Kera Bolonik

  • Mules, Men, and Barthes

    Percival Everett is one of America’s most imaginative and industrious contemporary fiction writers, publishing fourteen novels (and three story collections) in as many years. But his devotion to craft is matched only by his aversion to the business of publishing. This has earned Everett a cult following, praise from his peers and critics, innumerable awards, including the PEN/Oakland-Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature, the New American Writing Award, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award. The recognition hasn’t deterred his satiric

  • Nudes, Foods, and Lusty Old Birds

    For over four years, novelist Kate Christensen and her husband have been consumed with a home-renovation project that has now crossed into her fiction. She has bestowed their Greenpoint, Brooklyn, row house—which they’ve transformed from a ramshackle, tenant-packed residence into a two-family home with modernist and New Orleans–style flourishes—on one of the main characters of her just-published fourth novel, The Great Man (Doubleday). The title of her most ambitious work to date refers to her fictional creation— a recently deceased New York City artist, Oscar Feldman, who is famous for rejecting

  • A Foolish Priest and Existential Baloney

    Glaswegian-turned-Londoner Andrew O’Hagan made a name for himself as the deputy editor of the London Review of Books before publishing his nonfiction debut, The Missing, in 1995. In this profound inquiry into the worlds of the vanished— runaways, abductees, murder victims—O’Hagan wove together journalism, family history, and memoir (the project was sparked by curiosity about his grandfather’s disappearance during World War II). Fiction always draws O’Hagan back to Scotland: His first two novels, Our Fathers (1999) and Personality (2003), are multigenerational family sagas. Our Fathers takes

  • Montaigne, Ben-Hur, and JFK

    Few writers have enjoyed a life as illustrious and a career as versatile as Gore Vidal. A self-taught intellectual and the author of twenty-five novels and eleven essay collections—among them Julian (1964), Myra Breckinridge (1968), Creation (1981), Lincoln (1984), Screening History (1992), and United States: Essays 1952–1992 (1993)—Vidal appears to have done it all. He has run for seats in both the House and the Senate, written for the Broadway stage and both the small and big screens, acted in films, drawn the blueprint for what would become the Peace Corps, appeared regularly on the late-night