William Shakespeare


The Year of Lear, by James Shapiro

From our 21st-century perch, Wil­liam Shakespeare seems more reclusive than ever.


Haunting particularities

A review of Marilynne Robinson

To meet others as God meets us—prickly and imprecise and difficult though we may sometimes be—is a kind of grace.


Gertrude and Claudius, by John Updike

John Updike's 19th novel, plotted as a "prequel" to Shakespeare's Hamlet, is a beautifully crafted, captivating story. Updike owes much of his thematic treatment to Shakespeare and to modern Shakespeare scholarship, but it is his own fertile imagination that generates the novel's compelling narrative. This is his best book since The Witches of Eastwick.