By Harvey Blume In an interview I did with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. in 1997 (for the now defunct “Boston Book Review”), we talked, naturally enough, about the issue of race in America, and about Gates’s sense of mission, as scholar and writer, in relationship to it. One thing in particular that he said sheds […]
Can you imagine a scholarly press publishing a book about the Mona Lisa without a reproduction of the painting? Or, perhaps a more pertinent example, a book about anti-Semitic stereotypes without an illustration of them? Brandeis professor and author Jytte Klausen was asked to sign what she called a “gag order” by Yale University Press. […]
By Bill Marx Two new World Books reviews up at PRI’s The World. Alexander Nemser lauds “An Elegy for Easterly,” a collection of sharply-written stories by Petina Gappah that explores the hyperbolic disaster of Robert Mugabe’s presidency. “Here are the daily lives of the country’s mechanics, bankers, students, housewives, traveling salesmen, beggars, and madwomen, everyone […]
By Bill Marx George Kelly’s 1922 comedy about amateur theatrics gone wild is showing its age. The Torch-Bearers, by George Kelly. Adapted and directed by Dylan Baker. Presented by the Williamstown Theatre Festival, through August 9, 2009. Katie Finneran, Edward Herrmann, and Andrea Martin acting up a storm as amateur thespians in The Torch-Bearers. Critics […]
If you’re looking for a magical evening of summer theater, get out your map and drive to the Pioneer Valley village of Chester (pop 1100) where the Chester Theater is now celebrating its 20th season. Actors Charles Stransky, Terry Alexander, and Warren Jackson work out a deal in “Railroad Bill.” (Photo Credit: Rick Teller) Railroad […]
By Bill Marx Two more reviews posted on my World Books page at PRI’s The World.
“Wherefore and hence? Therefore and ergo!” Did ever an American musical have more intellectual credentials than “Candide”? Candide. Music by Leonard Bernstein. Book adapted from Voltaire by Hugh Wheeler. Lyrics by Richard Wilbur. Other lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and John LaTouche. Directed by Ralph Petillo with the Unicorn Company at the Berkshire Theatre Festival, through […]
An elegant and sleek meditation on the reverberations of trauma adapted for the stage from a collection of stories by Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. After the Quake, based on the stories “Honey Pie” and Super-frog Saves Tokyo” by Haruki Murakami, which were translated from the Japanese by Jay Rubin. Adapted for the stage by Frank […]
By Bill Marx You want a racy, nineteenth-century epic about sex, sin, drugs, and prostitution set in China? Here it is. Two more pieces on international fiction for World Books, the feature I edit for PRI’s The World.
By Bill Marx I am juggling editing and writing duties between two blogs, theartsfuse and World Books for the website of BBC/PRI’s radio program The World, which is produced at WGBH in Boston. The section aims to be a critical conversation made up of reviews, commentaries, interviews, podcasts, and news stories about international literature. Respected […]