Moondogs comes of as an entirely fun jaunt through a foreign land that nevertheless hoped to do a bit more. Still, the promise of Alexander Yates’s first novel more than justifies picking up his second, even if it lacks villains, superheroes, and evil green roosters. Moondogs by Alexander Yates. Doubleday, 352 pages, $25.95. By Tommy […]
This first novel from Arab-American writer Thérèse Soukar Chehade, who teaches English Language Education at a school in Amherst, Massachusetts, turns out to be a thoughtful family portrait that deals subtly with the variegated experiences of being outsiders in a strange land and the pulls of loss, memory, and desire. Loom by Thérèse Soukar Chehade. […]
Gish Jen’s novel about New England small-town life in the new millennium, “World and Town,” has just come out in a paperback. We greeted the hardback edition of the book with a Judicial Review, a fresh approach to creating a conversational, critical space about the arts. It is a good time to highlight the innovative approach again. The aim is to combine editorial integrity with the community—making power of interactivity.
On August 1st a group of dedicated Melvilleans gathered at the author’s Arrowhead home in the morning to commemorate his 191st birthday by hiking to Monument Mountain. This trip is meant to reenact the hike Melville took on August 5, 1850, which led to his meeting Nathaniel Hawthorne, whose short story collection Mosses from an […]
By Harvey Blume Zugzwang,by Ronan Bennett (Bloomsbury USA, 288 pages) It’s an understatement to say chess has been good for literature; the game has even inspired people not known for the written word to produce memorable prose. Consider the following, for example, by composer Sergey Prokofiev apropos a game he witnessed in pre-World War I […]
Since it is the innovators who make up the real history of the novel, Milan Kundera muses on the increasing tenuousness of this tradition of eccentric innovation. He also charts how the new arises from a collision between forgetting and remembering images of the past. The Curtain: An Essay in Seven Parts. By Milan Kundera. […]