Roberta Silman

Book Review: A Brilliant “Homeland Elegies” — Indispensable Witness

November 5, 2020
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What Ayad Akhtar reveals, with stunning detail and a passion and an urgency rarely seen in American fiction, is that his is a story marked by a loneliness similar to that found in Melville, Dreiser, and T.S. Eliot, among others, and that puts him squarely in their company.

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Literary Appreciation: D. H. Lawrence’s “Women in Love” at 100

September 18, 2020
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I hope this centennial will inspire readers to immerse themselves in this enormously important, rich, and vibrant work.

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Book Review: A.B. Yehoshua’s “The Tunnel” — A Serious Romp about an Aging Brain

August 20, 2020
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Exuberant is the right word for A.B. Yehoshua’s new novel, not only because of the story’s pile up of characters and events, but also for its prose.

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Book Review: “Immigrant Architect — Rafael Guastavino and the American Dream,” a Splendid Book about Design for all Ages

May 29, 2020
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A book to cheer you in these challenging times, providing destinations to explore when this pandemic is over, and a story to inspire the more inventive young among us.

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Book Review: Art Critic Peter Schjeldahl — Connecting Readers to the World in a New Way

May 22, 2020
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Good essays about art help us learn to see. Wonderful essays about the artists in our lives — which means all the artists through history, because, as Peter Schjeldahl so eloquently puts it, “all art is contemporary” —- help us learn how to live.

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Book Review: “The Planter of Modern Life” — A Biography of an Agricultural Visionary

May 6, 2020
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Here is a splendid biography from which you will learn things you never suspected, a book that will renew your faith in passion and what Louis Bromfield called those peculiarly American traits: integrity and idealism.

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Book Review: “Franci’s War” — A Very Relevant Holocaust Memoir

March 31, 2020
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Here we have the story of a young Czech woman who could not only take a piece of fabric and shape it into a gorgeous dress, but could also take her experiences during WWII and shape them into a compelling memoir.

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Book Review: “Tightrope” — A Wake-up Call for America

March 11, 2020
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What makes this book so necessary is that these are writers willing to state realities that members of both parties prefer to keep under the rug.

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Book Review: “A Grief Sublime” — A Lasting Testament to the Power of Words to Sustain and Heal

February 7, 2020
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Here is why you have to read this book: It gives proof to my faith that those beautiful lines and paragraphs created through the ages can comfort in present distress and continue to do so as one heals.

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