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National Book Critics Circle Award Winners

The winners have been announced: Fiction: Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, by Ben Fountain Nonfiction: Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, by Andrew Solomon Autobiography: Swimming Studies, by Leanne Sharpton Criticism: Stranger Magic, by Marina Warner Biography: The Passage of Power, by Robert Caro Poetry: Useless Landscape, or A Guide for…

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Colm Tóibín: “Summer of ’38″

Click here to read the story in its entirety on The New Yorker webpage. Colm Tóibín’s “Summer of ’38” was originally published in the March 4, 2013 issue of The New Yorker. Trevor I’m a fan of Colm Tóibín. It’s been nearly four years since we’ve had any of his fiction…

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Friedrich Reck: Diary of a Man in Despair

Friedrich Reck was a self-proclaimed conservative who, while the Nazis held power in Germany, longed for the days of monarchy, of order and nobility. He saw the Nazis as a horde of vicious apes and, over the course of eight years, put his life in danger as he kept a kind…

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Alice Munro: “Thanks for the Ride”

“Thanks for the Ride” is the fourth story in Alice Munro’s first short story collection, Dance of the Happy Shades. For an overview with links to reviews of the other stories in this collection, please click here. Trevor “Thanks for the Ride” might, on first examination, seem slight and straightforward. Dickie,…

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Vasily Grossman: An Armenian Sketchbook

NYRB Classics has published a few books by Vasily Grossman, including Life and Fate, a book that was not published in Russia until the late 1980s, over twenty years after Grossman’s death. Life and Fate has been called his masterpiece and one of the greatest Russian novels of the twentieth century. I…

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Paul Theroux: “The Furies”

Click here to read the abstract of the story on The New Yorker webpage (this week’s story is available only for subscribers).  Paul Theroux’s “The Furies” was originally published in the February 25, 2013 issue of The New Yorker. Betsy “The Furies” reveals why so few people go to their 40th high school reunion – the badly…

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Karen Russell: “Reeling for the Empire”

“Reeling for the Empire” is the second story in Karen Russell’s second short story collection, Vampires in the Lemon Grove. For an overview with links to review of the others stories in this collection, please click here. Hmmm. After a great first story, “Vampires in the Lemon Grove” (my thoughts here), I…

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Alice Munro: “Images”

“Images” is the third story in Alice Munro’s first short story collection, Dance of the Happy Shades. For an overview with links to reviews of the other stories in this collection, please click here. Trevor “Images” takes us again to the home of the Jordan family we met in the first…

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Episode 5: Friedrich Reck’s Diary of a Man in Despair

This month, we are joined by Nick During of NYRB Classics to discuss Friedrich Reck’s political memoir, Diary of a Man in Despair. My life in this pit will soon enter its fifth year. For more than forty-two months I have thought hate, have lain down with hate in my heart,…

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Karen Russell: “Vampires in the Lemon Grove”

“Vampires in the Lemon Grove” is the first story in Karen Russell’s second short story collection, Vampires in the Lemon Grove. For an overview with links to review of the others stories in this collection, please click here. I approached this story warily. As much as I loved Russell’s strange…