Essays

Essays

Feb 1st 2014

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.

Jan 1st 2014

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.

Dec 31st 2013

“I wonder if anyone in my generation is able to make the movements of faith?”

Nov 16th 2013

This article was originally posted on Truthdig, www.truthdig.com, poste

Oct 21st 2013

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

Sep 30th 2013

The demand for gossipy detail on writer J.D. Salinger’s private life seems to be a bottomless pit.

Sep 1st 2013

Alvin Lucier’s book: Music 109: Notes on Experimental Music, reviewed by Michael Johnson is in the Music Review section.

Aug 2nd 2013

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? 

Jul 22nd 2013
Margaret Brown: You have your main character creating the story of his deceased wife’s affair through memory and invention. It’s a novel approach to narrative — how did you arrive at it?
Mary L.
Jul 20th 2013

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.

Jun 19th 2013
Journalists who left their native countries to report on the outside world find few things more distressing than the death throes of their profession. As today’s newspapers shrink, fold and “go digital”, television turns to entertainers and opinionators.
May 31st 2013

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.

May 20th 2013

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.

May 20th 2013
None of us can say for certain how starvation might affect our behavior but I’m guessing that slow death by hunger is one of the most degrading ways to exit this life.

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