Reviews > Books
Coming of Age in Negroland

Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Margo Jefferson tells of her upbringing among Chicago's black upper crust in this meditation on race, class, and gender in America from mid-century on.

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David Mitchell’s ‘Slade House’ Is a Sequel, of Sorts, to ‘The Bone Clocks’

Akin to a bearers of a rare blood type, those selected enter a "Theatre of the Mind" where their "birth-bodies" encounter in Slade House their dreams come true.

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15 Oct 2015 // 6:30 AM

Rebel Hell

In The Rebel's Sketchbook, Rupert Dreyfus writes with the darkly absurd humour of a thirsty and somewhat paranoid Jonathan Swift.

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Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson Is ‘Comin’ Right at Ya’

A six-foot-seven-inch self-proclaimed Jewish hippie from Philly starts a Western swing band at a most inopportune time -- and lives to tell the tale.

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In ‘A House of My Own’ Sandra Cisneros Argues That a Woman Writer Needs a Roof of Her Own

The finest articles in this collection are the most personal.

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Jonathan Franzen Pulls a Convincing Authorial Disappearing Act in ‘Purity’

Franzen's latest is a fulfilling if frustrating exploration of our modern identity crisis.

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For a Book on Technology, Sven Birkerts’ ‘Changing the Subject’ Is Surprisingly Personal

The honesty, lyricism, and thoughtfulness make Changing the Subject a pleasure to read.

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‘Hemingway in Love’ Is Engaging and Harrowing Storytelling

The story of the final years of Hemingway’s life have never been told with such eloquence and compassion.

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Square Pegs and Southern Inhospitality in Melanie Sumner’s ‘How to Write a Novel’

This is a charming and touching reflection on family, belonging, and walking the shaky line between childhood and adulthood.

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Toronto Has Been Home to Some of the Most Successful DJs—and Nightclubs

Then and Now: Toronto Nightlife History currently stands as the most definitive account of nightclub culture in one of Canada’s most celebrated and beloved cities.

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Roberto M. Dainotto Explores the Making of the Mafia Myth

The Mafia: A Cultural History offers a Sicilian perspective on the enduring popularity of organized crime stories.

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‘Coin-Operated Americans’ Tells of the Time When Arcades Took the Children of Displaced Workers

America’s youth crowded arcades, deposited quarters, and saw a way out of the modern, productive industrial economy of the post-war US and into the postmodern, postindustrial consumer economy that we inhabit today.

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Joan Didion Bio ‘The Last Love Song’ Is an Example of What We Tell Ourselves When Our Subject Won’t

Tracy Daugherty's well-meaning but misguided biography of Joan Didion is marred by supposition and stylistic mimicking.

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Patti Smith’s Practice of Everyday Living Will Intrigue Readers of ‘M Train’

Every chapter in M Train digs a fresh grave in the chambers of Patti Smith's memory.

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28 Sep 2015 // 7:00 AM

Mario Vargas Llosa Gives Culture Its Last Rites

When Vargas Llosa condemns the culture of spectacle that has invaded not only our film, television, and art, but our politics and news outlets, it isn’t with the feverish outrage of a man railing against a disoriented younger generation

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Choice Shapes the World in ‘Not on Fire, But Burning’

Greg Hrbek gives us a War on Terror that's not too far from our own.

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Heidegger’s ‘Hegel’ Is Philosophy With a Capital F

Hegel’s philosophies are of critical importance to Western thought but this new translation of Heidegger’s interpretations may make even the most stalwart of academics sigh in frustration.

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The Prolific Judd Apatow Doesn’t Seem so ‘Sick in the Head’

In his recent book, Judd Apatow gives you the greatest party you've never been invited to.

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Michel Houellebecq’s ‘Submission’ Tackles Motives for Conversion

Houellebecq's latest satire has a core of deep humanism running through it.

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Violin Virtuoso L. Subramaniam Mesmerizes in Rare New York Performance (Photos)

// Notes from the Road

"Co-presented by the World Music Institute, the 92Y hosted a rare and mesmerizing performance from India's violin virtuoso L. Subramaniam.

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