Search View Archive


FICTION: Tragedy with a Gentle Hand

It’s no lie, Oscar H. Bennett can write. “His brother lay on the front porch, on the old warped boards, eyes fixed on the bare bulb that hung above him. He was exposed lying there as if he were naked, because that is how it must feel when people can stare at you and you can’t stare back.”

FICTION: Soviet Caesars and State Raincoats

On the heels of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall comes a new translation of one of the most beloved and quotable Russian classics—The Golden Calf by Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov.

NON-FICTION: The Head Dead

Did you know that Hunter Thompson was talking to his wife on the phone when he blew his brains across the room? That you’re much more likely to kill yourself on a Monday than a Saturday? That before he intentionally overdosed on morphine, Sigmund Freud’s cancer-infested mouth emanated a gangrenous odor so foul even his dog wouldn’t go near him?

FICTION: Stairs and Flourishes

Joanna Howard’s lapidary debut On the Winding Stair is an escalier spiraling with brocaded lyricism, alternately swathed in darkness and bathed in phosphorescence.

NON-FICTION: Down for Account

It was a cold, foggy New England night in June 1979. 32-year-old journalist Robert Sabbag, whose debut Snowblind had recently earned him a spot on the New York Times’ bestseller list and permanent cult status as a preeminent chronicler of counterculture lore, was en route from LaGuardia to Cape Cod in a 19-passenger twin-engine jet. He never made it.

FICTION: It Was Better Not to Be Born at All

In her first novel, Living Room, Rachel Sherman singles out the most repulsive of her characters’ experiences: diarrhea, oral sex on a flaccid old penis, suicide flashbacks, screaming matches, and alcohol poisoning. These are experiences which could mark a book as gritty or realistic, but because the characters living them feel unexplored, the ugliness reads as false and gratuitous.


Maggie Nelson gives me a boinker. Her brain and her pussy are both talking in this genre-busting hybrid. Lyrical, philosophical, at times off color and always searching, our heroine’s magnetic persona grabs you.


On September 15th 1959, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev was greeted by President Eisenhower and a 21-gun-salute at Andrews Air Force Base. Crowds predictably gathered in Washington in anticipation as the two leaders were driven into the city.

In Conversation with H. M. Naqvi

“We’d become Japs, Jews, Niggers. We weren’t before. We fancied ourselves boulevardiers, raconteurs, renaissance men, AC, Jimbo, and me. We were mostly self-invented and self-made and certain we had our fingers on the pulse of the great global dialectic.”


“The cool is dead,” says Ted Gioia. Instead, “the future belongs to a different personality type, marked by earnestness, sincerity, skepticism, simplicity, and hard-nosed assertiveness.”


The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 09-JAN 10

All Issues