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Richard Powers

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NEWS
August 23, 1993 | MICHAEL HARRIS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Richard Powers, walking encyclopedia, bleeding heart, Doomsday crier--and one of our most talented young novelists--has set his latest tale of apocalypse right here in "Angel City." Civilization's crumbling edge is the pediatric ward of a county hospital, where dying children and those who care for them are in desperate search of a healing fiction, a new myth to make sense of senseless tragedy.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 18, 2014 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Can we finally get beyond the Great American Novel ? It's the fantasy of an earlier America, like Manifest Destiny. And yet, to read Harvard professor Lawrence Buell's “American Literature's Holy Grail : Franzen, DFW and the Hunt for the Great American Novel” in Salon over the weekend was to experience a cognitive dissonance, as if the shaggy monster he portrays were somehow real. Buell's essay is excerpted from his book “The Dream of the Great American Novel” (Harvard University Press: 584 pp., $39.95)
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BOOKS
September 29, 1991 | Michael Harris, Harris is a Times staff writer
Let's begin with the "Youngblood Hawke" theory of fiction, promulgated by the hero of a forgotten Herman Wouk novel. To engage us seriously, says Hawke, a rumpled, expansive young writer modeled on Thomas Wolfe, a story must offer the equivalent of a "lovely, helpless girl tied to the railroad tracks . . . the wind blowing her skirts up around those pretty legs . . . and that train thundering around the mountain pass."
ENTERTAINMENT
January 16, 2014 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
It's tempting to read Richard Powers' 11th novel "Orfeo" through the filter of the present: surveillance, genomes, government control. The story of a 70-year-old composer named Peter Els, who becomes known as the "biohacker Bach" after police find a do-it-yourself genetics lab in his suburban Pennsylvania tract house, the book appears as timely as an Internet meme. It doesn't hurt that the American security state and its excesses are a driving presence in the narrative; "The moment he used his credit card," Powers writes of Els, "or withdrew more cash from an ATM, they had his coordinates.
BOOKS
March 20, 1988 | RICHARD EDER
If the world is irremediably crooked, an irremediably straight man must end up cracked. That is heroism, perhaps; but what about the children? How am I to live? is the implicit question they put to their parents; and a parent destroyed even in a good cause has given an answer so terrible as to approach betrayal. Can his children understand him, first of all; and then forgive him? Can they understand and forgive themselves? It is the central question in "The Prisoner's Dilemma."
BOOKS
February 23, 2003 | Lee Siegel, Lee Siegel is a contributing writer to Book Review and the recipient of the 2002 National Magazine Award for reviews and criticism.
"Only connect," E.M. Forster famously wrote in his novel "Howard's End," meaning that hope for humanity lies in the sympathetic bond between people. But the words might serve ironically as the motto for our present moment, in which the connection between facts that are provided by information seems to matter even more than the connection between people that is nourished by human feeling. Information is a good thing.
BOOKS
June 18, 1995 | RICHARD EDER
Richard Powers' people are ideas and his ideas are people; and so, right away, he sets himself apart from writers who sketch an engaging intellectual path but don't find characters to tread it. "Galatea 2.2" is about a man who programs an artificial intelligence system only to find it is more human than he is. Powers' characters and ideas are all over the place. Their engagement is whole-hearted, the results are uncertain.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 18, 2014 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Can we finally get beyond the Great American Novel ? It's the fantasy of an earlier America, like Manifest Destiny. And yet, to read Harvard professor Lawrence Buell's “American Literature's Holy Grail : Franzen, DFW and the Hunt for the Great American Novel” in Salon over the weekend was to experience a cognitive dissonance, as if the shaggy monster he portrays were somehow real. Buell's essay is excerpted from his book “The Dream of the Great American Novel” (Harvard University Press: 584 pp., $39.95)
ENTERTAINMENT
January 16, 2014 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
It's tempting to read Richard Powers' 11th novel "Orfeo" through the filter of the present: surveillance, genomes, government control. The story of a 70-year-old composer named Peter Els, who becomes known as the "biohacker Bach" after police find a do-it-yourself genetics lab in his suburban Pennsylvania tract house, the book appears as timely as an Internet meme. It doesn't hurt that the American security state and its excesses are a driving presence in the narrative; "The moment he used his credit card," Powers writes of Els, "or withdrew more cash from an ATM, they had his coordinates.
SPORTS
September 27, 2012 | By Mike DiGiovanna
Mike Scioscia fell in love with Garrett Richards' power arm in August, moving the rookie to the bullpen believing he could provide the kind of boost starter-turned-reliever Kelvim Escobar gave the Angels during their 2005 run to the American League championship series. That love, at times, has gone unrequited. In a span of four batters during the decisive seventh inning Thursday, Richards walked Trayvon Robinson with the bases loaded, gave up a run-scoring single to Kyle Seager, a sacrifice fly to Jesus Montero and an RBI double to John Jaso.
SPORTS
September 27, 2012 | By Mike DiGiovanna
Mike Scioscia fell in love with Garrett Richards' power arm in August, moving the rookie to the bullpen believing he could provide the kind of boost starter-turned-reliever Kelvim Escobar gave the Angels during their 2005 run to the American League championship series. That love, at times, has gone unrequited. In a span of four batters during the decisive seventh inning Thursday, Richards walked Trayvon Robinson with the bases loaded, gave up a run-scoring single to Kyle Seager, a sacrifice fly to Jesus Montero and an RBI double to John Jaso.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 4, 2009 | David L. Ulin, Ulin is book editor for The Times.
Generosity An Enhancement Richard Powers Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 296 pp., $25 Is there a biological basis to happiness? A genetic marker that disposes us toward joy? Such questions are at the heart of Richard Powers' 10th novel, "Generosity: An Enhancement," the story of Thassadit Amzwar, a 23-year-old Algerian woman living in Chicago who seems incapable of sadness -- until she becomes a media sensation and is slowly but irrevocably pushed to the edge. Thassa is a refugee, a survivor of enormous tragedy, and yet her enthusiasm is so infectious that it appears an emotional dysfunction.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 10, 2006 | Kevin Berger, Special to The Times
RICHARD POWERS has no idea whether his fame spiked in America after he won the 2006 National Book Award for fiction last month. He didn't stay in the country long enough to find out. Four days after the New York ceremony, the 49-year-old Illinois novelist jetted to Germany for a week of auditorium readings and TV interviews. It was a trip scheduled not because his ninth novel, "The Echo Maker," had won the big award but because, he said from Frankfurt, "It's like I'm a rock star here."
BOOKS
October 1, 2006 | Albert Mobilio, Albert Mobilio's most recent book of poems is "Me With Animal Towering." He is fiction editor for Bookforum.
"I am No One / but Tonight on North Line Road / GOD led me to you / so You could Live / and bring back someone else." This cryptic note found on the hospital bed stand of an accident victim plays a key role in Richard Powers' ninth novel, "The Echo Maker."
HOME & GARDEN
April 6, 2006 | Bettijane Levine
This book offers yet another trendy interior design peg on which to hang a pseudoaesthetic hat. "Tropical Minimal" is exactly what its name implies. It requires a special location (tropical), a minimalist bent (think Philippe Starck or Ludwig Mies van der Rohe), and enough money to hire the architects, builders and interior designers who will make the project worthy of inclusion in a book like this. This is not an easy task.
BOOKS
February 23, 2003 | Lee Siegel, Lee Siegel is a contributing writer to Book Review and the recipient of the 2002 National Magazine Award for reviews and criticism.
"Only connect," E.M. Forster famously wrote in his novel "Howard's End," meaning that hope for humanity lies in the sympathetic bond between people. But the words might serve ironically as the motto for our present moment, in which the connection between facts that are provided by information seems to matter even more than the connection between people that is nourished by human feeling. Information is a good thing.
HOME & GARDEN
April 6, 2006 | Bettijane Levine
This book offers yet another trendy interior design peg on which to hang a pseudoaesthetic hat. "Tropical Minimal" is exactly what its name implies. It requires a special location (tropical), a minimalist bent (think Philippe Starck or Ludwig Mies van der Rohe), and enough money to hire the architects, builders and interior designers who will make the project worthy of inclusion in a book like this. This is not an easy task.
BOOKS
October 1, 2006 | Albert Mobilio, Albert Mobilio's most recent book of poems is "Me With Animal Towering." He is fiction editor for Bookforum.
"I am No One / but Tonight on North Line Road / GOD led me to you / so You could Live / and bring back someone else." This cryptic note found on the hospital bed stand of an accident victim plays a key role in Richard Powers' ninth novel, "The Echo Maker."
NEWS
July 11, 2000 | MICHAEL HARRIS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Richard Powers' seventh novel is the story of two empty rooms, one in Seattle, one in Beirut. Each is as small as a walk-in closet and as vast as the universe. The human imagination alone can fill them--but at what cost? In the late 1980s, a New York artist, Adie Klarpol, is recruited by an old college friend, Steve Spiegel, to work in "the Cavern," a pioneering virtual-reality lab.
BOOKS
June 21, 1998 | RICHARD EDER
John Winthrop's shining city on a hill not only rests upon a graveyard, according to Richard Powers, it creates one. So have all cities done, over all time, and perhaps this opens a pinprick leak in the bladder Powers thwacks at the Calvinist props beneath the American dream. Powers is a writer of blistering intellect; he has only to think about a subject and the paint curls off. He is a novelist of ideas and a novelist of witness, and in both respects he has few American peers.
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