Why do so many people want to read Art and Madness, Anne Roiphe’s memoir about sex, booze and literary ambition?
I wish every movie I saw had the effect on me that director Joan Micklin Silver’s Hester Street, Crossing Delancey and Chilly Scenes of Winter have whenever I see them (three times each so far).
Amy Chua sure has hit a lot of raw nerves. Her book’s premise — that mothers need to practice gonzo parenting on their kids — has freaked people out about childrearing, education, class status, work, marriage, intermarriage and sex. On The Wall Street Journal website, which triggered this national asthma attack by running an excerpt from the book called “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior,” you’ll even find an angry thread about immigration. What argument hasn’t this woman provoked?
The influential purveyors of culture who ought to be defending big smart books are throwing in their lot with a babyish digital culture that is spamming our minds with games and sound bites and what The Onion louchely calls the 24-second news cycle.
Translator and editor Suzanne Jill Levine talks about Borges and his five volumes of nonfiction and poetry published by Penguin Classics. 7-minute audio essay and pdf transcript.
On my way to work one morning, I spied an old flame. He had an unkempt, professorial look and he was dragging a trolley full of books behind him. Could I still be enamored of such a shlumpy looking personage?