| Feb 26, 2010
"The Man With Two Arms"
By Billy Lombardo
Overlook, 336 pages, $24.95
The man of the title, really a young man from Chicagoland, has two golden arms. His name is Denny Granville and his baseball-crazed father Henry raises him from infancy to play ball -...
| Jan 28, 2009
John Updike, the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction whose novels and short stories exposed an undercurrent of ambivalence and disappointment in small-town, middle-class America, died Tuesday. He was 76.
Updike's death from lung cancer was...
| Apr 17, 2010
It's hard to write good baseball fiction. The game is so unlikely, so bizarre at times, that it's a challenge to the fiction writer's imagination to do it justice.
Who, for instance, could have invented Johnny Damon's at-bat in the ninth inning of Game 4...
| Mar 14, 2010
Backing Into Forward
Nan A. Talese/Doubleday: 450 pp., $30
Whether newspapers live or die, the prognosis for the comic strip doesn't look promising. The extinction of the form not much more than a century after its birth would...
| Dec 28, 2008
Writers and editors
George MacDonald Fraser, 82; author of the "Flashman" series of historical adventure novels (Jan. 2)
Gilbert A. Harrison, 92; editor of the New Republic, helped launch new talent (Jan. 3)
Philip Agee, 72; former CIA official wrote...
| Mar 20, 2008
AFTER the insane fame and wealth of "Friends," David Schwimmer is back to what he considers to be his essence -- trying to make it as a working actor-writer-director, albeit one who never again has to worry about making it.
It's a nice life, if also an...
| Sep 17, 2009
| 8:53 AM
Have you read all the National Book Award-winning novels above? If, like me, you haven't -- and it might take some time to get through them all -- the National Book Foundation has been posting helpful mini-reviews and essays on......
| Sep 29, 2009
| 4:34 PM
The latest film from Ethan and Joel Coen has the unmemorable title 'A Serious Man,' but thatâ??s about the only unmemorable thing about it. Like so much of their work, it straddles comedy and sheer grimness; while the tone is substantially lighter than...
| Mar 15, 2009
Since Joyce Carol Oates' first novel, With Shuddering Fall, came out in 1964, she has averaged two books a year.
Many of them are novels, though she's also written plays, poetry, children's books, literary criticism, and a highly regarded sports book, On...
| May 4, 2008
In the long and often embarrassing history of intellectuals' attempts to grapple with pop culture, there are, at least, a few high points. One of them is the work of the late Leslie Fiedler, the garrulous and provocative critic of literature who could...