Authors—once permitted to sit in their hovel and emerge once a year for a writer’s festival—have become social entities.
FROM THE ARCHIVE: “You throw yourself on the benevolence of the world, believing some kind of wisdom will come of it.” —Canadian explorer Wade Davis
FROM THE ARCHIVE: Anyone who might have thought that a busy kitchen was a well-oiled machine learns differently from Bourdain’s tell-all, which reveals that you should never eat fish on a Monday, and that if you’re a fan of eggs benny, you’re the most hated kind of restaurant-goer there is.
FROM THE ARCHIVE: She lived a long, well publicized life. She knew and loved, was married to or had affairs with, some of the most famous men of her time. Now, decades after her death, she is still, if not famous, then legendary.
There is always time to read—the challenge is deciding which story to immerse yourself in. We’ve narrowed down the dizzying number of options to five.
FROM THE ARCHIVE: Ian McEwan, the acclaimed author of Amsterdam, Atonement, and Saturday, among many other works, talks about his youthful “reckless pessimism”, his currently optimistic world view, and what it means to live a good life.
The Long Hello: Memory, My Mother, and Me by Cathie Borrie is a compassionate telling of the love that exists in extreme conditions.
Many contemporary novels, however enjoyable, seem content tracing the doings and events and psychologies corralled inside their clearly delineated piece of fictional terrain. Other novels, however, throw open the windows and let the world’s chaos blow throw a narrative.
Given the serious and slightly bleak tone of my last column, I had intended to make this one brighter. Then David Foster Wallace died, at age 46. I previously wrote about Wallace’s book of essays Consider the Lobster, but it’s important to bring his work up again. He was very likely the best and most important American writer of his generation.