April 17, 2014 |
No literary experience is rarer than reading a book that changes the way you see the world. "War and Peace" will change the way you look at the heroism and foibles of all men and women, from the ordinary to the exceptional. Certain novels of William Faulkner ("Light in August," "Absalom, Absalom!") succeed in elevating everyday life to the level of biblical parable. But the effect of "One Hundred Years of Solitude," Gabriel Garcia Marquez's masterpiece, is unique. Nothing I have ever read conveys as it does the magic underlying the most quotidian events and gives even the most extraordinary occurrences an air of mystical inevitability.
March 27, 2014 |
Patrick Stewart is great to follow on Twitter, even more so lately as he posts daily pics of himself and pal Ian McKellen while they count down the remaining days of their "Two Shows in Rep" run on Broadway. Stewart and McKellen playing Skee-Ball , Stewart and McKellen on a skyscraper with New York City unfolding behind them, Stewart and McKellen on the boardwalk -- all with black bowlers firmly in place. (The buddies are appearing together in a double-shot of "Waiting for Godot" and "No Man's Land" at the Cort Theatre.)
March 7, 2014 |
DEER VALLEY, Utah - Carving turns through light, puffy powder at just one of the resorts in Utah's Wasatch Range is plenty to write home about for most skiers. But to ski six of the state's premier areas in one day - linked by way of the backcountry - is a true coup, especially when the sky is a cloudless deep blue and untouched snow lines the bowls. You don't have to be an experienced mountaineer to pull this off. Schussers can navigate the route on a guided tour on the Interconnect, which starts at Deer Valley and weaves through Park City Mountain Resort, Solitude, Brighton and Alta - with dips out of bounds - before finishing at Snowbird.
February 28, 2014 |
Yiyun Li begins her second novel, "Kinder Than Solitude," in a place of endings: a crematorium. The time is the present, more or less, and a Beijing resident named Boyang waits for the ashes of his childhood friend Shaoai, dead at 43 after having been poisoned (accidentally or otherwise) 21 years before. "Who wanted her to die?" Boyang's mother asks when he visits after dropping off the woman's cremains with her family. "Who wanted to kill her back then?" These questions resonate throughout this novel, which moves fluidly between past and present, among Beijing, Massachusetts and the Bay Area, in tracing the intersecting lives of four people - Boyang, Shaoai and two other women, Ruyu and Moran - as they wrestle with both their complicity and their heritage.
September 8, 2013 |
VACAVILLE, Calif. - A few months ago, I found out that my life was about to get louder. Seeing the word "pregnant" appear on a stick can quickly change how you look at - and hear - things. With quiet and solitude about to become rare commodities, it seemed like a good time to head to Silent Stay, a monastic retreat atop a Vacaville hill about 30 miles east of Napa. The idea, basically, is to shut up while you center yourself. The concept intrigued me, so I booked the three-night minimum stay.
August 23, 2013 |
Paul Yoon's "Snow Hunters" is a novel in which little happens - not, in many ways, unlike life. This is not meant as criticism: Some of the fiction that moves me most is that with the least overt action, in which the interior rather than the exterior is at stake. That's the case here too, as Yoon explores the experiences of a man named Yohan, a North Korean who defects in the 1950s, after the Korean War. Moving back and forth between Yohan's adjustment to living in a Brazilian coastal town and his memories of childhood as well as of a period spent as a prisoner in an American hospital camp, it is a lovely novel, subtly rendered, operating "as though someone, somewhere, were dreaming this and he had crossed into it without permission.