book Book Lovers Archives

Arts of the Possible: Essays and Conversations

Issue No. 48 ~ May, 2001

Reading Arts of the Possible will convince you (if you weren’t already convinced) that Adrienne Rich is the kind of thinker who has long term relationships with her ideas.  Written over a span of three decades, the essays in this collection return again and again …

Among Women

Issue No. 47 ~ April, 2001

What does it mean to be among women? As an insider, or as an outsider? By necessity or by choice? Does being among women mean being in community, or being alone? Jason Shinder’s new poetry collection approaches these questions obliquely. Although his language is simple, …

Nothing Personal

Issue No. 47 ~ April, 2001

There is promise for Jason Starr, but this book doesn’t quite get in touch with it yet. In what is supposedly a noir-thriller setting, one encounters David Sussman, a successful advertising agent with (of course) a less-than-successful personal life. He never sees his daughter, his …

The Guest From the Future

Issue No. 47 ~ April, 2001

The Guest from the Future is a difficult book to classify. It comprises a goodly amount of literary criticism, and the bulk of the work focuses on the life of Anna Akhmatova, yet the author informs us in the preface that “[t]his book is not …

Hooking Up

Issue No. 46 ~ March, 2001

A number of years ago I attended a gathering where I met author Tom Wolfe. I told The Man in White in all honesty that his creative nonfiction masterwork, The Right Stuff, was one of the best books I have ever read. My comment was …

Speech! Speech!

Issue No. 46 ~ March, 2001

Because Geoffrey Hill is an Important Poet, I came to Speech! Speech! prepared to invest whatever energy the book required in order that I might achieve understanding of what I was certain would be a literary masterpiece. I failed, or else Hill failed, because I’m …

Love, etc.

Issue No. 46 ~ March, 2001

I…deal in subjective truth–so much more real, and more reliable, than the other sort… Julian Barnes is, on the evidence of his novels, a man obsessed. For while his books assume different forms and deal with a range of subjects, they are all, at heart, …

The Years with Laura Díaz

Issue No. 45 ~ February, 2001

Not long after the publication of her novel The Years, Virginia Woolf attempted to explain the book to a friend. “[W]hat I meant,” she wrote, “was to give a picture of society as a whole; give characters from every side; turn them towards society, not …

The Determined Days

Issue No. 45 ~ February, 2001

Any book praised by Anthony Hecht and John Hollander is likely to be two things: fine tuned and formal. Philip Stephens’ The Determined Days is both. By “formal,” I mean that Stephens’ verse takes shape in specific and rule-bound ways, not that it is fussy …

Still Life With Oysters and Lemon

Issue No. 45 ~ February, 2001

A sharp cracking cold day, the air of the Upper East Side full of rising plumes of smoke from furnaces and steaming laundries, exhaust from the tailpipes of idling taxis, flapping banners, gangs of pigeons. Here on the museum steps a flock suddenly chooses to …