Tag: Books and Literature

Book Review: ‘The Books of Jacob,’ by Olga Tokarczuk

The Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk was, in 2019, a youthful winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. She was 57, dreadlocked, mischievous of politics, a vegetarian. Her novel “Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead” had recently been turned, by Agnieszka Holland, into the film “Spoor,” a slice of existential and ecology-minded dread. […]

Read More

Dennis Smith, Firefighter Who Wrote Best Sellers, Dies at 81

His marriage to Patricia Kearney in 1962 ended in divorce in 1985. In addition to their son Sean, he is survived by two other sons, Brendan and Dennis; two daughters, Deirdre Smith-Wisniewski and Aislinn Falzarano; and 11 grandchildren. He remained with the department until 1981, returning as a volunteer after the World Trade Center attack […]

Read More

How a Nostalgic Novel About Spain’s Heartland Joined the Political Fray

CAMPO DE CRIPTANA, Spain — In her debut novel, “Feria,” Ana Iris Simón begins with a poignant admission: “I’m jealous of the life that my parents had at my age.” “Feria” is based on her childhood in the arid heartland of Spain, with parents who were postal workers and grandparents who were farmers on one […]

Read More

The Chinese Language Revolution

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | How to Listen Jing Tsu’s new book, “Kingdom of Characters,” is about the long and concerted efforts made by linguists, activists and others to adapt Chinese writing to the modern world, so that it could be used in everything from typewriters and telegraphs to artificial intelligence and […]

Read More

Brian Cox Takes Stock of His Eventful Life on Stage and Screen

I’m such a fan of the HBO series “Succession,” about a morally depraved, megarich media family, that I hum its theme song in the shower and have taken to wearing commanding pantsuits. So when I picked up “Putting the Rabbit in the Hat,” the new memoir by Brian Cox, who plays the family’s tyrannical patriarch, […]

Read More

Seeking Enlightenment, He Disappeared Into a Hiker’s Bermuda Triangle

It’s hard not to love Shetler on some level, for his innocence and limitations, for his search for the elusive epiphany that will reveal all and soothe his broken self. “I’m going to put my heart into it and see what happens,” reads an Instagram post without a speck of irony before his fateful trek […]

Read More

Michael Schur’s Unending Quest to Be Perfect

At the same time, he felt that as a comedy writer, he could bring a unique lens to the subject. “The smartest people who ever lived have been working really hard for thousands of years to try to explain to us how we can be better people, and how we can improve ourselves, but they […]

Read More

The Cult of Saint Joan

Even in “The Year of Magical Thinking,” written in the wake of the death of her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and generally considered to be the most eloquent and moving of Didion’s works, she can’t help pointing out that she is the chairman of her co-op board; or the name of the store in Beverly […]

Read More

Tom McCarthy Thinks the Wrong Kurt Vonnegut Book Is Famous

Donna Haraway, Paul Virilio, J. G. Ballard. … Then, tracking backward, Martin Heidegger — monumental thinker of techné and poesis; and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, psychotic herald of the age of speed and violence. And further back: Mary Shelley, whose “Frankenstein” marks a kind of Year Zero for industrialized modernity’s impact on literature. But in fact, […]

Read More

Thoreau, Emerson and the Town Where Their Thoughts Took Root

THE TRANSCENDENTALISTS AND THEIR WORLDBy Robert A. Gross The “great man” theory of history has been deeply out of fashion for some time, but Robert A. Gross’s “The Transcendentalists and Their World” might inspire one to defend it, at least on readerly grounds. In the 1970s, Gross was a young member of the “new social […]

Read More