What did the Russian say to the German at the marketing conference? Something in English, most likely. As the working language of international business, science, diplomacy, and culture, English is spoken daily by millions of people whose native tongue is something else. Can the UK and the US, their
Kenzaburo Oe's novel The Changeling (translated by Deborah Bolivar Boehm) begins in a tried-and-true fashion: with a dead body and a suitcase of posthumous correspondence that may contain the secrets behind the tragedy. Internationally esteemed film director Goro Hanawa has leapt to his death from
"Comes over one an absolute necessity to move." And yet most times one does not. I was myself not moving—though the desire was there—when I met this sentence, the first in D. H. Lawrence's Sea and Sardinia. In my case, moving meant reviewing The Thief of Time, not moving meant reading Geoff Dyer's
With the title of his new survey, Early Modern Jewry: A New Cultural History, David B. Ruderman plunges into one of the central debates in the writing of Jewish history. For the most of the last 2,000 years, Jews lived as a small minority among much larger and more powerful civilizations.
There's much at stake in The First Book. The first-time author wishes to make a good impression and, if things work out, to seduce the reader. The reader, for his or her part, hopes to love the book but looks for signs of weakness. Both parties are blind—there is no track record, no laurels; there
Miguel Syjuco's wildly entertaining "Ilustrado" was the recipient of the 2008 Man Asia Literary Prize. Such awards, as readers know, all too often go to earnest, high-minded, politically correct and rather dull books. In this case, I picture the judges, weary from perusing massive laser-printed works
If you are looking to discover what singer Van Morrison was like growing up in Belfast, Northern Ireland, or what gossip former bandmates have about him, don't look for it in When That Rough God Goes Riding. Cultural critic Greil Marcus of Berkeley doesn't write biographies as much as ruminations.
In September 1966, the militant Quebec separatists Pierre Vallières and Charles Gagnon, wanted by Canadian police for a spate of bombings, came out of hiding to issue a statement at United Nations headquarters in Manhattan. Quebecers were, they declared, an oppressed group whose struggles mirrored
"I have been a kind of undercover person from birth almost," says one of the two main characters in Michael Gruber's "The Good Son," "and I am bound to offend those who like neat classifications." Not an improbable statement, coming from a major player in a spy thriller — if "The Good Son" can be