| Apr 19, 2009
A Fortunate Age
Joanna Smith Rakoff
Scribner: 402 pp., $26
I've never met Joanna Smith Rakoff, but I would like to. Reading her debut novel, "A Fortunate Age," I became convinced she must be funny, compassionate and observant. I think we would...
| Mar 17, 2009
Lizz Winstead is on a roll. "I heard Pat Buchanan saying that one of the reasons John McCain lost the election was that Sarah Palin was too pretty. Uh, clearly it was her jarring beauty that cost the Republicans the White House. No doubt people said,...
| Jun 7, 2009
The Family Man
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt:
306 pp., $25
Elinor Lipman's social satire is Larry David without the high-pitched whine. Her novels have the clean, airy lines of P.G. Wodehouse and E.F. Benson. Her irony is not mean,...
| Jun 7, 2009
A Possible Satire
292 pp., $13.99 paper
It doesn't take a paranoid mind to fret over our state of hyper-marketing. Every Gatorade we buy at Vons, every Bed Bath & Beyond card we've registered for,...
| Mar 28, 2010
I write serious fiction but I also write satire, and about a month ago that's what I thought was doing. I had seen "Avatar" and commercials for 3-D TV, and all of it struck me as funny. Everyone was saying that this new technology was the future. That...
| Feb 28, 2010
Farrar, Straus & Giroux: 296 pp., $25
According to Santa Fe Institute economist Samuel Bowles, roughly one out of every four Americans is now employed guarding the wealth of the rich. This "guard labor" is loosely defined...
| Jan 17, 2010
There are operas whose scores are hummable and whose tunes have worked their way into popular culture. And then there are operas that resist any sort of easy packaging -- operas that are, for lack of a better phrase, musical oddballs.
Robert Kurka's "The...
| Jan 24, 2010
The Golden Calf
Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov
Translated from the Russian
by Konstantin Gurevich
and Helen Anderson
Open Letter: 336 pp., $15.95 paper
From 1928 to 1932, the Soviet Union carried out the first Five Year Plan, initiated the...
| Jan 3, 2010
Don DeLillo's "White Noise" (Penguin: 336 pp., $16 paper), newly reissued in a 25th anniversary edition with superb jacket art by Michael Cho, is many different types of novel: a campus novel; the soap opera of a hilariously dysfunctional family; a...
| Jan 15, 1989
ATHENS -- It is the winter of the patriarch in a stunned and embittered Greece. The season is surreal. So many crazy things are happening that the bizarre has become almost routine.
"The unprecedented events occurring in our country create the impression...