Arts Fuse Editor

Visual Arts Review: Cartoon Memoirist

June 7, 2005
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By Milo Miles Iranian expatriate Marjane Satrapi continues to expand the art of the comic book. Back in the ’40s, the long-standing prejudice that comic books were incapable of presenting serious, adult matters was exploded by such artists as Bernie Krigstein, Harvey Kurtzman, and Will Eisner. But the discovery of how just how uniquely valuable…

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Book Review: China’s Surreal Corruption

April 22, 2005
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A new novel by a Chinese dissident provides a comically stinging vision of his homeland.

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Book Review: The Fame Game

February 28, 2005
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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…

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Book Review: “The Swimmer” — Wading Through the Ripples of History

February 22, 2005
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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…

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Book Review: Picturing Will Shakespeare

January 26, 2005
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By David Stenhouse Stephen Greenblatt’s acclaimed biography of Shakespeare is filled with fascinating speculations. Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare by Stephen Greenblatt (Norton) King Lear’s coaxing plea to Cordelia that “nothing can come of nothing” has always offered a stark challenge for biographers of William Shakespeare. On the page or on the…

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Movie Nation

January 5, 2005
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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…

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Book Review: The Land of Amos Oz

December 20, 2004
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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…

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Book Review: Frank Zappa — A Jerk of Genius

December 6, 2004
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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…

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Book Review: Bob Dylan’s Back Pages

November 16, 2004
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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…

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Book Review: The Dazzling Dissent of Cynthia Ozick

September 24, 2004
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  By Tess Lewis This masterful new novel sees heresy and idealism as the warp and woof of history. Heir to the Glimmering World by Cynthia Ozick. (Houghton Mifflin) Little in Cynthia Ozick’s books is predictable or simple. Her sinuous essays are, as she says, “thing[s] of the imagination,” “the movement of a free mind…

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