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Albert Cossery: A Splendid Conspiracy

Albert Cossery, according  to the write-ups I’ve read of this book, has been called “the Voltaire of the Nile.”  Egyptian by birth, he moved to France when he was around seventeen and lived there until his death, in 2008, at the age of ninety-four.  Despite the long separation between Cossery…

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Jonathan Franzen: “Agreeable”

Click here to read the story in its entirety on The New Yorker webpage. Jonathan Franzen’s “Agreeable” was originally published in the May 31, 2010 issue of The New Yorker. I really liked this story from its first, strange paragraph — which leads to this nice line, “Patty grew up in…

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Edith Wharton: The House of Mirth

It has been only a few weeks since I last read Edith Wharton; I enjoyed Ethan Frome so much I just couldn’t hold out any longer to read The House of Mirth (1905), Wharton’s first major success.  I picked up this copy when, almost exactly one year ago this week,…

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P.G. Wodehouse: The Code of the Woosters

This is going to be a short review.  If you’re familiar with Wodehouse, you won’t need my recommendation to read more — you’ve beat me to it.  If you haven’t, the bottom line is that you should.  My own first experience with Wodehouse was just last year, and Leave It…

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Lost Man Booker Winner

J.G. Farrell’s Troubles has the Lost Man Booker Prize by winning the popular vote (by a landslide — 38% of the vote against five other competitors).  I think Troubles is an excellent choice.  I might have voted for it myself, had I voted.  I might have voted had there been a…

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Roddy Doyle: “Ash”

Click here to read the story in its entirety on The New Yorker webpage. Roddy Doyle’s “Ash” was originally published in the May 24, 2010 issue of The New Yorker. I haven’t read Roddy Doyle before, though I have tried to read a short story or two. This is the first…

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Henry James: Daisy Miller

I always enjoyed reading and read a lot growing up.  Still, I think one of my first truly literary experiences was when I first read Daisy Miller (1879).  Though I had read some excellent books from excellent authors, Daisy Miller, for whatever reason, was the first one where I was truly…

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The Clock at the Biltmore — Jean Stafford: “Children Are Bored on Sunday”

Jean Stafford is a name I’ve heard often but I have never gotten to know her work.  I noticed that later this year NYRB Classics is releasing her 1947 book The Mountain Lion.  Checking out The New Yorker I found that she was a prolific contributor with a couple dozen…

Butchers-Crossing

John Williams: Butcher’s Crossing

Trevor reviews John Williams’s 1960 novel, Butcher’s Crossing. Read the full post.

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Nathan Englander: “Free Fruit for Young Widows”

Click here to read the story in its entirety on The New Yorker webpage. Nathan Englander’s “Free Fruit for Young Widows” was originally published in the May 17, 2010 issue of The New Yorker. I actually read this story last Wednesday (it is now Monday). My delay in posting comments is…

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Edith Wharton: Ethan Frome

Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence is one of the best books I’ve ever read.  Since I read it, I’m sorry to say but helpless to change, it has become one of those books I use when unintentionally guaging how well I’ll get along with someone: Did you like The Age of Innocence?  If…

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Dagoberto Gilb: “Uncle Rock”

Click here to read the story in its entirety on The New Yorker webpage. Dagoberto Gilb’s “Uncle Rock” was originally published in the May 10, 2010 issue of The New Yorker. This story surprised me. I didn’t think, at first, that I would like it. The narrative closely follows the consciousness of…

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Michael Frayn: Spies

A few months ago I finally ventured into the novels of Michael Frayn with Headlong, his wonderful novel about a lost Brugel painting.  I loved that novel so much that I knew it wouldn’t take me nearly as long to read another.  I didn’t know quite where to go, though. …

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The Clock at the Biltmore — William Maxwell: “Two Old Tales About Men and Women”

I loved and still love William Maxwell’s So Long, See You Tomorrow.  I think it is a classic of American literature and should be more widely read.  So, when looking toward my next glimpse into the archives of The New Yorker for this feature, I wondered whether Maxwell had ever published…