Category Archives: Books

Rockers On Tour with Books Not Guitars

Elvis Costello and Patti Smith both made it to town on tour this week, less encumbered than they’ve ever been. There were no trucks, no equipment and no roadies on their autumnal travels. And instead of singing, by and large they’re talking. The boom in recent years of rock autobiographies, boosted by tomes from Keith [...]

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Azar Nafisi on the U.S.-Iran Deal

I had the author of “Reading Lolita in Tehran” on the line. Azar Nafisi was about to receive the 2015 Benjamin Franklin Creativity Laureate in the Humanities and Public Service from the Smithsonian Associates and Creative Foundation. So I felt I had to ask her about the recent announcement that the U.S. and Iran had reached [...]

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Don DeLillo Visits the National Book Festival

Nothing like giving out an impressively titled award to bring out a reluctant star. TV awards shows do it all the time, giving some oddly named lifetime achievement award out just so some reluctant star will will show. That might have also been the case with Don DeLillo, the esteemed author who doesn’t go out [...]

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History’s March to Graphic Novels

At the Metro there were all kinds of costumed plushy characters, enough to make you think there was a convention at the nearby Marriott. But it had nothing to do with the Small Press Expo — the SPX — that I was catching a train to see in Bethesda. Unlike most all ComicCons where fans [...]

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Elmore Leonard, Detroiter, 1925-2013

Elmore Leonard, who died today at 87, was not only one of the great crime writers of the day, whose work was the basis of TV and movie scripts from “Justified” to “Get Shorty,” was also one of his home city, Detroit. “There are cities that get by on their good looks, offer climate and [...]

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Philip Roth Talks About His Retirement

When he finished writing his 2011 book “Nemesis,” Philip Roth says “I didn’t realize it was my last book.” But, he declares, “it is now.” And the retirement he admitted offhand at the end of an interview in an obscure French publication last year, that was first reported stateside in Salon, has been sublime, he [...]

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Franzen’s Hartford Interlude

Jonathan Franzen’s sprawling, long-awaited novel, “Freedom” occurs all over the place, in gentrified St. Paul, Minnesota to the grime of the lower East Side New York City, with forays to the University of Virginia and Washington D.C. But there’s also a keen little paragraph about Connecticut and the fate of one cool character’s bass player, [...]

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