Books

Carol Westberg, of Hanover, N.H., will read from her poetry at Bookstock in Woodstock, Vt., on July 24, 2015. (Rob Strong photograph)

Summer Readings Make Noise After the Fourth’s Fireworks

Friday, July 3, 2015

For bibliophiles who enjoy hearing authors and poets recite from their work in person instead of on tape (OK, iPod or CD), the options for summer reading series hereabouts come tantalizingly close to The Promised Land. How close? Almost a year ago, Hanover poet Carol Westberg listened to one of her idols, former U.S. Poet Laureate Louise Gluck, during the …

Karolina Waclawiak Writes Novels From the Outside

Friday, July 3, 2015

Karolina Waclawiak wants to talk about class. We’re sitting at Stark Bar on the campus of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It’s the end of the workday, and office workers and museum-goers alike are letting themselves loosen in the gently failing early evening light. “I wanted to look at class and …

The Woman Who Brought Yoga to the West

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Millions of Americans practice yoga as a workout, a spiritual exercise or a combination of the two. Those who wonder if their pigeon pose or sun salute carry centuries of Hindu tradition from India to their sleek modern gym can relax. Change, adaptation and a dialogue between East and West have long been …

The Wallenberg Mystery: Dartmouth Author’s Novel Looks at the Diplomat’s Life

Friday, April 24, 2015

W hen the writer Alan Lelchuk lived in Budapest from 1999 to 2000, teaching American literature at a local university, his errands routinely took him past a statue of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved tens of …

Morrison’s Writing Still To the Point

Friday, April 24, 2015

In 1970 Toni Morrison detonated a beautiful atom bomb of a debut novel called The Bluest Eye. In telling the story of Pecola Breedlove, a little Ohio girl taught to hate her black skin, Morrison laid bare society’s poisonous obsession with racial appearance. She also introduced a theme …

Lessons From Space to Earth

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Col. Chris Hadfield has been in the space business for his entire career. A former top graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, the astronaut has been on three missions, logging almost 4,000 hours in space. …

Clean Reader App Fails, Dirty Literature Prevails

Sunday, April 12, 2015

I was almost sorry to see the developers of the Clean Reader app — which would have allowed squeamish or morally didactic readers to remove profanity from books — take “immediate action to remove all books from our catalogue” in March, in response to authors outraged about their …

Book Notes: Alice Fogel Wins Award for Poems Inspired by Bach’s ‘Goldberg Variations’

Friday, April 10, 2015

Like Johann Sebastian Bach’s famous G oldberg Variations, New Hampshire Poet Laureate Alice B. Fogel’s new collection of poems, Interval, begins and ends with the same verses, titled Aria , and tucks 30 variations in between. Fogel has …

How the Bombs Reached Boston

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy by Masha Gessen; Riverhead (272 pages, $27.95) Masha Gessen does something unexpected with The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy. In a book about Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and …

A Writer’s Choice of Residence Can Influence the Written Work

Friday, April 10, 2015

One of the reasons people daydream about becoming a writer is the possibility of plying your craft anywhere you want. A beach shack in the Bahamas. A coffee bar in San Francisco. A garret in Montparnasse. All you need is a place to set down your laptop, or, …

On Poetry: For this Poet, Words Provide the Inspiration

Friday, March 27, 2015

The question I’m most frequently asked as a poet, one I mused on in my December column, is “Why doesn’t that rhyme?” In this column, I’ll look, at least to begin with, at the second most frequently asked: “Where do you get your inspiration?” Well, fact is, I’m …

Faith, Evil and Penance: Jeffrey Lent’s New Novel Revisits Post-Civil War Era

Friday, March 27, 2015

There’s a certain Slant of light, Winter Afternoons — That oppresses, like the Heft Of Cathedral Tunes — — Emily Dickinson A small religious group started by a charismatic woman is at the heart of Jeffrey Lent’s new …

With ‘Ongoingness,’ Sarah Manguso Reflects on Recording Her Life

Friday, March 27, 2015

Here’s the question at the heart of Sarah Manguso’s Ongoingness: The End of a Diary (Graywolf: 98 pages, $20): How does a writer record his or her experiences and live them at the same time? Sitting in the …