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Signs at the Women’s March in D.C.

LOVE CONQUERS FEAR  At the Metro Station: pink hats, state signs, cheering, patience at the kiosk, and once on the train, the soft singing of “This Land is Your Land.”… Continue reading ?

Gam Zu L’tova (This too Is for the Good)

And when they bombed other people’s houses, we protested but not enough, we opposed them but not enough. I was in my bed, around my bed America was falling: invisible… Continue reading ?

Leaving a Religion and a Marriage, and Gaining a Chicken Soup

All chicken soups are alike at the start: a dead bird in water, boiling flesh, a billow of steam, grains of salt in the cook’s palm. Growing up, I ate Ashkenazi Jewish chicken soup, with sliced celery and parsnips, flavored with dill in a pouch of cheesecloth. Show More Summary

Paul Auster’s Novel of Chance

According to a currently popular line of philosophy, a self is merely the sum of all the stories we tell about a particular human body. It’s an idea that resonates through the work of the writer Paul Auster, in whose fiction both selves and stories are precarious constructions, fascinating but unstable, more illusion than reality. Show More Summary

Philip Roth E-Mails on Trump

In 2004, Philip Roth published “The Plot Against America.” The four main characters of the novel, which takes place between June, 1940, and October, 1942, are a family of American Jews, the Roths, of Newark—Bess, Herman, and their two sons, Philip and Sandy. Show More Summary

This Week in Fiction: Alix Ohlin on the Casual but Genuine Intimacy of Social Media

“Quarantine,” your story in this week’s issue, opens with a twenty-three-year-old who is more or less couch-surfing in Barcelona while waitressing, drinking too much, having sexual adventures, and detailing it all in her journal. You capture that early-twenties period of looking for experience—as a way of looking for oneself—so well. Show More Summary

Bestselling authors in 2016 in ... France

In Le Figaro they have their annual feature of the best-selling novelists -- not individual titles, but all an author's novels -- in France in 2016, in Mohammed Aissaoui's report Et les plus gros vendeurs de romans en 2016 sont.... (I've...Show More Summary

None Like Her review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Jela Kre?i?'s None Like Her. This is one of the first in the first trio of books in Peter Owen's World Series-series, devoted to Slovenia (and published in association with...Show More Summary

Links & Reviews

- Penn has acquired the only known copy of "Elegy on the Death of Aquila Rose," printed by Benjamin Franklin shortly after his arrival in Philadelphia in 1723. See coverage in, the WaPo, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. TheShow More Summary

A Spiritual March on Washington

What should—what will—protests against Donald Trump be like? I asked myself this question early yesterday morning while riding a bus down to Washington from New York. My bus left from Trinity Church, near Wall Street. On the bus were teen-agers, twentysomethings, parents, children, the late-middle-aged, and a few Episcopal priests. Show More Summary

Raduan Nassar profile

At The New Yorker Alejandro Chacoff profiles A Cup of Rage-author Raduan Nassar, in Why Brazil's Greatest Writer Stopped Writing. Great to hear from the man himself, and the (two) books are definitely significant ones, well worth reading...Show More Summary

Nobel-Myanmar Literary Festival

The 'Nobel-Myanmar Literary Festival' is apparently underway, today through the 24th; there is an official "Facebook' page, but that appears to be about it (and, no, I won't link to that -- Facebook ? seriously ?). In the Myanmar Times...Show More Summary

Marilynne Robinson on the new American president

In The Guardian Marilynne Robinson writes that: With President Trump, American democracy faces its greatest test. Marilynne Robinson is, of course, an author who Obama was comfortable conversing with, while being -- it's safe to say -- someone the new American president is entirely unfamiliar with.

Nobel Prize in Literature 1966 overview

The archives -- of the Nobel Prize deliberations from fifty years earlier, the official waiting period -- were opened at the beginning of the year, and newspaper reports already provided most of this information (which I summarized for...Show More Summary

German mystery prize

The 'Deutscher Krimi Preis' is all prestige, no cash, but with a solid, serious jury it is well-respected (and claims to be the oldest German mystery-book prize -- at a not very old 33...), and they've now announced the winners (andShow More Summary

The Televangelist - the movie

The American University in Cairo Press launched their hoopoe-imprint last year, and among their first titles was Ibrahim Essa's The Televangelist. I see now that a film version has come out -- listed as 'Mawlana' at IMDb -- the Arabic...Show More Summary

Japanese literary prizes

They've announced the winners of the latest round of Akutagawa and Naoki prizes -- two of Japan's biggest; see, for example, Daisuke Kikuchi's report in The Japan Times, Sumito Yamashita claims 156th Akutagawa Prize. Yes, Yamashita Sumito's...Show More Summary

Ghachar Ghochar review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Vivek Shanbhag's Ghachar Ghochar. HarperCollins India brought this out just over a year ago, but now Penguin Books is bringing it out in a US/UK edition -- a big deal. With...Show More Summary

The Gender Fluidity of Krazy Kat

“Krazy Kat,” George Herriman’s exuberant and idiosyncratic newspaper comic, was never broadly popular. From the beginning, though, it found fans among writers and artists. P. G. Wodehouse compared it favorably to Wagner’s “Parsifal”; Jack Kerouac later said it influenced the Beats. Show More Summary

New Acquisitions: Catching the Tide

Last weekend we were delighted to receive officially our Catching the Tide acquisition from photographer Colin McPherson. From the moment we first saw this iconic image,we knew this series of […]

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