Books

The most self-serving words in a book are in newly added forewords and afterwords, revealing little beyond the author's bias.  Illustrates BOOKS-AFTERWORD (category e), by Carlos Lozada, (c) 2015, The Washington Post. Moved Sunday, March 01, 2015 2015. (MUST CREDIT: Washington Post.)

New Afterwords: Self-Indulgence, Now Available in Paperback

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Washington — The words on the book cover are in bold, italics or all-caps, meant to seduce shoppers: With a New Afterword. A New Preface by the Author. With a New Epilogue. Perhaps some people succumb. I didn’t get that book when it first came out, and this cheaper paperback still doesn’t seem — wait, what’s that? A new preface in which the author reflects on the impact of the book!? (Whips out credit card.) Such readers — if they exist — are in for $16.99 worth of disappointment. The new afterword is the taxi-cab air freshener of book publishing. Seeking to make works feel …

Harper Lee’s Agent Dismisses ‘Elder Abuse’ Allegations

Friday, March 13, 2015

New York — Harper Lee’s literary agent says he was “surprised” that his client was believed a victim of elder abuse and asserted “categorically” that she was in “full possession of her mental faculties” and “delighted” about this summer’s publication of her second novel. The statement from Andrew Nurnberg was issued Friday through …

Grieving Writer Keeps Company With a Goshawk

Friday, March 13, 2015

H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald; Grove (300 pages, $26 Helen Macdonald’s H Is for Hawk is one of a kind, unless there are other grief memoirs/falconry tales/literary analyses out there. But really, it is one of a kind for its voice. British author Macdonald is a poet, her language rich and …

‘War’ Details Rising Military-Internet Link

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A thought commonly attributed to George Orwell holds that good people can sleep at night only because rough men are awake and ready to protect them. But in the modern world, two other groups are also vital to a sound sleep: software engineers and computer geeks. That’s the …

Writing Suffers When Language Turns Away From Physical Life

Friday, December 5, 2014

The French poet Stephane Mallarmé once opined (T.S. Eliot would echo him in his magisterial Four Quartets) that poetry’s object was to “purify the language of the tribe.” I’ve been thinking about that lately — less, though, in response to any poetic text than to a wonderful prose …

Authors Reflect On the Weight Of Books Given As Gifts

Friday, December 5, 2014

Once again, we asked authors to write about books they’ve given or received as gifts. I love this question because it isn’t really about recommendations — although it may inspire some. Our favorite gifts bind us to the …

Pulitzer-Winning Editor Describes Descent Into Poverty

Friday, December 5, 2014

“The rich,” writes William McPherson at the opening of his essay Falling, posted at the Hedgehog Review, “are all alike, to revise Tolstoy’s famous words, but the poor are poor in their own particular ways.” McPherson is writing from experience; a novelist and former editor of the Washington …

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 …