Posts Tagged: New York Times Book Review

This Week in Short Fiction

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Some story collections drop with fireworks and great fanfare, while others make their entrance, it could be said, on tender feet. The latter is the case with the works of Edith Pearlman, who released her fifth story collection, Honeydew, on Tuesday.

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An End to Bookends

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At Salon, Molly Fischer criticizes the New York Times’s “Bookends” column, going so far as to suggest that the it be eliminated for good. She compares the question-and-answer formats — and the content of the prompts — as reminiscent of  high school English classes:

It’s not just the stiff phrasing (“What should we make of this?” “What’s behind the notion?”) that gives Bookends its blue-books-and-binder-paper feel.

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Travel Writing for Summer Reading

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The New York Times Book Review recently published a summer reading special issue. In it, the terrific British travel writer and novelist Lawrence Osborne has an essay on travel writing, along with some summer reading recommendations. He writes about books by John Waters, Iain Sinclair, and Tim Butcher and ruminates on what we look for in travel writing.

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The One

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The NYT‘s section Books of the Times reviews RJ Smith’s biography of James Brown, The One, which came out earlier this spring: “This book’s sparkle speaks for itself, as does Mr. Smith’s ability to take on his screaming, moaning, kinetically blessed, unbeatably shrewd subject.” Smith covers Brown’s life from his childhood in the rural South to his post-glory troubles with the law while dropping stories about the idiosyncrasies and many talents of the late great “Soul Brother Number One”.

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The NYT Offends with its Sunday Book Review of Zone One

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A literary novelist writing a genre novel is like an intellectual dating a porn star, right?  Well that’s what New York Times book reviewer Glen Duncan thinks.

In his Sunday Book Review of Colson Whitehead’s complex new zombie novel, Zone One, Duncan sets the parallel between dating porn stars and what he initially perceives as slumming in genre fiction, and lets the rest of the review ride on the back of this comparison. 

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