| Dec 7, 2009
"She was a horrible human being," recalls Otto Penzler, one of her publishers. It's an apt eulogy for a novelist whom Graham Greene, rather more charitably, dubbed "the poet of apprehension," a 20th century demiurge whose "world we enter each time with...
| Nov 22, 2009
When I was 12, I emerged from an intense depression by imagining the book I'd write about the things that had caused me to take to my bed.
I remember crossing the field from the library to our small apartment and starting to compose the story in my head....
| Nov 5, 2009
There are people who love books, people who love to collect books and people who love books, particularly rare ones, so much that they're willing to steal them. Books coveted by collectors can be quite valuable -- say, a first Italian edition of...
| Jul 7, 2009
Foreign correspondent Jay Morgan isn't yet 40, but he is burned out by war. He lost his wife, a combat photographer, to a bullet in Beirut. By the late 1990s, he is in Kosovo, where Serb paramilitaries are skirmishing with Albanian-ethnic rebels. When the...
| Apr 20, 2009
J.G. Ballard, one of the most inventive of the new wave of British science fiction writers to emerge in the 1960s who was best known for the autobiographical novel "Empire of the Sun," died Sunday, his agent said. He was 78.
He had been ill "for...
| Mar 7, 2009
It was a pleasure to watch events unfold and Olen Steinhauer's skills evolve over the five-novel series he set in an unnamed Soviet bloc nation -- from the police procedural "The Bridge of Sighs" (2003), in which the idealistic cops of the First...
| Mar 1, 2009
Barry Day (ed): "The Letters of Noel Coward" (Vintage)
"The human race is a let down. It thinks it's progressed but it hasn't. It thinks it's risen above the primeval slime but it hasn't -- it's still wallowing in it!," says Gilda in Noel Coward's...
| Jan 17, 2009
John Mortimer, a British lawyer and writer who created the character Horace Rumpole, a disheveled barrister memorably featured in the popular television series "Rumpole of the Bailey," died Friday at his home in Oxfordshire, England. He was 85.
| Dec 20, 2008
Conor Cruise O'Brien, a leading Irish author, politician and diplomat who rose to international prominence while leading a United Nations mission in the troubled Congo and remained an independent, often contrarian thinker amid religious strife of his...
| Nov 9, 2008
"The Paris Review Interviews, Vol. III" edited by Philip Gourevitch (Picador)
"Have you found any professional criticism of your work illuminating or helpful? Edmund Wilson, for example?" asks Julian Jebb, the guy sent by the Paris Review to interview...
| Aug 17, 2008
The poet Weldon Kees was born in Beatrice, Neb., in 1914, though what's best known about him is that on July 18, 1955, his car was found abandoned with the keys still in the ignition in a parking lot on the Marin County side of the Golden Gate Bridge....