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Aharon Appelfeld, Israeli Novelist and Holocaust Survivor, Dies at 85

“The ingenuous person is always a shlimazl, a clownish victim of misfortune, never hearing the danger signals in time, getting mixed up, tangled up and finally falling in the trap,” Mr. Appelfeld told Philip Roth in a conversation published...

Kind of Human – Los Angeles Review of Books

JANUARY 4, 2018 IT HAS BECOME commonplace in academic circles to assess a scholarly work by the magnitude of its “intervention.” According to one of the definitions provided by Merriam-Webster, to “intervene” is “to interfere with the outcome or course especially...

A Gumbo of Crime: From the Bayou to Britain

Photo Credit Pablo Amargo James Lee Burke is what fellow writers call a wordsmith. He can make your eyes water with a lyrical description of tropical rain falling on a Louisiana bayou: “I love the mist hanging in the...

Daniel Mendelsohn: By the Book

Which classic novel did you recently read for the first time? Since I’m a nonfiction writer, and always trying to remind people that nonfiction is literature, too, I’ll talk about a classic work of nonfiction, ok? I’d read large...

A City Where East Meets West and the Past Is Always Present

In contrast, Fidler begins his story more conventionally, with the Romans and, to be more precise, with his son, Joe, in Rome’s Capitoline Museum, admiring the colossal head of Constantine, the man who made Constantinople both the capital of...

Jacqueline Woodson Is Named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

Carla Hayden, the 14th Librarian of Congress, said she knew Ms. Woodson would be a natural fit because she had seen her interact with young readers at Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, where Ms. Hayden was chief executive....

Fred Bass, Who Made the Strand Bookstore a Mecca, Dies at 89

The 70,000 books in the Fourth Avenue store swelled, at the Broadway site, to half a million by the mid-1960s and 2.5 million by the 1990s, requiring the purchase of a storage warehouse in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. By the...

A Literary Journey Underground – The New York Times

In his annual State of the State address today, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, of New York, spoke about New York City’s transit crisis. Here are three books in which writers explore the politics and complications involved in building the...

‘The Woman in the Window’ Nods to Classics Old and New, From Hitchcock to ‘The Girl on the Train’

We don’t need a lot of flaunting of the author’s cineaste credentials, but we get it anyway. This will work better later, when the book intercuts movie dialogue from the DVDs Anna watches with what is actually happening in...

To Petrify Time: On Grigory Kanovich’s “Shtetl Love Song” and Sergey Kanovich’s Lost Shtetl Project

JANUARY 3, 2018 IN THE SPRING, my father and I visited Bauska, Latvia — alternatively Bauske, Bauskė, or Boisk, depending on whom you ask — to attend the unveiling of a plaque honoring a distant, long-deceased relative. Located where...