I met Philip Roth after I had published a short book about his work for the Methuen Contemporary Writers Series. He read the book and wrote me a generous […]
I first became aware of Eduard Limonov, modern Russia’s most uncompromising writer and politician, during an extended visit to Moscow in the mid-1990s. Back then he was the firebrand head of […]
“I can feel the heat closing in, feel them out there making their moves.” So starts “Naked Lunch,” the touchstone novel by William S. Burroughs. That hardboiled riff, spoken by a junkie on the run, introduces a mélange of “episodes, misfortunes, and adventures,
Reviewing a biography of Borges for the New York Times in 2004, David Foster Wallace took issue with “the idea … that we can’t correctly interpret a piece of verbal art unless we know the personal and/or psychological circumstances surrounding its creation”. For a writer as good as Borges, he argued, “the stories so completely transcend their motive facts that the biographical facts become, in the deepest and most literal way, irrelevant.”
The French, who are notoriously divided on literary matters, all seem to agree: there are few great writers in France today, and Emmanuel Carrère is one of them. Carrère writes nonfiction, or what he calls “nonfiction novels.
The works of Russia’s golden age of prose literature were written against a background of czarist autocracy. Falling generally within the realist framework, the masterworks of this era exhibit a strong bent toward mysticism, brooding introspection, and melodrama.
The year is 1991 and the narrator of Paul Kwiatkowski’s debut novel “And Every Day was Overcast” is searching for a way out of his life amid swamps and strip malls of South Florida. In this way, the narrator (also named Paul) is every teenager — searching for identity, meaning, love, acceptance.