Books

Authors’ Lives Fodder for Rom-Coms

Saturday, August 29, 2015

A film company is hoping to turn the life of author Jane Austen into a romantic comedy. They couldn’t have picked a worse subject. Austen is a classic novelist, one whose books Emma, Sense and Sensibility and the beloved Pride and Prejudice have themselves been turned into delightful romantic comedies on screen. Austen’s formula — a witty tale of a young woman drawn into a romance that is thwarted or …

‘Purity’ Isn’t Franzen’s Best

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Jonathan Franzen’s career offers a cautionary narrative — for us as much as him. As far back as 1996, with Perchance to Dream, his long essay published in Harper’s on the state of contemporary fiction, he has filled the role of both avatar and scapegoat, an ambitious writer who can’t (or won’t) steer …

Felicia Day Loves the Internet, Despite Trolls

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Felicia Day is well aware that not everyone knows who she is. Those are the people who aren’t immersed in the gaming culture, who haven’t spent wide swaths of their lives playing World of Warcraft, or watching her Web series about it, called “The Guild.” They’ve never seen her in Joss Whedon’s Buffy …

‘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 …

Russia Removes ‘Maus’ From Stores

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Russian law banning Nazi propaganda has succeeded in removing one of the greatest anti-Nazi chronicles from its bookshelves. Maus, the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel by Art Spiegelman, has been withdrawn from Moscow bookstores. In the book, which tells Spiegelman’s family’s story, Jews are portrayed as mice and Germans …

Stephen King Wins Edgar Award

Saturday, May 2, 2015

New York — Stephen King is a master of mystery as well as horror. King and Gillian Flynn were among the winners Wednesday night at the 69th annual Edgar Awards, presented by the Mystery Writers of America. King’s crime story Mr. Mercedes received the best novel prize at …

For the Love of Books, Go to Tumblr

Sunday, April 26, 2015

To express her love to Judy Blume, a 1970s tween would have had to write a letter. These days, a young reader enchanted by YA books — by, say, author Rainbow Rowell — can make nail art that matches a book cover and share it on Tumblr, where …

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 …