Freddy and Fredericka, by Mark Helprin. The Penguin Press, 553
do you go, after 58 years of life, when you’ve graduated from Harvard and
Oxford, written four critically adored novels and three story collections—not
to mention three children’s books—won the Prix de Rome, been called a literary
The hit play of the London season is Alan Bennett’s hilarious and touching The History Boys , brilliantly directed by Nicholas Hytner at the National Theatre, and I can only hope all the exciting talk about its transfer to Broadway comes true. Put simply, Mr. Bennett has written a wonderful play about England. Put less Read More
N.Y.U. law professor reviews Afghan constitution; After Jihad author is nice Jewish Muslim expert in black leather ankle boots.
When you’re a nice Jewish boy with a Ph.D. in Islamic thought from Oxford who teaches at New York University Law School and advises the United States government on how to bring democracy to the Muslim Read More
I don’t know why this should make me so upset. I do not want to go to war. I abhor violence and killing and have no overwhelming need to prove my manhood. I like guns, but the only things I shoot are targets or clay pigeons. And yet, I feel like I could cry at Read More
I come reeling a bit from Tom Stoppard’s dazzling The Invention of Love , his new play at the Lyceum that begins so brilliantly–with a nod to Aristophanes–when the dead A.E. Housman, poet and scholar, is rowed over the Styx by the sometimes jolly boatman Charon. “Look alive, then! Get it?” says Charon, hurrying the Read More
The sight of the two women planing their thumbs along the Amagansett beach road took a few moments to register.
I had not seen a hitchhiker in some 20 years. This was partly a function of having moved from the Midwest to the city, but I also think that the notion of hitchhiking as Read More
The Monica interview, like Monica Lewinsky herself, has now been much chewed over and sits among us like an old doggy bone, unraveling, splintering while everyone waits for someone else to take it off the living room rug. Bear with me for a little more nibbling. I was interested in the President’s statement to her, Read More
Elegy for Iris: A Memoir , by John Bayley. St. Martin’s Press, 276 pages, $22.95.
My sister and I have a pact. If either one of us falls into a coma or is otherwise incapacitated, the other will step in to pluck her eyebrows and the occasional chin hair and to make sure her teeth Read More
Actually, it’s not my very first lesson, it’s my first since my freshman year at Yale when–after five years of Latin–I hit the wall. Gave up, frustrated by the conflict between my awareness of the dazzling, voluptuously seductive beauty of the elegies of Propertius and Tibullus, my awe at the incomparable works of Catullus, which Read More
Last Notes From the First Visit: This watcher from the shadows prepared for the descent on these parts of the Fondler in Chief by seeing Saving Private Ryan . It is a very good World War II movie, of the kind the studios turned out with regularity in the late 40′s and 50′s, but if Read More