March 8, 2001 |
"The Rising Sun," a first novel by Scottish writer Douglas Galbraith, is an old-fashioned, consummate slow read. An epic historical novel, covering huge distances in geography, economics and cultural landscapes, the storytelling emulates the great adventure tales of old, invoking Melville's "Moby Dick" and Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" in a similar, if paler, vein.
December 12, 2000 |
Fay Weldon is known as a satirist, and her 22nd novel, "Rhode Island Blues," won't deprive her fans of their expected ration of wickedness and wit. But for those unacquainted with her work, it's satire with as much depth as breadth, as much "back story" as front. Its jabs are mixed with loopier punches that take a long time to land but pack a wallop when they do. "Rhode Island Blues" is the English author's first novel to deal with life in the United States.
September 17, 2000 |
Ours is an era increasingly characterized by the intrusion of humanitarian and human rights concerns into the business of politics and the business of business. It is no longer possible, if it ever was, to look at world affairs through the amoral lens of Realpolitik, to study the actions of states impervious to the well-being of the people in whose name they act.
June 18, 2000 |
"What is an Indian?" Sherman Alexie asks in his latest collection of stories, "The Toughest Indian in the World." Is it the college student of the story "One Good Man," who boasts of long black hair and skin dark as a pecan? "I'd grown up on my reservation with my tribe. I understood most of the Spokane language, though I'd always spoken it like a Jesuit priest. Hell, I'd been in three car wrecks!
May 7, 2000 |
Jeffrey Lent's ambitious first novel, "In the Fall," is a wide-screen historical novel that is meant to pivot on the provocative--and resurgently contemporary--issue of interracial sexual relationships. The book is written with such somber grace and compelling period detail that its failure to address its theme in any meaningful way is both regrettable and symptomatic of how readily this issue, which pierces the heart of the American experience, can be trivialized into a box-office gimmick.