| 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...
| Nov 15, 2009
As he watched the World Trade Center towers implode, Bill Cain, playwright and native New Yorker, felt a surge of fury pass through him. But as an ordained Jesuit priest, he was able to tap into another, equally powerful emotion. "I knew the only way to...
| Nov 14, 2009
The apt title of this juicy oral history, based on more than 160 interviews, simultaneously expresses a principle that guided producer-provocateur Joe Papp and the theatrical ruckus that ensued.
"Free for All" is how Papp presented Shakespeare in Central...
| 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...
| Jan 24, 2010
Fans of Eddie Izzard and his over-the-top-fabulousness beware: His attire on stage at the Nokia Theatre this weekend will be a decided departure from his earlier flamboyance.
Wrapping up lunch at a Lower East Side bistro, Izzard warns that on this...
| 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" --...