| Apr 20, 2008
Is it possible to lead a dedicated literary life in the billionaire-filled, media-crazed New York of today? To be heedless of the material world as you burrow into novels and ideas the way the old Partisan Review gang did in the '40s and '50s, to come...
| Jun 21, 2009
The Essays of Leonard Michaels
Farrar, Straus & Giroux: 206 pp., $26
Until Leonard Michaels was 5 and learned English in school, he spoke only Yiddish in the Lower East Side enclave where his Polish-Jewish parents raised him. And maybe...
| Aug 2, 2009
Farrar, Straus and Giroux:
286 pp., $14 paper
Full disclosure: I am thanked in the acknowledgments section of "Ground Up." Yes, I was one of the anonymous "very, very few patrons" of Café Trotsky, the kaffeehaus that...
| Aug 24, 2009
The kernel of Betsy Carter's third novel, "The Puzzle King," is a powerful bit of family lore that takes up no more than a paragraph of her 2002 memoir, "Nothing to Fall Back On": the story of the time, in 1936, that her mother's German-born American...
| Aug 30, 2009
When Lester Glassner died of pancreatic cancer Aug. 9 in hospice care at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City at age 70, he left behind a major part of his life that he had spent nearly 50 years accumulating.
The one-time picture editor,...
| Sep 6, 2009
" Vampires have quite the pop culture cachet," says the excellently named Cubby Freeze in Charlie Huston's blood-soaked "My Dead Body" (Del Rey: 302 pp., $14 paper), itself the last in a series of books that can be shoehorned -- along with the "Sookie...
| Sep 13, 2009
Morris Dickstein's "Dancing in the Dark" is not exactly the syncretic "Cultural History of the Great Depression" that its subtitle promises -- at best, the book treats inferentially the broad political and social trends of that desperate, crucial era. Let...
| Mar 25, 2009
When I moved from Los Angeles to Manhattan, one of the first things I learned was that I had a lot to learn about pizza. One doesn't stand in line but on line; it's not "for here or to go" but "to stay or take away"; and don't order "a piece of pizza" --...
| Oct 21, 2009
It was in rural Kansas, near the geographical center of America, that David Sax hit rock bottom in his search for the perfect deli sandwich. It happened innocently enough, in an Arby's. He had ordered a Reuben.
"What I got was this horrible abomination...
| Oct 30, 2009
John Harris Burt, a retired bishop who advanced a tradition of social activism at Pasadena’s All Saints Episcopal Church with his bold support of the civil rights movement when he was rector in the 1960s, died Oct. 20 at his home on Lake Superior...
| Nov 8, 2009
Save the Deli
In Search of Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of Jewish Delicatessen
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 320 pp., $24
The wandering of the Jews is frozen in the marble of the corned beef on rye. The fall of the Temple, the...