Books

Has America Killed Off Satire and Turned Into a Spoof of Itself?

Friday, January 30, 2015

Did postmodernism kill literary satire? I’ve been wondering about this in the wake of the terror attack on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, known for its caricatures of the prophet Muhammad; one appears on the cover of the first issue after the attack, brandishing a placard that declares “Je suis Charlie” while shedding a tear. There’s something direct and provocative in such an image, which is, of course, what …

Book Notes: New Works by Local Authors and Readings Scheduled, Including Bookstock 2015

Friday, January 30, 2015

Best-selling author John Vaillant will be talking about his new novel, The Jaguar’s Children, on Saturday afternoon at Woodstock’s Norman Williams Public Library. Vaillant, who lives in Vancouver, B.C., is the son of Woodstock resident Nan Bourne. He will be speaking on the library’s mezzanine from 2 to 4. The Jaguar’s Children, which …

Colleen McCullough, Author of ‘The Thorn Birds,’ Dies at 77

Friday, January 30, 2015

Colleen McCullough, the Australian author of the best-selling novel The Thorn Birds, an epic story of illicit love in the outback that became one of the most successful television miniseries ever, died Thursday at a hospital on Norfolk Island in the South Pacific. She was 77. The cause was renal failure, said her agent, Michael Carlisle. Published by Harper and Row in 1977, …

When Comics and Galaxies Collide

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Star Wars is coming home. Not at the movies, but in the comics. On Jan. 14, Marvel released Star Wars No. 1 , a new series set right after the first movie, the one released in 1977 (which …

Piermont Photographs Are a Love Letter to a Time and Place

Saturday, January 17, 2015

In 2012, M.L. Gitchel, known to her friends as Mel, decided she wanted to do something to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of Piermont town, which was then two years away. Some people might bake a …

If There’s Sound Reason, It’s OK to Rhyme, but Don’t Push It

Friday, January 16, 2015

I have by now visited just shy of 100 Vermont community libraries to talk about my chosen art, this in accord with the aim I announced on being installed in 2011 as the state’s poet laureate. If, in that span, there is one issue I have encountered more …

Remembering Robert Stone, Novelist Apart

Friday, January 16, 2015

Robert Stone was not a joiner. This might be what I admired about him most. During the 1950s, while living in Manhattan, he moved around the edges of the Beat scene (his wife, Janice, worked at the Seven …

Looking Back at Vietnam; Veterans in Dartmouth’s Class of 1964 Address War in Essays 

Friday, January 16, 2015

While writing about William Brewster “Bruce” Nickerson for Dartmouth Veterans: Vietnam Perspectives, Sage Dunlap Chase couldn’t help wondering what her former sweetheart would say about the era had he lived to tell the tale. “Bruce was very earnest …

The Best Gift? When a Friend Recommends A Great Read

Thursday, January 1, 2015

As a Los Angeles-based business reporter, I’ve always boarded eastbound flights with a shoulder bag of documents to review before landing. Preparing for intense interviews is akin to cramming for exams. Return flights? Those are an entirely different matter. I want a novel or engrossing biography, preferably one …

Three Decades in Print: Chelsea Green Publishing Revels in Its Independence

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Thirty years ago, Ian and Margo Baldwin, transplants from Brooklyn, started a small publishing company on Chelsea’s South Green. Very small, as in the two of them. Like other publishers who go into business waving an idealistic flag, …

2014 in Review: The Commonplace Was a Common Thread in the Year’s Books

Thursday, January 1, 2015

What was the upshot of my year in reading, the ideas, the through lines that most stirred or provoked me in 2014? The dominant thread was what we might call that of common experience, work that finds significance …

Publisher Releases Torture Report

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Washington, D.C. — What better to give someone this holiday season than a paperback copy of the Senate’s report on the U.S. government’s torture practices. Wait, what now? Well, we’re not exactly sure what people are planning to do with the Senate Torture Report, but it appears that …

Fan Fiction Begets Publishing Success

Sunday, December 28, 2014

It starts with a familiar name, but then takes a turn. Jay Gatsby actually faked his death, and is now reunited with Daisy. Scandal’s Olivia Pope is somehow working on Robert Kennedy’s presidential campaign. And a member of the boy band One Direction is falling in love on …