Mr. Ives’ Christmas (Book Review)

There is rarely apathy when it comes to Christmas. People tend to either love the season–soaking up all that comes with it–or dread it for its painful reminders of broken families and other assorted pains. This tension was clearly understood by Oscar Hijuelos, a recently-deceased, under-sung author profiled in a recent New York Times feature. […]

The Lowland – Jhumpa Lahiri (Book Review)

Jhumpa Lahiri made a name for herself when she debuted in 1999 with a collection of short stories (The Interpreter of Maladies) and was awarded The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Needless to say, those stories are incredible. They are precise, economical, moving, and incredibly wise. One of Lahiri’s greatest strengths is describing the confluence of […]

The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud (Book Review)

A reader expects to read a certain type of novel when the opening sentence finds the narrator saying: “How angry am I? You don’t want to know”–perhaps an adrenaline-fueled tirade of a novel, filled with high-octane rants and destruction; or maybe a novel bent on disturbing the reader through violence or depravity resulting from overwhelming […]

Telegraph Avenue – Michael Chabon (Review)

Michael Chabon’s Telegraph Avenue is a novel in five parts. The third part, entitled “A Bird of Wide Experience”, is a 12 page long sentence that follows an escaped parrot as it flies around Oakland and happens upon each of the novel’s central characters at the midpoint of their stories. A 12 page sentence is […]

NW - Zadie Smith

NW – Zadie Smith

Life in the city is rarely easy. It’s stressful, it’s expensive, it’s crowded, and it has the ability to wear a person down. The four central characters in Zadie Smith’s new novel NW all live in the same neighborhood to the northwest of downtown London, a neighborhood with a large low-income, immigrant population. The novel […]

Cosmopolis

Readers will likely understand after reading only a few pages of Cosmopolis why the novel, published almost 10 years ago, has just recently been turned into a movie. The novel by Don DeLillo tells the story of a single day (an April day in the year 2000) in which Eric Packer, a multi-billionaire living in New York City, takes […]