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No Longer Writing, Philip Roth Still Has Plenty to Say

C.M. Now that you’ve retired as a novelist, do you ever miss writing, or think about un-retiring? P.R. No, I don’t. That’s because the conditions that prompted me to stop writing fiction seven years ago haven’t changed. As I...

“A Single Wand of Rusted Quince”: On the Visionary Poetry of Bohuslav Reynek

JANUARY 15, 2018 BOHUSLAV REYNEK was born in 1892 in a tiny village in what was then Austria-Hungary and died in 1971 in the same tiny village, in what was then Czechoslovakia and is now the Czech Republic. As...

Cooking, the Benjamin Franklin Way

Photo A new book about Benjamin Franklin’s tastes is dense with detail. Credit Sonny Figueroa/The New York Times A new book about Benjamin Franklin covers his 84 years and the food that accompanied them, all based on prodigious research...

Catching Up With Denis Johnson’s Star-Crossed Drifters

Like bulbs planted upside down, these men and women sought sunlight and escape but could not find it. Like certain baboons, their backsides were red and chewed by existence. Their veins were flooded when possible with the relief of...

Three Questions for John Rechy Regarding His Novel “After the Blue Hour”

JANUARY 15, 2018 MORE THAN 50 YEARS have passed since the publication of John Rechy’s then-shocking novel, City of Night. Though savaged by many reviewers of the time who did not bother to disguise their homophobia, the novel about...

Press Versus Privacy: Does the Right to Be Left Alone Override the Public’s Right to Know?

JANUARY 15, 2018 DOES THE PRESS have the right to revisit a story, throwing renewed light on a private family and exposing them to unwanted attention without their permission? When do ordinary people lose their right to be left...

Bridging the Racial Divide in a Middle School Friendship

Photo Sam Graham-Felsen Credit Tamar Steinberger GREENBy Sam Graham-Felsen301 pp. Random House. $27. “Green,” the debut novel from Sam Graham-Felsen, who was chief blogger for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, chronicles the middle school travails of an anomalous variety...

It’s Elementary: Sherlockians Take Manhattan

The Irregulars’ annual banquet has become the centerpiece of five days of celebration in Manhattan attended by several hundred Sherlockians from around the world. There also was the 16th annual Christopher Morley Walk through Manhattan to McSorley’s Ale House...

The Generic Spectacular – Los Angeles Review of Books

JANUARY 14, 2018 WHEN THE BELIEVER approached Jim Shepard during the early Bush II years, they were hoping he’d agree to write a film column. Shepard gave them a film column: an extended consideration of the peculiarly American movie formulas for...

On the Brink – Los Angeles Review of Books

JANUARY 14, 2018 SINCE DONALD TRUMP’S ELECTION, many have become used to the idea that this is an era of existential threats to the United States. While this fear is overblown to some degree, and the hyperventilating is becoming...