| Jun 21, 2009
Not long ago, I went to hear physician Michael Stein talk about his memoir, "The Addict," which describes his treatment of a young woman for Vicodin dependency. In this book, Stein opens his office door, revealing what the jacket copy calls "the very...
| Nov 22, 2009
Riverhead: 292 pp., $25.95
In 2006, when James Frey's "A Million Little Pieces" was exposed as a fraud, the news was met with the self-righteousness and scorn typically reserved for Ponzi schemers. Ever since, Frey's name...
| Nov 8, 2009
Harper: 390 pp., $25.99
"Any way I tell this story is a lie," reads the first line of "Lit" by poet and memoirist Mary Karr. It's an ironic beginning for a writer who rose to fame on "The Liars' Club," a book recounting her...
| Jul 18, 2010
The Thieves of Manhattan
Spiegel & Grau: 260 pp., $15 paper
In his wonderfully mischievous new novel, "The Thieves of Manhattan," Adam Langer tells the story of an unpublished fiction writer who can't seem to tell a story other...
| Apr 18, 2010
and Then It Did
A Chronicle in Fact and Fiction
W.W. Norton: 232 pp., $23.95
People who know Jake Silverstein may be surprised to discover upon reading "Nothing Happened and Then It Did" that he helped find pirate...
| May 13, 2007
WE live in a time when reality has evidently trumped fiction. The novel loses readers, as narrative nonfiction and memoirs gain in popularity. Reality television, once derided as a fad, is apparently here to stay. Young people abandon the so-called old...
| Sep 23, 2007
More than a quarter century ago, the critic Robert Hughes called the public's response to Modern art "the shock of the new." The role of art was to stimulate ideas, provoke thought, challenge ways of seeing. Today, we are experiencing a different,...
| May 19, 2008
| 8:57 PM
JAMES FREY was back in his old neighborhood, strolling happily along the Venice boardwalk, enjoying a sunny day in a T-shirt and aviator shades as he passed tattoo shops and a man who was selling what he claimed to be "philosophy." It doesn't get any...
| Sep 8, 2008
Since everyone nowadays seems to save the worst for first, it's likely you've already heard the gory bits about New York Times media columnist David Carr's former life.
That tub of detergent he had to dunk his arm in to clean off the track-mark scabs....
| Nov 2, 2009
Stephen Elliott started playing around with drugs at 10 and ran away from home when he was 13. He spent most of his teens in and out of group homes; as an adult, he stripped at gay bars for a year while shooting heroin. It came to a crashing conclusion...
| Sep 5, 2009
One had to relive eighth grade. Another grew a beard so long and unruly it became more famous than its wearer. Yet another got to meet Richard Simmons on a cruise ship and was ranted at by a whole raft of motivational speakers.
They're not professional...
| Dec 20, 2009
During the last decade, more than ever before, writers faced the challenge of cutting through the noise. The new millennium began with the enduring influence of W.G. Sebald: his marriage of word and image somewhere deep in the reader's subconscious; his...