The cover was striking: it showed a syringe. On the back cover one character leaned over a table, snorting cocaine. The calls from radio stations began, the advertising spots, the letters, above all the letters. Girls telling me about their first acid trip. Gay guys who’d been thrown out of their houses. Girls in love […]
Alec Nevala-Lee, author of Astounding, a forthcoming book on the history of science fiction, digs into the writing career of L. Ron Hubbard, gaining new insights into the life of the controversial founder of dianetics and the origins and nature of Scientology itself.
In Vulture, book critic Christian Lorentzen suggests we dispense with terms like “postmodern” and “postwar” when discussing novels, and instead analyze them relative to the presidential administrations under which they were released. What will we mean when someday we refer to Obama Lit? I think we’ll be discussing novels about authenticity, or about “problems of […]
After so many years, are you still sure about your decision to remain in the shadows? “Remain in the shadows” is not an expression I like. It savors of plots, assassins. Let’s say that, fifteen years ago, I chose to publish books without having to feel obliged to make a career of being a writer. […]
The Harper’s digital archive is a small and unsung national treasure, at least as far as I’m concerned; I’ve spent countless hours sifting through old issues, scanning for early work from familiar names and tracking down forgotten gems from authors whose bylines have largely faded. One such writer is Margot Hentoff, whose short story “Where Do […]
Yoko Tawada’s English-language publisher, New Directions, describes her slender book The Bridegroom Was a Dog in simple and straightforward terms: “A bizarre tale of passion and romance between a schoolteacher and a dog.” There is, of course, complexity to this tight and colorful novella (written in 1993, and translated from Japanese in 1998), in which the life of […]
As a regular book browser, or shelf stalker, and former employee of Community Bookstore in Brooklyn, I’ve recently watched several customers come in asking for recommendations of what to read next after finishing Italian novelist Elena Ferrante’s four-volume saga, The Neapolitan Quartet — a masterwork concerning issues of class, status, and the remarkable complexity of […]