Tag: Writing and Writers

Mr. Men Little Miss Books Stand the (Silly, Splendid, Topsy-Turvy) Test of Time

In the world of Mr. Men and Little Miss, things are exactly what they seem. Mr. Late is never on time. Mr. Nosey is minding everyone else’s business. Little Miss Curious asks a lot of questions. There are nearly 100 characters, each with a self-titled children’s book in which his or her defining feature causes […]

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Millions of Followers? For Book Sales, ‘It’s Unreliable.’

Crucially, executives say, there is also an increasing awareness in the industry about the difference between the number of followers and how engaged they really are. Do they comment? Do they share? “There are people who stop being famous who still have their millions of followers, or people who left office eight years ago,” said […]

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Almudena Grandes, Novelist of Spain’s Marginalized, Dies at 61

Several of Ms. Grandes’s novels are set during the Franco dictatorship. One of her more recent best sellers in Spain — “El Corazón Helado” (“The Frozen Heart”), publishd in 2007 — starts with the funeral of a powerful businessman, attended by a mysterious woman, during which an inheritance of money and documents comes to light […]

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Bette Midler Is Still in the Thrall of 19th-Century Novelists

Of all the characters you’ve played across different media, which role felt to you the richest — the most novelistic? I have played several characters who began their lives as characters in actual novels, but I guess I’d have to go with C. C. Bloom, in “Beaches.” I know it’s sentimental, and yet the span […]

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Ruth Reichl Will Write a Substack Newsletter

Ruth Reichl has practiced food journalism in nearly every form imaginable. She’s gone from a job as restaurant critic at a weekly California magazine to a similar post at The New York Times. She’s held the top editing spot at Gourmet magazine, written memoirs, produced television shows and once served as editorial adviser to Gilt […]

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Cherished Words From Sondheim, Theater’s Encourager-in-Chief

In the fictionalized movie version of his life, Jonathan Larson ignores the ringing phone and lets the answering machine pick up. Crouched on the bare wooden floor of his shabby apartment in 1990 New York City, he listens as Stephen Sondheim leaves a message — instant balm to his battered artist’s soul. “Jon? Steve Sondheim […]

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Tony Kushner, Oracle of the Upper West Side

IN ACT III, Scene 2 of “Millennium Approaches,” Louis asks, “Why has democracy succeeded in America?” It’s not exactly a rhetorical question, and Louis’s rambling attempt to answer it isn’t entirely persuasive, certainly not to his friend Belize, a Black, gay nurse who cares for men dying from AIDS-related illnesses, and who possesses an acute […]

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Brandon Kyle Goodman, a Nonbinary Voice of ‘Big Mouth’

Name: Brandon Kyle Goodman Age: 34 Hometown: New York City Now lives: In a one-bedroom apartment in Hollywood with his husband, Matthew Raymond-Goodman, and their dog, Korey. Claim to fame: Mr. Goodman is an actor and writer best known for “Big Mouth,” an adult animated sitcom on Netflix about preteens surviving puberty. He is the […]

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Jakucho Setouchi, 99, Dies; Buddhist Priest Wrote of Sex and Love

Ms. Setouchi studied Japanese literature at Tokyo Woman’s Christian University and married Yasushi Sakai, who was nine years her senior, in 1943, during World War II. She accompanied him when Japan’s foreign ministry sent him to Beijing, and she gave birth to her daughter, Michiko, there in 1944. On July 4, 1945, shortly before the […]

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Coffee or Chai? At 2 Kolkata Cafes, ‘Adda’ Is What’s Really on the Menu

KOLKATA, India — At one of the cafes, to ask for chai is to invite a gaze of withering contempt from the turbaned waiter, as if blasphemy has been committed: It’s called the Indian Coffee House, stupid. At the other cafe, exclusively chai is served, slow-cooked over coal fire in the same dark kitchen for […]

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Ann Patchett on ‘These Precious Days’

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | How to Listen The novelist Ann Patchett’s latest book, “These Precious Days,” is a collection of essays. It’s anchored by the long title piece, which originally appeared in Harper’s Magazine, about her intimate friendship with a woman who moved to Nashville for cancer treatment just as the […]

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Haruki Murakami and the Challenge of Adapting His Tales for Film

Haruki Murakami’s well-loved books have been the basis for several big-screen adaptations over the years, with variable results. But the latest has attracted nearly unanimous acclaim: “Drive My Car,” from a short story by the writer. It’s the rare successful adaptation that stands firmly on its own as a sophisticated film, and it puts a […]

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The Algorithm That Could Take Us Inside Shakespeare’s Mind

The playwright has always been a contradiction. Despite his palpable presence, he’s fundamentally ungraspable. The historical evidence of his life is negligible: There’s a will that makes him only harder to understand — what kind of man leaves his wife his “second-best bed”? — and a handful of other, equally half-significant, records; we don’t even […]

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Hervé Le Tellier’s ‘The Anomaly’ Arrives in the U.S.

The mathematician, Tina Brewster-Wang, compares the situation to being asked the possible outcomes of flipping a coin. Heads, tails and the remote chance of the coin resting on its side. But what, she adds, “if the flipped coin stays suspended in the air?” Explore the New York Times Book Review Want to keep up with […]

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Caroline Todd, Half of a Mystery-Writing Duo, Dies at 86

Mystery writing may be a labor of love, but it is still labor, and Ms. Todd was among the hardest-working writers in the business. More than authors in most genres, mystery writers rely on an avid fan base, a network of bookstores and libraries, and a steady schedule of conferences and festivals to promote their […]

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Wilbur Smith, Best-Selling Author of Swashbuckling Novels, Dies at 88

Wilbur Smith, a former accountant whose novels featuring lionhearted heroes, covetous family dynasties, steamy lovers, coldblooded pirates and big-game hunters were said to have sold some 140 million copies in 30 languages, died on Saturday at his home in Cape Town. He was 88. His death was announced on his website. No cause was specified. […]

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How Truman Capote Betrayed His High-Society ‘Swans’

CAPOTE’S WOMENA True Story of Love, Betrayal, and a Swan Song for an EraBy Laurence Leamer There’s a poem by Thomas Hardy, “The Convergence of the Twain,” which chronicles the construction of the Titanic, in all its opulence, and the simultaneous formation of its “sinister mate” — the iceberg that is set to destroy it: […]

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How H.G. Wells Predicted the 20th Century

Time and again in his youth, he was confronted with career options wrong for his multiple talents, originality, imagination and critical intelligence — for example, as a chemist’s assistant, and a trial apprenticeship at Hyde’s Drapery Emporium that became “the unhappiest and most hopeless period of his entire life.” Yet some early work like being […]

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Book Review: ‘These Precious Days,’ by Ann Patchett

That said, Patchett has plenty of love to spread around, including for her father. After he is diagnosed with Parkinson’s, she and her sister commute to L.A. for the duration of his illness. The relief she feels when he dies is hard-earned, even as friends look askance at her lack of grieving. She puts it […]

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People Like Her Didn’t Exist in French Novels. Until She Wrote One.

The narrative is punctuated with flashbacks to the main character’s childhood and adolescence. The youngest of three sisters in a Muslim family from Algeria, and the only one born in France, Fatima struggles to fit in at school and has romantic relationships with women, even though she considers homosexuality a sin. She battles feelings of […]

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Israel’s Contradictions, Drawn With a Palette of Primary Colors

The story of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is rarely told with much economy. Just the question of where to begin can stop things before they start. 1917? 1948? 1967? But the Israeli graphic novelist Rutu Modan managed to grasp what often gets left out entirely — the emotional truth — and did so in a simple […]

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Diana Gabaldon Avoids Books Where Bad Things Happen to Children

Which I suppose just goes to show that one oughtn’t to leap to conclusions about what people mean, at least not without further conversation. On the other hand, perhaps she was just trying to spare my feelings. What moves you most in a work of literature? Honesty. Emotional honesty, in particular. Granted, an author is […]

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Raúl Rivero, Disenchanted Poet of the Cuban Revolution, Dies at 75

He and Ricardo González Alfonso founded the Association of Cuban Journalists in 2001. The next year they managed to publish two issues of De Cuba magazine before a crackdown by the Castro regime as part of the so-called Black Spring, which crushed the petition drive by the movement of dissident intellectuals. Scores of political renegades […]

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Ed Bullins, Leading Playwright of the Black Arts Movement, Dies at 86

Ed Bullins, who was among the most significant Black playwrights of the 20th century and a leading voice in the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and ’70s, died on Saturday at his home in Roxbury, Mass. He was 86. His wife, Marva Sparks, said the cause was complications of dementia. Over a 55-year career […]

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Lee Maracle, Combative Indigenous Author, Dies at 71

That sort of change has begun to take place across Canada. In recent years, the government has established an official investigation into missing or murdered Indigenous women. It has also created a Truth and Reconciliation Commission focused on the estimated 150,000 Indigenous children who were separated from their families to attend assimilationist residential schools, the […]

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How Hanif Abdurraqib Cuts Through the Noise

Abdurraqib has also earned praise from organizers in local activist groups, like the Juvenile Justice Coalition and Black Queer & Intersectional Collective, who say the social consciousness in his work is something that shows up in his life, as well. He has been a regular at protests against police brutality, they said, and is happy […]

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Monopoly’s Bad Cousin

The Penguin complaint focuses on the potential harm to the authors who get the largest payments from publishers, people like Mr. King and the Obamas. It’s not a particularly sympathetic group of possible victims, but the choice is strategic. Antitrust minimalism is deeply ingrained in the federal judiciary. The Biden administration is trying to shift […]

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Zadie Smith’s First Play Brings Chaucer to Her Beloved Northwest London

Smith translated Chaucer’s Middle English into a vernacular she has called “North Weezian,” and her “Wife of Willesden” is Alvita, a Jamaican-born British woman in her mid-50s who adorns herself in fake gold chains, wears fake Jimmy Choo heels and speaks in a mixture of London slang and patois. Her tale takes the form of […]

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Jonathan Reynolds, Playwright and Food Columnist, Dies at 79

But he did enjoy cooking, and for years he had been making diary entries about meals he had prepared or eaten and menus he had perused. He filled his columns not just with recipes and cooking tips but with anecdotes and humor. For instance, in March 2000 he offered a solution of sorts to the […]

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