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New Books

New Books

A novel character emerged from the mists of Second Empire France and roamed the boulevards of Romanticism. This man was Baudelaire’s flâneur, but that’s not all he was. In depressing…

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New Books

There were dozens of hippie acts in Haight-Ashbury in the late 1960s, but most people have only heard of a few: Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Janis Joplin, and the Grateful Dead.…

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New Books

Denis Johnson’s heart beats for the lowlifes and fuck-ups, drunks and speed freaks, the losers who are on their last score and the scavengers feeding on the edges of foreign…

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New Books

Cyberspace” is where old footage — and old ignorant prejudice — lives forever. The term made its fictional debut in a monologue by the disgraced hacker hero of William Gibson’s…

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New Books

In the year 564 b.c., a pankratiast named Arrichion stepped into the ring at the Olympic games. Pankration was a nasty mélange of wrestling and boxing, very popular with the…

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New Books

When five brightly balaclava’d members of the Pussy Riot collective climbed atop the altar of Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior in February 2012 to chant “Our Lady, Chase Putin…

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New Books

John Florio — lexicographer, raconteur, and supposed model for Shakespeare’s schoolmaster Holofernes, in Love’s Labour’s Lost — was born in London in 1553 to an unidentified Englishwoman and an Italian Protestant who’d…

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New Books

It is inevitable that some readers will take from Evelyn Barish’s biography of the life and misdeeds of Paul de Man the notion that literary theory is a crock. The title…

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New Books

Bernard Malamud was born in New York City in 1914 to a family that exchanged Yiddish for English, and he always regretted the loss. Older than Bellow and, in Roth…

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New Books

The protagonist and narrator of E. L. Doctorow’s twelfth novel, Andrew’s Brain (Random House, $26), is a clumsy cognitive scientist who relates the story of his life from an undisclosed location…

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New Books

The title of Margaret Drabble’s new novel, The Pure Gold Baby (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26), refers to “Lady Lazarus,” a poem Sylvia Plath wrote a few months before she committed…

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New Books

Between 1985 and 1993, Bob Shacochis published two story collections and a novel, two of which were finalists for, and one of which won, the National Book Award. As literary…

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New Books

At the end of a chapter on Livia, the wife of the Roman emperor Augustus, in Confronting the Classics (Liveright, $28.95), the Cambridge scholar Mary Beard reminds us that when…

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New Books

Peter Orner is a true writers’ writer, which is to say a writer writers complain to writers about readers not reading. His novel The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo (a…

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New Books

The memoir is a tempting but treacherous form. As the English novelist Rachel Cusk writes in Aftermath: On Marriage and Separation (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $20), “Unclothed, truth can be…

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New Books

C. S. Lewis once wrote that we must read the classics “to keep the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through our minds.” Yet the briefest contact with the…

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New Books

In 1929, Robert Ripley was receiving nearly 3,000 letters a day. As Neal Thompson writes in A Curious Man: The Strange & Brilliant Life of Robert “Believe it or Not!”…

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New Books

Some of the most interesting minds at work in the American arts today can be found in the video-game industry. Such designers as Jonathan Blow, Jenova Chen, Clint Hocking, Ken…

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New Books

Since Don Quixote, the essential subject of the novel has been geography: what is out there, who lives there, how they are different from characters who live in other landscapes.…

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New Books

In 70 a.d., a few decades after the crucifixion of Jesus, the Roman army destroyed Jerusalem after a long siege. Perhaps no event has had more enduring reverberations. Judaism lost…

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New Books

Ashok Rajamani would like to show you what happens when 100 billion neurons are suddenly overwhelmed by bursting blood vessels. In June 2000, at the age of twenty-five, Rajamani is…

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New Books

The Gregorian, Julian, Coptic, Buddhist, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Tibetan, Zoroastrian, and Mesoamerican calendars—and the Mayan, which predicts that the world will end just days after this issue reaches your hands—all…

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New Books

To historians, the world has always imagined its own demise; to critics, the end of the world is imminent. Meanwhile, my generation demands to read both apocalypses instantly and for…

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