Old recordings of classical music may have less to teach us than many critics think. By Mark Kroll It has been more than 100 years since the first wax cylinder scratched out a reproduction of someone screaming into a megaphone, but classical music recordings still “can’t get no respect.” A common lament has been that, […]
Iranian expatriate Marjane Satrapi continues to expand the art of the comic book.
A new novel by a Chinese dissident provides a comically stinging vision of his homeland.
In this moving memoir, the daughter of celebrated psychologist Erik Erikson meditates on how fame and ego shatter the foundations of family life. “In the Shadow of Fame: A Memoir by the Daughter of Erik H. Erikson” by Sue Erikson Bloland. (Viking) By Debbie Porter Sometimes, the lives of the famous resemble fairy tales: an […]
By Tess Lewis A new novel captures the atmosphere of post-1956 Hungary from a child’s point of view. The Swimmer by Zsuzsa Bank. Translated from the German by Margot Bettauer Dembo. (Harcourt Books) In tales of exile, the stories of those left behind are rarely told. This is hardly surprising because the abandoned, when they […]
Stephen Greenblatt’s acclaimed biography of Shakespeare is filled with fascinating speculations.
Critic David Thomson says the movies have profoundly shaped America, and not always for the better. “The Whole Equation: A History of Hollywood” by David Thomson. (Knopf) By Tim Riley The title of David Thomson’s provocative new history of film comes from a trenchant passage in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel “The Last Tycoon”: “You can […]
One of Israel’s foremost prose writers has penned a masterful blend of autobiography and invention. A Tale of Love and Darkness: A Memoir, by Amos Oz. Translated from the Hebrew by Nicholas de Lange. (Harcourt) By Marsha Pomerantz In a memoir of 538 pages, it is hard to find a single image emblematic of the […]
Veteran British journalist Barry Miles pens the definitive biography of irreverent rocker Frank Zappa. Zappa by Barry Miles. Grove Press By Milo Miles Veteran British journalist and biographer Barry Miles, who has specialized in the Beatles and the Beats, treats Frank Zappa with the same corrosive irreverence the artist applied to every subject he discussed […]
Bob Dylan’s first installment of his memoirs invokes the bard of old with engaging prose and an old carny’s sleight of hand. “Chronicles, Volume I” By Bob Dylan. By Tim Riley Bob Dylan is one of rock’s great trapeze artists. His songwriting is the stuff of literary aerobics, but his performances could re-attach your spine […]