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Palpitations

Hammett’s long goodbye

A deferential biography of literature's Marlboro man

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The prince of finesse

Nine hundred pages of criticism prove that John Updike is no air-dancing dandy

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Blowing smoke into the zeitgeist

The well-deserved resurrection of Jean Stafford

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Enter the mummy

Norman Mailer finally gets his Egyptian novel out of his system

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Call me Bwana

The subject is Africa and William Boyd writes about it like Evelyn Waugh, only nicer

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Troubadour of sweat

Muscle-bound and Manhattan-bound

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The limits of poetic license

The more you learn about Robert Lowell's life, the less you want to read his poems

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My Harvard, your mama

Misty memoirs by ivy-covered nostalgiacs who should have known better

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Stop me before I write again

Six hundred more pages by Joyce Carol Oates

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Where critics go wrong

The careers of Kenneth Tynan and Otis Ferguson

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November 1983