for the Arts in January, she was surprised at its lack of literary offerings.
By: EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  September 21, 2011


The hipster Harry Potter

Colin Meloy’s fake children’s book isn’t for children at all
The inside flap of Wildwood — the new young-adult fantasy novel by Decemberist Colin Meloy — claims that the book is for ages nine and up.
By: CHRIS BRAIOTTA  |  September 21, 2011


Book-industry magic: Erin Morgenstern transformed into an overnight literary sensation

Will Erin Morgenstern be the next JK Rowling? Or will the spell wear off?
A year ago Morgenstern was selling tarot-card paintings on Etsy from her former home in Salem, Massachusetts. Now she is the author expected to become fiction's next pop star.  
By: EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  September 16, 2011


10 authors — and a couple of artists — make the rounds this fall

Word and image
Joan Didion, Umberto Eco, Colin Meloy, Touré, the Boston Book Festival — just trucking out to all these "shows" could keep a person from ever actually getting around to reading a book.
By: EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  September 14, 2011


Geoff Dyer's WWI memorial

Counting casualties
No matter what bromides are trotted out in the aftermath of tragedy or disaster about the ability of people to pull together, when it comes time to memorialize the event, fissures always show.
By: CHARLES TAYLOR  |  September 06, 2011


Grace Bonney’s epoch-defining design blog becomes a book

Home pages
Design*Sponge at Home , the first book by the founder of the blog Design*Sponge, Grace Bonney, is a breathtaking, byzantine 390-page encyclopedia of eclectic home décor.
By: EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  August 31, 2011

habibi 6

In his new graphic novel, Craig Thompson wins an argument with God

Illuminated manuscript
This book is a gorgeous object; to make it, Thompson apparently covered himself in honey and rolled around in a thousand years of Arabic calligraphy and Islamic art, and the result is breathtaking — the amount of ink expended on one resplendent panel after another, not to mention the virtuoso draftsmanship, speaks of hundreds of hours of hard work.
By: S.I. ROSENBAUM  |  August 31, 2011


George Pelecanos's Spero falls short

War zero
Better than almost any current writer, Pelecanos has shown what city dwellers have known for years: that it is urban neighborhoods, and not suburbs, where what we think of as the small-town values of community and knowing your neighbors have taken root.
By: CHARLES TAYLOR  |  August 24, 2011


Rediscovering Metallica with a new bio

Write the lightning
That the biggest metal band in metal history should be called METALLICA — it's just so frigging metal .
By: JAMES PARKER  |  August 24, 2011


Annamarie Pluhar's guide to housemating

Fair housing
Sharing housing is a sustainable choice, especially considering recent reports that average North American households produce 150 pounds of carbon dioxide a day, nearly five times the global average; like other aspects of our super-size culture, America's average homes have grown in size by 45 percent since 1980.
By: LIZ PELLY  |  August 16, 2011

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