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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, …

In ‘Prune,’ a Chef Speaks to Her Cooks

Saturday, November 29, 2014

New York — At 10:15 on a miserably rainy morning, a crowd huddled under the pink awning outside Prune. The restaurant, in the East Village, had been open for only 15 minutes, and already every one of its …

Gift Conundrum: What to Get for Someone Who Streams Everything?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

New York — Buying presents is hard. A good gift must be personal, but not too personal; affordable, but not cheap; useful, but not utilitarian. Ideally, it’s a physical object large enough to be worth wrapping, but not so large that you can’t carry it home. This confounding …

Bob Hope’s Legacy More Than Laughs

Sunday, November 23, 2014

New York — While today he may be thought of with misgivings, if at all, Bob Hope reigned for much of the last century as America’s wisecracking avatar of comedy. By the time he died in 2003 at …

Story Brings Apocalypse to Upper Valley

Friday, November 21, 2014

When I was in high school, one of my English teachers had us read William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech. Delivered in December 1950, it remains the most soaring statement about the power of literature, and a sharp …

Dartmouth Graduate’s Iraq War Novel Wins National Book Award

Friday, November 21, 2014

At the 2014 National Book Awards ceremony on Wednesday evening, author Ursula K. Le Guin stole the show. The next morning, speaking by phone from a Manhattan hotel, Le Guin was feisty, smart and pointed, speaking about the …

Outdoor Writer’s Book Explores Some of New England’s Best Hikes

Friday, November 21, 2014

Climb Mount Washington in the dead of winter? Barely more than a morning constitutional for Marty Basch. Pedal a gear-laden bicycle from Maine to Alaska, along the Arctic Circle through Scandinavia, or along the Continental Divide from Canada …

Book Notes: A New Life in Verse; Poet Finds Rejuvenation in Latest Works

Friday, November 21, 2014

L aura Davies Foley was 45 when she wrote her first poem. It was 2003, and following the death of her husband she’d moved with their three children to a new home in Cornish on the Connecticut River. …

Raising a Down Syndrome Daughter

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Raleigh, n.c. — Paul Austin’s daughter, Sarah, is thoughtful and helpful, though she goes about it her own way. He recalled an awful day, years ago, when he went for an angry walk after getting in a fight …

Army Colonel Did It Her Way

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Chicago — “Comedian” and “Colonel” aren’t typically words one would use in the same sentence. But when it comes to describing Jill Morgenthaler, no other two will do. “I always wear lipstick, because I look like a boy …

Vampire Lestat Lives Again

Sunday, November 9, 2014

When Anne Rice published Interview With the Vampire in 1976, she didn’t just launch her own vampire series — her sexy tragic vampire antiheroes launched an entirely new genre. The phrase paranormal romance “didn’t exist when I wrote …