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Marc Weingarten

Norelco man

Hunter S. Thompson and His Gonzo Tapes

We still aren’t entirely sure about Hunter S. Thompson. His personal life has certainly been exhumed, er, to death, thanks to the post-suicide cottage industry of biographies, personal reminiscences and documentaries that have sprung up like dandelions around a gravestone. We do know, for example, that Thompson was a philanderer......

Jim Krusoe's Satirical Girl Factory

Suburban satire is a tricky proposition. The author who dares to wade in its treacherous waters finds him- or herself trying to send up the mores of suburbia without resorting to the familiar tropes that can be found in TV shows like Desperate Housewives and Weeds, as well as the......
The young British novelist as critic; Credit: Elina Simonen

Adam Thirlwell's Delighted States of literary criticism

At a time when literary criticism is getting the boot in print media, and factually challenged wags on countless book blogs seethe with score-settling enmity, 30-year-old Adam Thirlwell is a refreshing throwback to the thoughtful man of letters who hides his radical heart behind the worn lapels of a tweed......
Credit: Caroline Pennypacker Riggs

Into the Wild: Janet Sarbanes and Leni Zumas

This is shaping up to be a banner year for short stories. Thus far, we’ve been graced with a stunning greatest-hits collection from Tobias Wolff, a virtuosic and psychologically complex debut from Vietnamese writer Nam Le, and the long-awaited return of Max Apple to fiction writing with The Jew of......

The Story of a Marriage: Gay Love in the Time of Eisenhower

In his fourth novel, The Story of a Marriage, Andrew Sean Greer ponders the complications of gay love in Eisenhower’s America. Of course, Todd Haynes got there before him, with Far From Heaven, his debunking exercise in Sirk-ian soap opera. Like Haynes, Greer lavishes much attention on the quaint surface......
Who's afraid of Tobias Wolff stories?

Tobias Wolff: Where Our Story Begins

When it comes to mapping the calibrations of the human heart, no writer working today is as exacting a cartographer as Tobias Wolff. Bucking the modernist tide, Wolff writes shapely short stories with structural integrity about ordinary people with desperation haunting their souls. No meditative drift or open-ended conclusions for......

Green Dreams: Lydia Millet's How the Dead Dream

If Lydia Millet played by the normal rules of social satire, she might have been as large as T.C. Boyle by now. But whereas most satirists are looking for laughs much of the time, regardless of how sharp their knives might be, Millet is more the whimsical polemicist. Her novels......