Posts Tagged: New York Times

Pregnant Words

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In the New York Times, Rachel Cusk takes on two new memoirs about infertility and the quest for motherhood to explore the wholly compelling “half-analogy between the writing student and the woman embarking on in vitro fertilization.” Julia Leigh’s Avalanche relates six years of the author’s trying and ultimately failing to get pregnant; Belle Boggs, in The Art of Waiting, uses Virginia Woolf’s account of childlessness to explore her own.

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Braving the Cold

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As both a storyteller and a stylist, Braverman is remarkably skilled, with a keen sense of visceral detail … that borders on sublime.

Over at the New York Times, Bronwen Dickey has written a powerful review of Blair Braverman’s debut book, Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube, a memoir about her experience living in Norway and Alaska.

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Franchise Exploitation

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Harry Potter fans are celebrating the release of J.K Rowling’s newest work, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the eighth installment in the Harry Potter series. However, unlike the other novels in the series, Cursed Child is the script of a play, written primarily by playwright Jack Thorne with the help of Rowling:

It’s hard to imagine enthusiasm running as high for the unvarnished script, which could fall flat on the page without the elaborate staging and the emotional nuances of a performance.

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Literary Layers

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In her review of Cynthia Ozick’s new essay collection, Critics, Monsters, Fanatics, and Other Literary Essays, Zoe Heller quotes Ozick quoting Lionel Trilling in reference to Jonathan Franzen’s commercial-literary ambition: “a writer must ‘direct his words to his spiritual ancestors, or to posterity, or even, if need be, to a coterie.’” Heller is interested in Ozick’s endurance, and her persistent delineation of fame and recognition.

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This Year You Will Finally Read Ulysses

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You don’t like to quit, but need a nudge to wade back into the novel’s overflowing streams of character consciousness, arcane references and shifting structure to follow those people going about life in Dublin on June 16, 1904.

Yes, another Bloomsday has come and gone, and maybe you didn’t get around to finishing James Joyce’s epic masterpiece, Ulysses, as you had hoped.

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A Quiet Corner of the World

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At the New York Times, Adelle Waldman, author of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., writes about how a national park in Montana left an indelible mark on her and her marriage:

We were both intoxicated by the place, not only by its beauty but by the feeling of remoteness that is as much psychological as geographic.

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Defiantly Diski

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Over at the New York Times, author Heidi Julavits reviews the late Jenny Diski’s memoir, In Gratitude:

While I couldn’t read “In Gratitude” without a persistent lump in my throat, and without the persistent awareness that its author was … experiencing the very last days or hours or minutes of her life, Diski’s final book proves transcendently disobedient, the most existence-affirming and iconoclastic defense a writer could mount against her own extinction.

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On Writing “Chick Lit”

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At the New York Times, Jennifer Weiner writes about her experience with the gendered devaluation of popular fiction:

Somewhere between my birth and my novel’s publication, I’d gotten the message that there were books that mattered and books that did not; writers whom an Ivy League institution would be proud to claim, and those who would be asked for donations, but not invited back to speak.

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Tour of Today

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We follow Heffernan through the Smithsonian Natural Museum of Internet History, as she annotates the exhibits: the Kindle, with its lithe design and endless supply of books, usurper of the printed word; the MP3, compressing the rapture and idiosyncrasies of your favorite music, destroyer of the music business and the listening experience; YouTube, standing among the smoldering wreckage of the linear-minded ­entertainment industries, triumphant in its mesmerizing stunts, obscure clips and unboxing videos.

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Book Club Misogyny

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For Electric Literature, Tabitha Blankenbiller offers a critique of the recent New York Times article about “Man Book Clubs,” and analyzes how gendered book covers influence readers’ choices and experience:

We can debate the levels of hubris and/or drunkenness in the NYT editorial room all we want, but what we have is an article claiming real estate and resources in The New York Times’ Books section.

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This Week in Posivibes: Arthur Russell

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A new treatise on the importance of the genre-melting artist has been published by the New York Times, inspired by the New York Public Library’s acquisition of Arthur Russell’s archives.

The acquisition itself is massive, sprawling, and difficult to catalogue, according to the NYT piece:

[It] includes a thousand-or-so reels, cassettes, DATs, Beta and VHS tapes with hundreds of hours of unreleased and probably unreleasable material, representing how Russell made his work—laying down individual tracks, or practicing, or jamming—often in long sessions, and with musicians who may have had little idea what they were working on at the time.
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Probing into the Space Between

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At the New York Times, Karl Ove Knausgaard describes how Joyce’s Portrait included him in literature’s potential in a way that Ulysses didn’t: 

In “Portrait,” Joyce ventures inside that part of our identity for which no language yet exists, probing into the space between what belongs to the individual alone and what is ours together, exploring the shifts of mind, the currents of our moods and feelings as they flow blindly this way and that, and mapping the unarticulated, more or less salient presence of the soul, that part of our inner being that rises when we are enthused and falls when we are afraid or despairing.

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