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"Trolley-New Orleans" is a 1955 image by photographer Robert Frank. (Courtesy National Gallery of Art)

National Gallery’s Show of Photobooks Follows in Footsteps of Robert Frank

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Washington — From the earliest days of photography, images were collected in albums, the way a botanist might save pressed flowers. All that changed in 1959 with the publication of Robert Frank’s photobook The Americans. With this collection of stark yet idiosyncratic images, photography was no longer just an objective representation of our world but an artist’s experience of it. …

Didion Bio Offers Little Beyond Her Own Writing

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Last Love Song: A Biography of Joan Didion by Tracy Daugherty; St. Martin’s Press (752 pages; $35) Someday someone will write a biography worthy of Joan Didion, an author known for her razor-sharp insights and crystalline style. This is not that book. Tracy Daugherty’s The Last Love Song fails to tell Didion’s …

A Look Inside Hemingway’s Cuban Estate

Sunday, August 23, 2015

When he was not writing letters or working on the books that earned him the Nobel Prize, Ernest Hemingway wrote notes, in pencil, on his walls and in the margins of many of the 8,000 books in his library. At his estate near Havana, Finca Vigia, known as Museo Hemingway since 1962, Hemingway …

Book Review: Hartland Author’s New Young Adult Stories Revolve Around an Obscene Gesture

Friday, June 5, 2015

Jo Knowles, the writer of young adult novels who lives in Hartland, has a keen, instinctive empathy for adolescents. She’s able to get under their skin, take their temperature moment to moment and record the rapid shifts in their moods, from acute self-loathing and microscopic introspection to defiant …

Author Tackles Feminism in the Middle East

Sunday, May 31, 2015

In parts of the Middle East, some women are groped as a matter of course. There are men who feel free to run their hands over women, like they’re buying produce, or a cow. Mona Eltahawy has endured that and much worse, as a young woman and as …

The Legend of ‘Fight Club’ Lives On

Sunday, May 31, 2015

If you’re Chuck Palahniuk, the first rule of Fight Club is that you never escape Fight Club. And maybe, almost 20 years later, you don’t want to. “It’s the thing you dream of, being co-opted by the culture,” says the Portland, Ore., novelist, who’s famous for raucous, wildly …

Book Details Heroic WWII Doolittle Raid

Sunday, May 24, 2015

After Pearl Harbor and before D-Day and the Bomb, there was the Doolittle raid on Tokyo. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, hoping to rally the American public for what he knew would be a long war, had ordered a …

On Poetry: Former Dartmouth Professor Was a Man of Orthodox Faith, but Unorthodox Humility and Insight

Friday, May 22, 2015

This column is distinctly different from any of its predecessors. In it, I will try to sell you on a book called The Grace of Incorruption, written by a great man and a great friend who died in …

Book Review: Vivian Gornick and the Ghosts of New York

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Odd Woman and the City: A Memoir by Vivian Gornick; Farrar, Straus and Giroux (176 pages, $22) Vivian Gornick’s The Odd Woman and the City is a book of ghosts. Ghosts of the past; ghosts of New York, which is for her both home and character; ghosts …

Book Notes: Valley Native Wesley McNair Wins Award for New Book

Friday, May 8, 2015

After years of boiling down memories of his Upper Valley childhood hardships into poetry, Wesley McNair this spring harvested acclaim for exploring through verse what his mother endured growing up in the depths of the Great Depression. In …

‘It Never Goes Away’: Vermont Woman’s Novel Traces Grief After Sons’ Deaths

Friday, May 8, 2015

There’s a standard litany of questions you can expect to hear when you’re introduced to people. What do you do? Where do you live? And, if you happen to be middle-aged and married, or living with a longtime …

Book Review: Native Americans Won a Battle, but Lost the War

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Victory With No Name: The Native American Defeat of the First American Army by Colin G. Calloway; Oxford University Press (224 pages, $24.95) The Victory With No Name: The Native American Defeat of the First American Army by Colin G. Calloway is the true story of a …

Book Review: David Shipler Expounds on the Power of Debate and Dissent

Friday, May 8, 2015

Freedom of Speech: Mightier Than the Sword by David K. Shipler; Knopf (352 pages, $28.95) David K. Shipler calls himself a free-speech absolutist in his seventh book, Freedom of Speech: Mightier Than the Sword. “Lines are murky,” writes Shipler, a former Dartmouth College trustee, “and it’s always risky …