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You had me at ‘‘Goodbye’’

That feeling—of somehow souring on the Big Apple—arises again and again in Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York. The 28-essay collection is the brainchild of Hudson Valley resident and writer Sari Botton, who took her inspiration from Joan Didion's classic essay of the same name.

The Question of Being Human

In the early 1970s, a childless couple in Vermont adopts a baby chimp from a circus clown for $6,000 and begins raising him as their son.

Lasting Memory

he classical art of memory, as described by Renaissance scholar Frances Yates in her 1966 book, The Art of Memory, was “invented” by Simonides, lyric poet of ancient Greece, after the roof of a banquet hall collapsed and he, the only survivor, was able to identify the mangled corpses of his fellow revelers by the order of their arrangement around the table.

In Conversation

AMIN (A.X) AHMAD with Charlene Allen

I met Amin Ahmad at a fiction-writing workshop at The New School in New York City, where he quickly rose to stardom. Filled with nervous beginners, the class was hungry for guidance and validation.

An Unmapped Life

A few years ago, as a college student studying abroad, I spent some time backpacking through Western Europe. I slept on a rooftop in Greece, climbed cliffs that loomed over sleepy fishing towns, and sped across international borders on overnight trains.

Writing on Writing

Several years ago I had the opportunity to interview one of the doyennes of the publishing world, an editor whose critical instincts and unerring taste have earned her a loyal stable of writers whose names regularly appear on all the right kinds of lists (Best of, Bestseller, Shortlists).

In Conversation

CRIS MAZZA with Kathleen Rooney

The daring experimental feminist author Cris Mazza is not easily reduced to a collection of numbers, but here are some key stats: she is 57 years old, she is the author of 17 books, and she, like an estimated 15 percent of all women, is anorgasmic.

In Conversation


Some poets seize and refine a particular aesthetic until their procedures can take them no further. Others are more searching and allow specific projects or concepts to determine changes in their approach from book to book.

Two by Scott McClanahan

Scott McClanahan’s work is hard to encapsulate and almost impossible to ignore or fail to be swept up and in by. His writing’s a strange charismatic twinning of a faithful fervor and this almost loving skepticism.

A Spider’s Mirror

Elaine Equi, an “expansive minimalist,” is a poet who brings culture to pop culture, mixing Stendhal with sitcoms and Nietzsche with The Magnficent Seven.

Ten Years in the Tub

If you’re a ravenous Nick Hornby fan and/or a card-carrying Believer subscriber, you might already have every issue that his “Stuff I’ve Been Reading” column appears in, and maybe you’re thinking that you don’t need this book. Fine.

Visitation Street

In her second novel, Visitation Street, author Ivy Pachoda stages an urban opera within the confines of a waterfront neighborhood in mid-aughts Brooklyn.

In Conversation

SAM CABOT with Andrew Cotto

Full disclosure: I know, respectively, Carlos Dews and S.J. Rozan—the duo known as Sam Cabot, the nom de plume behind the new novel Blood of the Lamb. Carlos is an academic and an international authority on Carson McCullers; S.J. is an Edgar-winning author of Ghost Hero and twelve other novels.


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2013

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