April 27, 2003 |
Only a writer of consummate craftsmanship and scope could write a novel about a series of real estate deals in a small town an hour and a half from New York City and make it so fully satisfying as to be thrilling. Jane Smiley has done it. Smiley won a Pulitzer Prize for 1991's "A Thousand Acres," a novel regarded as "King Lear on the prairie," about the deterioration of an Iowa farm family.
April 30, 2006 |
THIS was a boom you could actually hear. Steam trains rumbled in from the East, from the Midwest, from the mining camps of Arizona and from the grand metropolis of San Francisco. Sometimes four a day, they disgorged fresh legions of dreamers and schemers. Before it was over, circus elephants trumpeted in parades down the once tranquil streets. Brass bands, like so many pied pipers, led crowds into orange groves. Marchers carried banners.
April 6, 2013 |
Here's how I am afraid "Mad Men" will end next year: With Jon Hamm's Don Draper in a white suit, heading to Studio 54. Here's how I hope it will end: The whole series is revealed to be a story told by Roger Sterling (John Slattery) in a Ventura County sweat lodge. It may seem morbid to contemplate the demise of a show that has so inarguably changed the nature of television for the better. Just when we seemed doomed to death by reality programming, AMC's "Mad Men" proved that smart, stylish television could drive the cultural conversation as effectively as any Kardashian.
August 31, 1997 |
When Tim Ebner opens the door of his Atwater bungalow, his hands are covered in bright blue paint. Little smudges and stains of color dot every room of his house. In the rearmost bedroom, which he uses as a studio, those smudges and stains have accumulated to nearly cover the walls. With a rather fiendish grin, Ebner says: "The old lady who owned the house before me was so tidy, everything was in perfect condition when I moved in."
March 31, 2013 |
Mother-daughter designing duo Marie and Kelly Gray are back in business together with a new label called Grayse, eight years after stepping down from their day-to-day duties at St. John when a private equity firm bought the company and cleaned house in a rebranding effort that famously also involved hiring Angelina Jolie as spokesmodel and alienating hordes of loyal customers. Although St. John is best known for creating the conservative, Crayola-colored knit suit uniform worn by a generation of women in the go-go 1980s and '90s, Grayse taps into the more recent trend of casual luxury and seasonless, day-to-night dressing.
December 9, 1991 |
Where were you in 1972--the last time interest rates were this low? In that turbulent year, the Federal Reserve continued to push rates down to bolster the economy: The rate on three-month Treasury bills fell from a high of 7.81% in 1969 to a 4.07% annual average in 1972--virtually the same decline that we've had between 1989 and today. The Fed's rate tonic worked then: The economy's growth rate rebounded from a negative 0.3% in 1970 to 2.8% in 1971 and 5.0% in 1972.