September 11, 2013 |
Twelve years after the attacks that brought down the World Trade Center, the shelf of essential 9/11 reading remains pretty small. There's “The 9/11 Commission Report,” which I've long considered to be the defining narrative of the disaster (not to mention the greatest government commission report ever written), although for all its deft and nuanced sense of explication, it doesn't tell us much about how things felt. And, of course, there are dozens of works of reportage and fiction -- even Stephen King's new novel “Doctor Sleep,” due out a little later this month, features its own small riff about the events of that September morning, as does Thomas Pynchon's new novel "Bleeding Edge" -- but few have really encapsulated the weight, the magnitude of the tragedy.
August 19, 2012 |
Long known for being genteel and charmingly indifferent to headline news, the New Yorker in recent years has earned a reputation of skewering political and cultural figures with its cover art. Barry Blitt's infamous 2008 Barack and Michelle Obama fist bump cover poking fun at the perception of the then-presidential candidate, for instance, spawned countless satiric imitations. With "Blown Covers: New Yorker Covers You Were Never Meant to See" (Abrams), art director Françoise Mouly gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the selection process.
February 19, 2012 |
The office pools have closed, let the drama begin: Silent film or 3-D talkie, Streep's Thatcher or Williams' Marilyn or maybe Viola Davis? Scorsese again? For me, the most fascinating question is which of the five foreign-film nominees will win. If you picked Asghar Farhadi's "A Separation" — a visceral chamber drama exposing all manner of class, religious and gender fissures in contemporary Iran — you went for the favorite, winner of numerous critics' awards, "a movie you'll love from a country you hate," as the late Bingham Ray jokingly promoted "The White Balloon.
October 16, 2011 |
Art Spiegelman has been here before. At 63, dressed in black jeans, a denim shirt and that ubiquitous vest, he is talking, again, about his graphic memoir "Maus," the saga of his father Vladek's experiences during the Holocaust and of Spiegelman's efforts to get to know that father - to inhabit his story, if you will. "Maus" was originally published in two parts, the first in 1986 and the second in 1991; it won a special Pulitzer Prize in 1992, the first comic to be so honored.
September 4, 2011
"Here Is New York: A Democracy of Photographs" by Gilles Peress, Michael Shulan, Charles Traub and Alice Rose George (2002). Perhaps the most stunning visual representation of the tragedy, this collection of nearly 1,000 images - shot by hundreds of photographers, professional and amateur - traces the devastation of the World Trade Center from impact to aftermath, with a clarity made all the more profound by the chaos that impelled it. The title comes...
December 5, 2010
Emily Dickinson's Homestead Limited edition print available from m-plus-e.com, $20 Michael Fusco and Emma Straub have designed a great set of prints of writer's homes. Also available: the houses of Edward Gorey, Edgar Allan Poe and Flannery O'Connor. Glamour From the Ground Up Ed Fox Taschen, $17.99 Hardcover/DVD edition This native Angeleno's sensual celebration of the female foot comes with ingenious packaging: a reversible jacket for incognito perusing.