CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 10, 2013 |
Evan S. Connell Jr., a literary iconoclast whose writings as a novelist, poet, essayist and historian won the admiration of critics and a cult-like following of discerning readers with books on subjects as eclectic as Midwestern provincialism, the medieval Crusades and Gen. George Custer's last stand, has died. He was 88. Connell, who had been in failing health in recent years, was found dead Thursday at his home in Santa Fe, N.M. The cause "was just old age," said his niece, Donna Waller.
September 26, 2012 |
J.K. Rowling wrote "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" as a single mum on the dole. Seven books, 4,100 pages and a blockbuster film series later, she's one of the wealthiest authors on the planet - worth more than $900 million. That's about as close as any author ever gets to a sure thing. Yet Rowling has walked away from Harry Potter into uncharted territory. On Thursday, her novel "The Casual Vacancy" hits shelves and e-bookstores. Little is known about it beyond the basics: It's a contemporary, realistic novel written for adults.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 9, 2012 |
Reporting from New York -- The National Book Critics Circle gave its 2011 fiction prize to Edith Pearlman, an under-the-radar writer of short stories, at its annual awards ceremony Thursday evening at the New School. Pearlman won for her collection "Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories," published by the small independent press Lookout Books, an imprint of the University of North Carolina Wilmington. "I thought if I won I would faint," Pearlman said as she reached the podium to accept her award.
April 29, 2011 |
Jennifer Egan was not built for the spotlight. "When I was a teenager, one of my sources of angst was that I felt like I was not an actor, I was always a spectator," she said by phone from New York. "Later, I realized that that's just who I am. That's actually my job. " Lately, Egan has been much more than a spectator in her own life. Her novel "A Visit From the Goon Squad," a fractured narrative about time and connection that stretches from 1970s punk rock San Francisco to a futuristic desert home, was recently awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
November 8, 2009 |
John Freeman, a longtime book critic who recently became the editor of the literary magazine Granta, has written a new book called "The Tyranny of E-Mail: The Four-Thousand-Year Journey to Your Inbox" (Simon & Schuster: 256 pp., $25). He's conceived of the subject in the broadest possible terms: He begins with an ancient Sumerian love poem, tracks the history of communication from the Persian Empire in the 6th century, the Arabian use of pigeons, the growth of literacy, the golden age of letter-writing in 19th century Europe, up to the telegraph, ZIP Codes and development of computers.
October 30, 2009 |
For much of their lives, Yona Sabar and his son Ariel were like warring countries with radically different customs, languages and concerns. In those days, Ariel was, he says, "a very bratty, 1980s L.A. kid" who "bought into many of the superficial values of that era." His father, a professor of Aramaic at UCLA since 1972, was a Jewish immigrant from Kurdish Iraq, a gentle, modest man grounded in Old World courtesies and academic formalities. "Ours was a clash of civilizations," Ariel writes in his memoir "My Father's Paradise: A Son's Search for His Family's Past," which won a 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award and has just been reissued in paperback.