Karen Karbo

  • culture July 10, 2009

    A Happy Marriage by Rafael Yglesias

    Rafael Yglesias’s beautiful and disturbing ninth novel concerns the largely companionable twenty-seven-year marriage of Enrique and Margaret Sabas, or more accurately, the first several weeks of their courtship and the last several weeks of Margaret’s life, with a dash of adultery and the death of a parent tossed in to represent the middle bits. The novel is heavily autobiographical—Enrique, like Yglesias, is a literary prodigy, having quit school at sixteen after the publication of his first novel. The story opens five years later, and Enrique, now twenty-one, is living the despondent life of

  • I Was Told There’d Be Cake

    Sloane Crosley is at that age at which you’re old enough to realize that it’s not all about you but young enough to suspect that the majority of it must be. Fortunately for readers of I Was Told There’d Be Cake, her collection of essays, she’s also smart enough to know that if it’s going to be about her, it needs to be surprising, entertaining, and sometimes moving. If Crosley is going to use her life as a launching pad for discussing oft-considered issues like the boss from hell, the torment of being a bridesmaid, and the horrors of moving day in New York City, she had better be, for lack of

  • Soup to Mutts

    Forget Internet dating: Any city dweller who's spent an afternoon walking a cute pup down the street will tell you that owning a dog is the surest way to make and sustain a connection. In Cathleen Schine's meringue-light new novel The New Yorkers, canines of all shapes, sizes, and degrees of lovability unite a disparate collection of Manhattanites living on the same charming, rent-controlled street, an easy dog walk from Central Park. It's an ordinary Upper West Side street that escaped gentrification, a street where people moved after graduating college and never left."There are no mansions