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May 6, 2007 | Nick Owchar, Nick Owchar is deputy book editor.
IF he could, Richard Flanagan would learn Spanish. Then, he says, he'd read Faulkner the way Gabriel Garcia Marquez and other Latin American boom writers did. "Do you know which novel of his influenced them the most?" Flanagan asks, flashing a strong, good smile. "It's not what you'd expect. It was 'The Wild Palms.' Borges translated it. Can you imagine? Faulkner by way of Borges? I wish I could see what he did."
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May 10, 2009 | Jon Fasman, Fasman is the author of the novels "The Geographer's Library" and "The Unpossessed City."
If there is one lesson that the writer and editor can learn from George W. Bush's war on terror -- and I mean one insightful, nongeopolitical lesson -- it is this: Beware of people who lean too heavily on abstract nouns. What they inevitably seek is not so much wiggle room as slither room -- of course, the war on poverty or the war on drugs, which is itself a sort of war on the poor (that is the sort of irony one can only appreciate in the comfort of one's home).
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April 14, 2002 | SUSAN SALTER REYNOLDS
Question: How did you come to this story? Answer: Ten years ago, I was shown a volume by a convict forger. I thought of that man, and I wanted to write a book that got into the eyes of the fish he had painted. But the rest of it is mysterious. In a certain moment you find a way of expressing both humor and anguish on a larger scale, and then you are wrenched from this world that you live in. Q: And where is that?
BOOKS
May 6, 2007 | Nick Owchar, Nick Owchar is deputy book editor.
IF he could, Richard Flanagan would learn Spanish. Then, he says, he'd read Faulkner the way Gabriel Garcia Marquez and other Latin American boom writers did. "Do you know which novel of his influenced them the most?" Flanagan asks, flashing a strong, good smile. "It's not what you'd expect. It was 'The Wild Palms.' Borges translated it. Can you imagine? Faulkner by way of Borges? I wish I could see what he did."
BOOKS
May 6, 2007 | Melvin Jules Bukiet, Melvin Jules Bukiet is the author of seven books of fiction and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.
ANYONE can do grandeur, but it takes a special literary skill to make squalor grand. Early in the 20th century, James Joyce exalted the beer-swilling, kidney-chomping denizens of Dublin into heroic figures. Early in the current century, Tasmanian author Richard Flanagan succeeded Joyce in both narrative style and substance with "Gould's Book of Fish," a delirious spectacle of pain and degradation in a subequatorial prison colony.
BOOKS
March 12, 2000 | PETER GREEN, Peter Green is the author of "Alexander to Actium" and "The Laughter of Aphrodite." He is the former fiction critic of the London Daily Telegraph
Despite reason and common sense, the Antipodes retain a kind of upside-down weirdness for many of us in the northern hemisphere. Australia is not only Down Under but home to alien creatures with odd names and idiosyncratic anatomies: quolls, potaroos, wombats, wallabies, platypuses. The continent crouches in our atlas like one of its own marsupials, with Tasmania as its snout.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 10, 2009 | Jon Fasman, Fasman is the author of the novels "The Geographer's Library" and "The Unpossessed City."
If there is one lesson that the writer and editor can learn from George W. Bush's war on terror -- and I mean one insightful, nongeopolitical lesson -- it is this: Beware of people who lean too heavily on abstract nouns. What they inevitably seek is not so much wiggle room as slither room -- of course, the war on poverty or the war on drugs, which is itself a sort of war on the poor (that is the sort of irony one can only appreciate in the comfort of one's home).
BOOKS
April 14, 2002 | CAROLINE FRASER, Caroline Fraser is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books, among other publications.
Surely one of the most eccentric novels to appear in recent years, "Gould's Book of Fish: A Novel in 12 Fish" by Tasmanian writer Richard Flanagan, rivals other ambitiously weird fictional works of our time.
BOOKS
May 6, 2007
Monday Martin Rubin reviews "The Sea Lady" by Margaret Drabble. Tuesday David L. Ulin reviews "The Thumpin': How Rahm Emanuel and the Democrats Learned to Be Ruthless and Ended the Republican Revolution" by Naftali Bendavid. Wednesday Tim Rutten reviews "Presence: Stories" by Arthur Miller. Friday Susan Salter Reynolds reviews "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life" by Barbara Kingsolver. Saturday Janice Nimura reviews "Ghostwalk" by Rebecca Stott. On the Web This week at latimes.
BOOKS
December 8, 2002 | Steve Wasserman
It is a pleasure to recommend to readers a clutch of books published in the last year that we found exemplary. Any such list is subjective, even idiosyncratic, of course, since it is impossible to read every worthy book that beckons. We are nonetheless promiscuous readers whose greatest delight is to happen upon a story or subject we had no idea we were interested in but which, in the hands of a gifted and graceful author, proves compelling and unforgettable.
BOOKS
May 6, 2007 | Melvin Jules Bukiet, Melvin Jules Bukiet is the author of seven books of fiction and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.
ANYONE can do grandeur, but it takes a special literary skill to make squalor grand. Early in the 20th century, James Joyce exalted the beer-swilling, kidney-chomping denizens of Dublin into heroic figures. Early in the current century, Tasmanian author Richard Flanagan succeeded Joyce in both narrative style and substance with "Gould's Book of Fish," a delirious spectacle of pain and degradation in a subequatorial prison colony.
BOOKS
April 14, 2002 | SUSAN SALTER REYNOLDS
Question: How did you come to this story? Answer: Ten years ago, I was shown a volume by a convict forger. I thought of that man, and I wanted to write a book that got into the eyes of the fish he had painted. But the rest of it is mysterious. In a certain moment you find a way of expressing both humor and anguish on a larger scale, and then you are wrenched from this world that you live in. Q: And where is that?
BOOKS
April 14, 2002 | CAROLINE FRASER, Caroline Fraser is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books, among other publications.
Surely one of the most eccentric novels to appear in recent years, "Gould's Book of Fish: A Novel in 12 Fish" by Tasmanian writer Richard Flanagan, rivals other ambitiously weird fictional works of our time.
BOOKS
March 12, 2000 | PETER GREEN, Peter Green is the author of "Alexander to Actium" and "The Laughter of Aphrodite." He is the former fiction critic of the London Daily Telegraph
Despite reason and common sense, the Antipodes retain a kind of upside-down weirdness for many of us in the northern hemisphere. Australia is not only Down Under but home to alien creatures with odd names and idiosyncratic anatomies: quolls, potaroos, wombats, wallabies, platypuses. The continent crouches in our atlas like one of its own marsupials, with Tasmania as its snout.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 23, 2002 | MARK SWED, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In his new novel, "Gould's Book of Fish," Tasmanian writer Richard Flanagan memorably labels Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" as "that vile anthem of contemporary retailing." Is Bach's Partita in D Minor for solo violin, with its extraordinary chaconne movement at the end, next in line to subliminally convince shoppers about the quality of high-end goods? Played in a pretentious restaurant, perhaps the partita might now put diners in the mood to order the older pinot noir.
BOOKS
April 21, 2002
*--* Southern California Rating FICTION Last Week Weeks on List *--* *--* 1 ATONEMENT by Ian McEwan (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday: $26) A 1 5 haunting novel of guilt and redemption that follows several lives through the chaos of England in World War II 2 THE NANNY DIARIES by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus 6 6 (St. Martin's: $24.95) The travails of an overworked and underappreciated Park Avenue caregiver 3 THE SUMMONS by John Grisham (Doubleday: $27.
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