| Oct 25, 2010
| 5:36 PM
"Muriel Spark: The Biography"
By Martin Stannard
W.W. Norton. 656 pages. $35
By nearly any measure Muriel Spark was a major 20th-century writer -- of longer fiction (twenty two novels); short fiction (sixty+ stories, published and republished in six...
| Jun 22, 2006
WE'RE IN THE middle of another of the perennial tempests over the promise or the peril of the Internet. I've always been skeptical of some of the more utopian claims of Internet boosters and the dystopian fears of its critics.
My conservative instinct is...
| Sep 14, 2008
"Born Standing Up" by Steve Martin (Scribner)
Here's Steve Martin, describing his first appearance on "The Tonight Show": "What happened while I was out there was very similar to an alien abduction: I remember very little of it, though I'm convinced it...
| Feb 2, 2008
By Richard M. Cook
Yale University Press, 452 pages, $35
'I love to think about America," Alfred Kazin, 26, recorded in his journal in February 1942. He was finishing his canonical study of modern American literature, "On Native Grounds,"...
| Sep 8, 2009
Richard Poirier, a literary critic and writer who was one of the founders of the Library of America, a monumental effort to keep American literary classics in print and accessible to the reading public, died Aug. 15 at Roosevelt Hospital in New York. He...
| Jan 17, 2010
This year promises to be the year of Mark Twain. It marks the 175th anniversary of his birth, the 100th anniversary of his death and the 125th anniversary of the American publication of "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."
Because I have written about Twain...
| 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...
| Nov 11, 2009
"A Truth Universally Acknowledged: 33 Great Writers on Why We Read Jane Austen"
Edited by Susannah Carson
Random House, 320 pages, $15
This is a collection for both newcomers to the charms of Jane Austen and those long-time "Janeites," what Rudyard...