Beta
X

Bookface Blog

RSS
May 14, 2021

Here are parenting books with practical, accessible advice that is blessedly judgment-free and honest, including Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be A-Holes by Karen Alpert.

Read More
May 14, 2021
Much angst has been shed over the Goodreads rating system. It’s too simple, too complex, too specific. Today, we offer some alternatives.
Read More
May 14, 2021

Swedish Academy documents reveal debate over naming the dissident writer the 1970 literature laureate, four years before his exile from the Soviet Union

Newly opened archives at the Swedish Academy have revealed the depth of concern among Nobel judges for the consequences awaiting Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn if the dissident Soviet writer were awarded the prize for literature in 1970.

The author of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, who revealed the horrors of Stalin’s gulags in his writings and was eventually exiled by the Soviet Union, was named the Nobel laureate that year, lauded by the committee for “the ethical force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of Russian literature”.

Continue reading...
Read More
May 14, 2021
Emily Temple reports back on The Underground Railroad, streaming today, and how Barry Jenkins’ stranger, alienating cinematic prose works with Colson Whitehead’s prose-prose. | Lit Hub TV Pride and Property: Phyllis Richardson on the homes that influenced Austen’s writing, from the rectory at Steventon to Chawton cottage. | Lit Hub John Lithgow on performing William […]
Read More
May 14, 2021

The author celebrates the most perfect sentence by Toni Morrison and his struggles with Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch

The book I am currently reading
I’m just about finished with Adam Levin’s thousand-page The Instructions, about a 10-year-old boy who thinks he might be the Jewish Messiah. Everyone makes David Foster Wallace comparisons, as if that explains anything, but I’ve found it a vastly entertaining, wildly over-loquacious joy. Then, for something completely different, I’ll be starting Adrian Tchaikovsky’s The Doors of Eden. He writes incredibly enjoyable sci-fi, full of life and ideas.

The book that changed my life
Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins. I read it maybe a dozen times when I was 15 and 16, and it broke all the rules for what introverted, painfully preppy me thought writing was supposed to do in novels. It dared to be playful, which was a revelation. I haven’t read it since, because I don’t know that I could bear to look on it with adult eyes, but it changed everything for young-writer me.

Continue reading...
Read More
May 14, 2021
The illustrator Sergio Garcia Sanchez embarks on the road not taken.
Read More
May 14, 2021
In “My Good Son,” by Yang Huang, a Chinese father strives to offer his floundering son a better life. But is he actually being a good parent?
Read More
May 14, 2021
Six new paperbacks to check out this week.
Read More
May 14, 2021
Readers respond to recent issues of the Sunday Book Review.
Read More
May 14, 2021
The year is 1999. The setting is a dinner party in the Midlands. A man named Michael Kearny is there, accompanied by a woman named Clara. Kearny is, apparently, bored with the conversation. It’s a familiar scene, and in just a handful of sentences the author of this scene perfectly summons a sense of an […]
Read More
May 14, 2021
Jane Austen’s life, like that of her fictional characters, was lived in and around the houses of the very wealthy and the middling members of the educated classes. Born in 1775, the seventh child and second daughter of a clergyman and his wife (who was marginally his social better), she grew up in a lively […]
Read More
May 14, 2021
Only in Ireland will you find an Irish pub every few buildings apart. But apparently at one time, New York City had its fair share, too. “When you’re Irish and you don’t know a soul in New York,” wrote Frank McCourt in The New Yorker, “and you’re walking along Third Avenue with trains rattling along […]
Read More
May 14, 2021
Let’s be honest. Kids are kind of creepy. If you have kids, I’m probably not talking about yours (probably). But of the kids out there who are trying to be frightening, many are doing a good job. After all, how many novels, films, and TV episodes—looking for a quick scare—rely on some pale girl with […]
Read More
May 14, 2021
The first piece of content that can be identified as a wedding announcement appeared in the New-York Daily Times on September 18, 1851. “In Trinity Church, Fredonia, on the 15th, inst., by Rev. T.P. Tyler, JOHN M. GRANT, Esq., of Jamestown, to SARAH, daughter of Hon. JAMES MULLETT of Fredonia.” In that same edition, the […]
Read More
May 14, 2021
Colson Whitehead’s 2016 novel The Underground Railroad is one of the most widely celebrated novels in recent memory; in the wake of its publication, it won both the 2016 National Book Award and the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, becoming the first book to be awarded the two biggest American literary prizes since E. Annie Proulx’s The […]
Read More
May 14, 2021
Most literary translators wear a second “hat,” and mine is that of a graduate student in the English Secondary Education program at the City College of New York. Unsurprisingly, the theory of teaching English (scripting an adolescent student’s encounter with a text in order to maximize opportunities for developing reading skills) and the theory of […]
Read More
May 14, 2021
Hosted by Andrew Keen, Keen On features conversations with some of the world’s leading thinkers and writers about the economic, political, and technological issues being discussed in the news, right now. In this episode, Andrew is joined by Nathan Bomey, the author of Bridge Builders: Bringing People Together in a Polarized Age, to tell the […]
Read More
May 14, 2021
With its glitz and glamour, secrets and scandals, Hollywood is always a subject ripe for the page. Aspiring actors and filmmakers from all over the globe are drawn to storied, sunny Los Angeles, where dreams are made and broken on a daily basis. I was one of those dream-chasers. I studied acting at the University […]
Read More
May 14, 2021

A moving and clear-eyed history of bodily freedoms that takes as its central character Wilhelm Reich, inventor of the orgone accumulator

Right at the end of this exhilarating journey through a century’s struggles over the human body, Olivia Laing invites her reader to “imagine, for a minute, what it would be like to inhabit a body without fear”. This simple hope comes to sound like a radical demand for the impossible; after such a vivid catalogue of the many humiliations and cruelties a body can be made to bear, it isn’t easy to imagine.

Laing’s impassioned commitment to the promise of bodily freedom, of every body’s right to move and feel and love without harming or being harmed, shines through every sentence of the book. But she is too canny a writer to miss the rich and bitter irony in which efforts to realise this promise so often get caught: every movement to liberate the body comes to be marked in some way by the constrictive regime it’s trying to escape. The writer who best grasped this irony was the Marquis de Sade, of whom Laing writes with an open and compelling ambivalence. De Sade’s nihilistic fantasies of sexual torture are a discomfiting reminder of how easily the liberty of one individual becomes the enslavement and abasement of others.

Continue reading...
Read More
May 13, 2021

The third in McInerney’s brilliant series about Cork’s underbelly brings the comic melodrama to a satisfying finale

The Rules of Revelation is the third part of Lisa McInerney’s “unholy trinity” of Cork novels, which began with the Women’s prize-winning The Glorious Heresies in 2015 and continued with 2017’s The Blood Miracles. McInerney’s world is a compellingly sleazy demi-monde of drug dealers, sex workers and property developers, and she has a pleasing disdain for minimalism: here you’ll find big characters and lots of them, having big emotions and going through so much incident that keeping on top of the plot can leave you with the enjoyably dazed feeling of trying to follow a close-up magic trick.

At the centre of this world is Irish-Italian Ryan Cusack. In Heresies he was a teenager torn between his love of music and junior gangster life, and heading for a fall. In Miracles, he served out his purgatory in Naples, where he faced off against the Camorra. Now Ryan is back in Ireland and hoping to make it as a legitimate citizen: he’s out of the drug business and is the singer in a band on the brink of breaking through. Success and redemption seem imminent.

Except that Ryan’s past can’t leave him alone – or Ryan can’t leave his past alone, and the uncertainty about who is holding on to whom is typical of the rich tangle of motivations that animates McInerney’s storytelling. Her characters all share that urge to flee from the city and get free of each other, yet whenever they threaten to succeed, something calls them back.

Continue reading...
Read More
May 13, 2021

From a guide to being an ‘ethical slut’ to Charlotte Roche’s disturbing Wetlands, historian Kate Lister picks the best books about the beauty, ugliness and joy of sexuality

From sex history and modern erotica to self-help books and the art of penis origami, sex is a topic that spans every generation and culture in the world, so any “best” list can only offer the books that have meant the most to me, personally and professionally, as a historian of sex.

Vénus Noire: Black Women and Colonial Fantasies in Nineteenth-Century France by Robin Mitchell is an impeccably researched history of how ideas of blackness and black women were appropriated by 19th-century white French culture as hypersexual, predatory and “exotic”. It opens with the story of Sarah Baartman, the so-called “Hottentot Venus” who was paraded on tour before white paying tourists, and Mitchell’s passionate rejection of the idea that historians should be objective and unemotional about their subject. The book is a triumph not only because it shows how narratives around black women’s bodies have evolved, but because Mitchell unashamedly makes the personal political.

Continue reading...
Read More
May 13, 2021
“How to Be an Art Rebel,” by Ben Street, and “What Adults Don’t Know About Art,” by the School of Life, are both British imports. The similarity ends there.
Read More
May 13, 2021
A new book, “Bill Cunningham Was There,” highlights The Times photographer’s efforts to give back to New York City and its people.
Read More
May 13, 2021

US author wins £20,000 award for writers under 39 – the age Thomas died – for her debut about a black woman who starts dating an older white man in an open marriage

The American novelist Raven Leilani has won the £20,000 Swansea University Dylan Thomas prize, with her “fearless” debut Luster, about a young black woman who begins dating a white man in an open marriage.

The award is given to a work by an author aged 39 or under, in honour of the Welsh poet Thomas, who died when he was 39. Leilani, 30, has won for her first novel, which follows Edie, who is working a depressing job in publishing when she begins seeing Eric, 23 years her senior. She is subsequently drawn into the lives of Rebecca, Eric’s wife, and their adopted black daughter Akila.

Continue reading...
Read More
May 13, 2021
Suggested reading from critics and editors at The New York Times.
Read More
Page 4 of 249 [4]