Elizabeth Alexander Grand Central Publishing, 2015 224 pp; ISBN-13: 978-1455599875 FOUR DAYS AFTER HIS 50TH BIRTHDAY PARTY, Elizabeth Alexander’s husband, Ficre Ghebreyesus, dropped dead of a heart attack while exercising on a home treadmill. His death came as a total shock; “eminently strong of body and spirit,” he was “slim and energetic and . . […]
Chigozie Obioma Little, Brown and Company, 2015 304 pp; ISBN-13: 978-0316338370 ONE OF THE MOST REMARKABLE LITERARY DEVELOPMENTS of the past decade has been the more or less simultaneous eruption onto the world stage, after a long fallow period, of nearly a dozen popular new novelists from Africa. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, NoViolet Bulawayo, Teju Cole, […]
America’s only living Nobel Prize-winning novelist, Toni Morrison, offers her 11th novel, God Help The Child.
Gregory Pardlo Four Way (Stahlecker Selections), 2014 84 pp; ISBN-13: 978-1935536505 IN GREGORY PARDLO’S LATEST BOOK, Digest, he manages an incredible balancing act. His poems are narrative and personal; they incorporate domestic themes; they take on the father; and they manage to weave in classical references without placing his work so high on the ivory […]
Mary Kay Vaughan Duke University Press Books, 2014 pp. 304; ISBN-13: 978-0822357810 TEN YEARS AGO, historian Mary Kay Vaughan set out to research the learning experiences of youth who became involved in the 1960s student demonstrations in Mexico City. These were the same demonstrations that culminated in the infamous 1968 Tlateleloc Massacre. Then she met […]
Nelson A Denis Nation Books, 2015 400 pp; ISBN-13: 978-1568585017 April 21 MARKS THE 50th anniversary of the death of Pedro Albizu Campos. Most Americans likely haven’t heard of Albizu Campos or his plan to challenge the United States’ control of Puerto Rico. His supporters remember him as an organizer, an intellectual, and a revolutionary. […]
Ted Kooser Copper Canyon Press, 2014 96 pp; ISBN-13: 978-1556594694 ONE OF THE POEMS THAT STAYS WITH ME the most from Splitting an Order, Ted Kooser’s first new collection in ten years, is “Those Summer Evenings,” his take on Robert Hayden’s classic and much-anthologized “Those Winter Sundays.” In his characteristically laconic but nonetheless musical voice, […]
The author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Color Purple” has a deal with Simon & Schuster imprint 37 Ink to publish a selection of her private chronicles in 2017. The book is called “Gathering Blossoms Under Fire” and will be edited by Valerie Boyd. Boyd wrote a biography of Zora Neale Hurston, one of Walker’s literary idols.
Among literary agents, Andrew Wylie is as old school as they come. Dubbed “the Jackal” for his aggressive poaching of other people’s clients, his distaste for commercial fiction and his disdain for social media is legendary. He is the reigning king of the backlist, profiting mainly off classic titles rather than taking risky bets on new ones. His only criterion is enduring quality, and his client list is eye-popping: Amis, Nabokov, Bellow, Rushdie, Roth.
Filmmaker Guy Maddin is helping to create the new Icelandic mythologies in Canada.