Alibis We Live By

James Polchin explores how writing can reshape what we know about our past and ourselves in his review of Alibis: Essays on Elsewhere by Andre Aciman. What happens after the essay is written? This was the question that André Aciman raised a couple of weeks ago in a talk at The Jewish Museum in New… Read more »

In Praise of the Dilettante

Matt Longabucco considers Geoff Dyer’s dilettante ways in his new collection, Otherwise Known as the Human Condition: Selected Essays and Reviews.  There’s something special about a great book you manage to find in a bookstore abroad. After all, you’re usually at your wit’s end, somehow, wandering the city, looking around at the silent art in the… Read more »

The Protesters and the Poets

Carley Moore looks at political purpose of a poet today in her review of A Journey with Two Maps: Becoming a Woman Poet by Eavan Bolandy. In mid-October, when the Occupy Movement was taking off, my husband and I made a few hastily scrawled signs, affixed them to our daughter’s stroller, and went to participate in our… Read more »

The intimate Orwell?

Simon Leys reviews two new collections of George Orwell’s diaries and letters @ New York Review of Books.The intimate Orwell? For an article dealing with a volume of his diaries and a selection of his letters, at first such a title seemed appropriate; yet it could also be misleading inasmuch as it might suggest an… Read more »

To live is to feel powerless and to be angry about it

Leora Skolkin-Smith reviews Jose Saramago’s last essays @ Quarterly Conversation. In September of 2008, at the age of eighty-five, Jose Saramago began to write a blog. His wife, watching him suffer the restlessness and anxiety of advanced age, had suggested to him that he try doing something challenging, as his traveling and own writing were… Read more »