"In my time,” one of Saul Bellow’s characters muses, “parents didn’t hesitate to speak of death. What they seldom mentioned was sex. We’ve got it the other way around.” No American novelist has written more candidly and aggressively about both than Philip Roth.
It was a cold, damp day of the kind that the Irish call summer. I’d paid my respects at the modest grave of William Butler Yeats and then meandered over to admire a narrow, windowless tower built to guard against marauding Danes a thousand years ago.
In his previous books Scott Sanders did much to deepen the public conversation about the sources and patterns that connect broken communities, damaged ecosystems and suffering individuals, and about what it will take to heal and renew things.
In this award-winning memoir, Joan Didion, a premier observer of contemporary life, witnesses death. It walks into her New York apartment on December 30, 2003, approaches the dinner table and claims her husband of 40 years, John Gregory Dunne, who falls dead of a heart attack. Didion presents with dry clarity what happens in the year after that.
This is the fourth collection of poetry published by Mary Karr, who also authored The Liars’ Club, her best-selling memoir. Formerly an “undiluted agnostic,” she converted to Catholicism in 1996. In an afterword Karr says that what drew her to the Catholic faith is its carnality.