Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘literary legends’

Shop Talk |

Book of the Week: Chronic City, by Jonathan Lethem

This week’s feature is Jonathan Lethem’s most recent novel, Chronic City, published by Doubleday in 2009. Lethem is the author of seven other novels, three collections of stories, and two books of essays. He’s also contributed to dozens of edited anthologies, journals and magazines, and garnered numerous awards during his career, most notably a National Book Critic’s Circle award for Motherless Brooklyn in 1999 and a MacArthur Genius Award in 2005. He lives in Brooklyn and Maine with his third wife, filmmaker Amy Barrett, and their son. In 2009 he co-founded Red Gap Used Books in Blue Hill, Maine, with […]

Reviews |

The Box: Tales from the Darkroom by Günter Grass

Germany’s literary superstar Günter Grass is obsessed with the past. His second memoir, The Box, challenges readers to distinguish between fact and fiction in latter half of the author’s life. His unconventional approach might undermine the memoir form, but the result is a compelling account of Grass’ compulsion to write.

Reviews |

The Cat’s Table, by Michael Ondaatje

In The Cat’s Table, Ondaatje returns to Sri Lanka as the story follows three boys who, along with a cast of eccentrics, make their way from Colombo to England. By turns adventurous, mysterious, and wistful, the novel traces the search for belonging amidst strangers and strange lands. Charlotte Boulay considers Ondaatje’s latest beautiful offering in the context of his larger body of work.

Essays |

The Problem of the Author: On Not Reading Autobiography into the Writing of Andre Dubus

What is the difference between art and life, between the writer and the writing? In this essay on the late, great Andre Dubus, we learn how Dubus recognized “transformative moments” as authors Richard Ford and Anne Beattie, among others, weigh in on his talents, and his legacy.

Essays |

[Contrasts & Charms] Bishop and Lowell Read Everything

What does our reading have to do with our writing, exactly? In this first installment of a new column, Contrasts and Charms, Charlotte Boulay departs from traditional talk about fiction, reflects on her own reading list, and finds comfort and enthusiasm in reading Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell’s letters to each other, in which they discuss everything they read—and the fact that they read all the time.

Shop Talk |

Book of the Week: Gryphon, by Charles Baxter

Each week we give away several free copies of a featured novel or story collection as part of our Book-of-the-Week program. Last week we featured Damon Galgut’s novel In a Strange Room, and we’re pleased to announce the winners: Alex Boyles, Kara Candito, and Joanne Wong. Congratulations! Each will receive a copy of this new novel. This week we’re featuring Charles Baxter’s Gryphon: New and Selected Stories. Baxter is the author of more than a dozen books, including four previous collections of stories, five novels, and several books of nonfiction. His novel The Feast of Love was nominated for the […]

Reviews |

The Forest for the Trees: An Editor’s Advice to Writers, Second Edition, by Betsy Lerner

After its publication in 2000, the first edition of Betsy Lerner’s The Forest for the Trees: An Editor’s Advice to Writers became one of my students’ favorite writing books, and over time it became my go-to gift to graduating seniors with whom I’d formed a special bond, and whose persistence I hoped to bolster in those daunting years ahead. I even kept a small stash of copies in my office. So it was with great anticipation that I looked forward to this second edition, published in October 2010.

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