It is a safe bet that bad things are going to happen when the central character of a novel argues for - and imposes - a paperless office. What author sitting down to write fiction could possibly write approvingly of paperlessness? Certainly not Robert Harris: He is a former writer for the British newspapers the Observer and the Sunday Times, and the author of seven previous novels (including "The Ghost Writer"), so his career has been devoted to words on paper.
The venerable New Yorker magazine is a bit like Gaulstown House, the ramshackle Irish country seat of George Rochfort, immortalized in verse by his friend, the poet Jonathan Swift: It is just half a blessing, and just half a curse - / I wish then, dear George, it were better or worse.
In 2005, Joan Didion published "The Year of Magical Thinking," a masterful and very sad account of her grief over the sudden death of her husband of 40 years, writer John Gregory Dunne, on the second-to-last day of 2003.
A serious biography of Eleanor Medill "Cissy" Patterson was long overdue. During the 1940s, she was part of the "royal family of American journalism." A descandent of abolitionistJoseph Medill, owner of the Chicago Tribune, sister of Joe Medill Patterson of the New York Daily News and cousin to Col. Robert R. McCormick of the Chicago Tribune, she outshone them all with her flamboyance, grit and intelligence.
In 1987, The Washington Post published a three-part series on the sons of Ernest Hemingway, written by then-staff writer Paul Hendrickson. During the intervening decades and several books later, the Hemingways continued to germinate in the author's mind.
The fourth of Robert A. Caro's Lyndon Johnson books is coming out in May. And a fifth volume will be written for what was supposed to be a three-, then four-part series.
Robert A. Caro's quest to narrate the life of Lyndon B. Johnson, and document how Johnson handled and created political power, has lasted longer than LBJ's time in government.
Robert A. Caro's quest to narrate the life of Lyndon Johnson, and document how Johnson handled and created political power, has lasted longer than LBJ's time in government.
Early in Julian Barnes' novel "The Sense of an Ending," a teacher asks, "What is history?" London teenager Tony Webster answers, "History is the lies of the victors." Tony's brilliant friend, Adrian Finn, "a tall, shy boy," answers the same question with "History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation."