Barbara Stanwyck had many gifts, but none was more central to her career than her capacity to communicate feeling in a way that seemed artless and unmediated. Her performances in a remarkable range of films are well known, or at least available for inspection. Her life, sometimes traumatic, was more opaque. Some actors disport or destroy themselves in spectacular ways; some go to war; some go into politics. Stanwyck just worked.
This is not a book I would normally read; I rarely read mysteries, and the title, Gone Girl, is irritating on its face. I bought it anyway because two friends recommended it with enormous enthusiasm, and because I was curious about its enormous popularity: the millions of copies sold, the impending
Thomas Pynchon's new heroine, a single-mom and quasi PI, pursues a case into the hidden realms of a virtual world. But it's the living, breathing details of Upper West Side life, circa 2001, that give Bleeding Edge its humor and its heart. The uptown Manhattan neighborhood gets the author's signature treatment: three parts laughing gas to one part subterranean profundity.
In “Down with Childhood,” perhaps the most provocative chapter in her 1970 classic The Dialectic of Sex, the feminist-Marxist radical Shulamith Firestone argued that revolutionary women, rather than rejecting motherhood altogether, could find common cause with their children: “The mother who wants
In 1953 Philip Lamantia read at what is probably America's most famous poetry reading. It was Allen Ginsberg's inaugural presentation of "Howl," which made the event at San Francisco's Six Gallery historic. Lamantia avoided the spotlight that night, but his Collected Poems reveal a turbulent and risky writer—one who was perhaps even braver than his Beat cohorts.
Alcoholism, racism, rape: Novelist Lore Segal, now 85, has approached grim, horrific material with a mix of gentleness and judgment. She has written a moving account of her escape from Nazi Austria, and also a zany satire about self-centered, backstabbing writers. Throughout her career, we see an effort to maintain high spirits in the face of discouraging things.
Bad enough that a new Norman Rush book appears but once a decade; to be a big tease about it seems cruel. As far back as 2005, Rush was describing his new novel, Subtle Bodies, as a “screwball tragedy,” a book concerned with “friendship, male friendship in particular.” The tease was on, and
Marianne Moore was an American Athena, spawned by no particular school but championed by every major poet of her generation. She was also a beloved pop icon: She threw the first pitch for the Yankees in 1968, palled around with Norman Mailer and Muhammad Ali, and was invited by Ford to name a new car. But the poet presents a challenge to the biographer: She left behind thirty-five thousand letters but few clues to her personality.
At the beginning of Beatriz Preciado's Testo Junkie, the first-person narrator, BP, takes testosterone. It's not the first time BP has self-administered the clear gel, a fifty-milligram dose squeezed from a small silver packet and absorbed instantly into the skin, but now, fresh grief crystallizes
How many "walking wounded"—veterans knocked down by post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury—are there around the country? A half million, more or less, counting the daily drip of suicides and new walk-ins. It's a hard-to-grasp number, but David Finkel he suggests one revealing exercise to help bring it home: "One way would be to imagine the five hundred thousand in total, perhaps as points on a map of America, all suddenly illuminated at once. The sight would be of a country glowing from coast to coast."