In the City: Random Acts of Awareness , by Colette Brooks. W.W. Norton & Company, 111 pages, $23.95.
To be a critic is to be a snob, but to do the job right, the critic must stifle his snobbery, or at least disguise it. The reviewer’s noble aim is to evaluate books on the Read More
Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word , by Randall Kennedy. Pantheon, 226 pages, $22.
Nigger . The word is surprisingly easy to type. Don’t try saying it out loud, though-not unless you have a good lawyer or a ton of street cred; used carelessly, it spreads enduring pain and anger; used as invective, Read More
Cassada , by James Salter. Counterpoint, 208 pages, $25.
“Exquisite macho”–you’d think it would be an oxymoron, or at the very least involve a hideously uncomfortable contortion. But James Salter, fighter pilot turned literary novelist, famous for his “rare” and “ravishing” prose, pulls it off with élan, with impeccable style, hardly hinting at the brute Read More
Cherry , by Mary Karr. Viking, 276 pages, $24.95.
Should the making of memoirs be the aim of our existence, or an accident that happens when talent and an unusual story coincide?
Maybe it’s unfair to blame memoir madness on Mary Karr, even though the jacket copy of her new book boasts precisely that Read More