Jeffrey Burke

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Article — From the April 1983 issue

Appetites

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Lunacy and the arrangement of books

Article — From the May 1982 issue

Writes of passage

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The letter of recommendation as a social force and literary genre

In print — From the November 1981 issue

First time out

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The perils of the fictional debut

In print — From the September 1981 issue

Lots of mots

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Eighty-five hours with Mr. Proust

In print — From the July 1981 issue

Mysteries for the misbegotten

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The literary corpse

In print — From the May 1981 issue

Here be dragons

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Two writers in search of an audience

In print — From the March 1981 issue

Juvenalia et alia

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The hope of satire

American miscellany — From the January 1981 issue

Celebrity fare

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The namedroppers’ ball

In print — From the November 1980 issue

Fallaci records

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Unanswered questions

In print — From the September 1980 issue

Tear gas is bad for the complexion

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History in the making of fiction

In print — From the July 1980 issue

Country wisdom

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Ruminating on farmers, kingpins, and squash

In print — From the May 1980 issue

Fielder’s choice

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In print — From the March 1980 issue

Literacy returns

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The killer spelling bee meets the conqueror bookworm

In print — From the January 1980 issue

Discovery rewarded

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Finding Elias Canetti

In print — From the November 1979 issue

An ostentation of books

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Tomes on gnomes, and the like

In print — From the September 1979 issue

Ineffable pleasures

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The variety of short stories

In print — From the July 1979 issue

The mischief of fiction

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A search for meaning

In print — From the May 1979 issue

Biological imperative

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Writing about science for laymen

In print — From the March 1979 issue

Of a certain persuasion

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The muse distracted

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“Just Keep Going North”·

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On February 5, 2019, the president of the United States (a certain Donald Trump) in his State of the Union speech warned of “migrant caravans and accused Mexican cities of busing migrants to the border ‘to bring them up to our country in areas where there is little border protection.’ ”? Wishing to see the border for myself, I decided to visit Arizona, where my ignorance of local conditions might save me from prejudgment.

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Marmalade Sky·

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On a November Saturday in 1990, Pam went over to Joe’s place to listen to records. It was raining in sheets that whipped around the corners of buildings and blowing so hard that women in heels were taking men’s arms to cross the street. Cars were plowing bow waves through puddles of scum.

As Joe was letting Pam into the apartment, a man emerged from the bedroom with a square sheet of black plastic in his hand and said, “Hey, man, you have the Sassy Sonic Youth flexi!”

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The Trials of Vasily Grossman·

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Discussed in this essay:

Stalingrad, by Vasily Grossman. Translated by Robert Chandler and Elizabeth Chandler. New York Review Books. 1,088 pages. $27.95.

Vasily Grossman and the Soviet Century, by Alexandra Popoff. Yale University Press. 424 pages. $32.50.

Life and Fate, by Vasily Grossman. Translated by Robert Chandler. New York Review Books. 904 pages. $24.95.

An Armenian Sketchbook, by Vasily Grossman. Translated by Robert Chandler and Elizabeth Chandler. New York Review Books. 160 pages. $14.95.

Cost of renting a giant panda from the Chinese government, per day:

$1,500

A recent earthquake in Chile was found to have shifted the city of Concepción ten feet to the west, shortened Earth’s days by 1.26 microseconds, and shifted the planet’s axis by nearly three inches.

A swarm of ladybugs in California was so large that it appeared on the National Weather Service’s radar.

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