Readers who recall the big, marvelous WW Norton edition of the complete works of Isaac Babel from over a decade ago will remember the vivid, otherworldly experience of reading it, and of course a large part of that experience was the handiwork of translator Peter Constantine, who has now, intriguingly, turned his hand to translating one of the strangest and most fundamental works of the Western canon, the Confessions of Saint Augustine.
Atlantic senior editor David Frum's new book is about more than just the appalling spectacle of the Trump candidacy and presidential administration. In Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic, Frum declares a national crisis and cites Trump more as a warning symptom than the full manifestation of a disease.
Erica Garza’s new memoir about sex and porn addiction, Getting Off, is candid, quick, and as structurally clever, as commercially savvy, as it is intimate and sincere. It isn’t an addiction memoir that tries to shock, or to sustain the reader’s interest with long gruesome episodes of lowpoints or shady dealings or binges.
Brown was young when she became Vanity Fair’s editor – she turned thirty in 1983 - but she was by no means a newbie to the magazine-business. Before moving to the United States, she had been editor-in-chief at the British Tatler which she transformed from a nearly defunct 270-year old dinosaur into a successful modern society glossy.
As they should, the essays collected in The Digital Critic: Literary Culture Online offer a mixed assessment of the literary culture the Internet has both transformed and distorted. By now it is clear that online literary culture is no longer seen as an appendage to the “real,” more serious and authoritative culture originating in print but is now a fully functioning source of both literary writing and commentary about that writing—it might be argued, in fact, that it now provides the largest and most significant part of the latter.
At the start of Strangers, Joanna Berrigan is home alone in her house near Munich when she is confronted by a man who is a complete stranger to her. He has let himself into the house with a key and insists he’s Erik Thieben, her fiancé, and that they live together. As he talks, attempting familiarity, nothing he says makes sense. The more he tries to comfort, the greater her terror. Furthermore, there is nothing in the house that suggests anyone else lives there. So why, the creepier he becomes, does she feel like she’s the one who’s crazy?
“Personal space is the fundamental scaffold of human interaction,” writes Michael Graziano in his new book The Spaces Between Us. Graziano is Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at Princeton University, is studying specifically in these pages the human startle reflex and more broadly the nature and mechanics of how humans manage what he refers to as the protective 'bubble' that surrounds each person and responds to sudden stimuli before the brain can process and interpret things.
It's oddly comforting that the only lazy or derivative thing about James Lee Burke's 21st novel featuring tough-guy New Orleans sheriff's detective Dave Robicheaux is its title; there's no good reason why this latest book should be called simply Robicheaux – or alternately, no good reason why any of the previous 20 couldn't have been called that; it feels like the title you'd give the final book in your series, the one in which your hero finally heat-shots and throat-punches his way to Valhalla.
Lucy Hughes-Hallett comes to the world of fiction after writing nonfiction, including The Pike, a very good book about Italian writer and gold-plated weirdo Gabriele D'Annunzio. Her opulent new book Peculiar Ground, her debut work of fiction, is probably predictably steeped in history, split between two very different eras.