Nyrb Classics

24 Mar 19
Blood Red Velvet

I’ve been at odds with myself over what to do with these volumes of poetry that I seem to have amassed. The only complete, inerrant one at this point, out of like, eight or so compilations’ worth, is Loverboy. So I’m going to leave that one be, and when I re-release the chapbooks, I’m going […]

22 Mar 19
pace, amore, libri

  TROUBLES by JG Farrell ★★★★☆ NYRB Classics, 2002 originally published in 1970 Troubles is the first novel in the Anglo-Irish writer JG Farrell’s Empire Trilogy: three tangentially connected works that highlight different facets of British colonialism. Farrell died young, as he drowned at the age of 44, but this 1970 book got some semi-recent attention […]

17 Mar 19
Cleaver Magazine

Every self-professed American optimist should read the oeuvre of Walter Kempowski—not that they ever will. The chronicler of brutality was never given a fair shake even by his fellow Germans, and despite strong book sales, by literary award committees. Kempowski had plenty of reasons to be angry—angry at his Nazi father whom he betrayed, at what the agonized Sebastian Haffner once called the “moral inadequacy of the German character,” at the literary world for snubbing him, and at every center of power involved in WWII: the Russians, British, Germans, Europe itself. The triumphant Soviets—without whom WWII could not have been won—were responsible for imprisoning Kempowski as well as his innocent and elderly mother.

17 Mar 19
Swipe Stream

Last fall, I had mentioned a story set in Ireland where a rascal of a man has the table turned on him. I had thought it was E. F. Benson, but the story premise just did not feel like a Benson story. It is unusual for me to forget the author and or title of […]

16 Mar 19
travels with my art

When we consider ‘escape’ as a concept, the definition that it is to “break free from confinement or control” is usually associated with the desire to leave a situation; to move into a world more suited to our needs or our personality.  Art and literature are full of examples of “escape” and all begin with […]

11 Mar 19
the [blank] garden

Dear Natalia, In Family Lexicon, tr. Jenny McPhee (2017. Original: Lessico famigliare, 1963), we have the impression of having been accepted as guests at your family’s dinner table: as we walk in, we know that the conversation has been underway for a while. The characters keep interrupting each other, and cannot avoid telling the same stories over and […]

04 Mar 19
Radhika's Reading Retreat

It’s always great to discover a superb author whom you have never heard of before, let alone read his/her work, and thanks to NYRB Classics, Eve Babitz is one of them. While I did have her book Eve’s Hollywood, I never got around to reading her…and in a busy month when I was scouring my […]

03 Mar 19
The Coming of the Toads

“To be sure of getting something above the average,” Edmund Wilson tells us, in his disparaging take on the genre, “Why Do People Read Detective Stories” (October 14, 1944), “I waited for new novels by writers who are particularly esteemed by connoisseurs.” But Wilson is repeatedly disappointed, in Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe, in Agatha Christie, […]

02 Mar 19
Red Lips and Bibliomaniacs

I was worried about reading Barbara Comyns’s The Juniper Tree when I discovered it is a retelling of an old Brothers Grimm tale of the same name. The original story (which you can find here) features a wicked stepmother who does something unimaginably nasty to her stepson. So I made up my mind to read […]

27 Feb 19
Radhika's Reading Retreat

I began this year reading novels by British women writers of the early 20th century. Olivia Manning was an author I had been meaning to read for some time. I dithered over whether I should commit to her two trilogies (Balkan and Levant) or opt for her standalone novels. Since her trilogies have gotten such […]

27 Feb 19
Chicago Review of Books

First published in 1948, it foreshadowed the greatness of ‘Stoner’ and ‘Augustus.’

23 Feb 19

A week in Calcutta, my second visit to the city, now lies behind me. I am back in Bangalore again, looking out over the rooftops as the sounds of a busy Saturday remind me that life is ever alive and vital in a large Indian metropolis. But, as I sit here, the sights, sounds and […]

23 Feb 19
Literary Hub

Elizabeth Strout, Kaitlyn Greenidge, Carmen Maria Machado and more of your favorite writers on how they managed to pay the bills while they wrote (and continue to write!) their books. | Medium Meet the scientist who is learning about the past by testing the DNA found in old books. After all, they used to be […]

22 Feb 19
Literary Hub

Whether you watch the Academy Awards for the fashion, for the love of cinema, or to find out if you’ve won your office pool, this month’s (and Lit Hub’s first-ever) audio books round-up takes a look at six new titles guaranteed to get you ready for the 91st Academy Awards. Nielsen ratings for Hollywood’s annual celebration […]

21 Feb 19
ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

I often say that I don’t read crime fiction, but I do watch some of it on DVD in small doses.  I like Vera and Shetland, and Death in Paradise if I’m in the mood. And just recently the BBC series of Maigret, as played by Rowan (Mr Bean) Atkinson… My TBR includes a couple of books […]