A few years ago, I was standing in a queue at my bank in Tarrytown, New York, when I heard Russian being spoken behind me. This was not an everyday occurrence. Tarrytown is a suburban Republican enclave of neat lawns and narrow minds.
I first read Lewis Hyde’s The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property, now in its 25-year anniversary edition, in the mid-eighties and I began to breathe again, I began to write to live—and I don’t mean support myself.
When Nobel Prizewinning author Alexander Solzhenitsyn died five years ago, I experienced several days of flashbacks to the surrealistic times of Soviet power. I had been a correspondent in Moscow in the 1960s and 1970s and my most vivid memory was encountering the great writer face to face.
“I wonder if anyone in my generation is able to make the movements of faith?”
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Following on the heels of a new book by Jesse Ventura that maintains Lee Harvey Oswald was not John Kennedy’s lone assassin, plus a movie just out about the event, entitled “Parkland,” several books are about to be released to coincide with the 50th anniversary of
The demand for gossipy detail on writer J.D. Salinger’s private life seems to be a bottomless pit.
Alvin Lucier’s book: Music 109: Notes on Experimental Music, reviewed by Michael Johnson is in the Music Review section.
I thought the book business was being choked to death by television and iPods but I must be wrong. Clean, well-lighted superstores are still going strong. Could customers merely be doing penance for spending too much time slumped on their living room couch?
The first time I encountered poet Dana Gioia was in 1991 when I read his controversial essay in The Atlantic Monthly, “Can Poetry Matter?” and then the book with that title that followed. Gioia has deeply influenced my own thinking about poetry, about literature and about work.
Robert Craft knew from an early age that his considerable musical gifts would never be quite enough to make him a great composer, conductor or performer.
Adventurous readers, myself included, make a practice of looking for talented new writers who are just waiting to be discovered. These solitary artists are often buried alive in the overcrowded publishing world, wondering if word-of-mouth will ever kick in.