Its practically taboo these days to say aloud, or even whisper, what we all know to be true: reading is hard. And its not just genre enthusiasts or publishers with dollar signs in their eyes who would make the case for fiction as easy entertainment instead. You dont have to look far at all to find writers, even highbrow authors, who trumpet the cause of fun reading.
Theres no authors note in David Winterss collection of reviews, Infinite Fictions: Essays on Literature and Theory, and, actually, its pretty difficult to find out anything about Winters apart from the quick squib on the back of the book: hes a Cambridgebased literary critic, and a co-editor-in-chief of 3:AM Magazine.
Daniel Borzutzky’s new book of poems, The Performance of Becoming Human (the latest from indefatigable Brooklyn Arts Press, soldiering on for nearly a decade now) can be quoted so as to suggest that it is merely the latest in a recent string of literary apocalypses, all of imaginative provenance (storm, zombies, aliens, meteors, plague, etc.), but all relying on the sadly pessimistic belief that we’re basically fucked.
Diamonds and Deadlines is gloriously hard to describe. Ostensibly, it is a biography of the most influential woman youve never heard of, Miriam Leslie. However, the application of any particular moniker to Miriams remarkableand sometimes checkeredcareer is to overlook critical facets of her life.
And now, as though to spit in the eye of every film critic to publish a word in the New York Times or The New Yorker, Ander Monson offers a book-length close read of John McTiernans Predator (1987).
Generally speaking, poems are monolingual. That is, what a poem has to say is generally held to be specific enough to be fixed to a singular language event.
A review of a book of reviews probably can't avoid exhibiting, in the end, the weird quality that years ago used to get called po-mo or metawhich means, sort of, that it is destined to become a review about reviews, a review about itself.
In breadth and skill, insight and innovation, Dear Miss Metropolitan takes its place alongside Roberto Bolaños 2666 among the most profound works of literature to have emerged from crimes so horrific they became international sensations. Years in the making, emerging from a mind transformed by decades in a chrysalis, the book leaves one heaving a glorious sigh, feeling that it was well worth the wait, and harboring a secret hope that the next cocoon will crack more quickly.
Half the people here are probably here because of Breaking Bad, the woman next to me said, as the Neil Simon Theatre filled in and we waited for the start of a matinee showing of All the Way, written by a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and directed by a man whose productions, last season, won both inaugural Edward H. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History awards.