Frederick Reiken's complicated and absorbing third novel, Day for Night, opens as though it were a far more conventional book: On a trip to Florida in 1984, Beverly Rabinowitz, her boyfriend and his son go on a manatee-watching expedition; Tim Birdsey, their young guide, makes an unexpectedly deep
Reading America's destiny in the entrails of its foreign-policy doctrines and wars is no job for amateurs. But in The Icarus Syndrome, Peter Beinart—a Yale-to-Oxford-to-Beltway wunderkind who flew too close to the sun of liberal-hawk glory while he edited the New Republic during the Iraq war—pirouettes
There are more Christians in the United States than in any other country in world history, but much of Christianity makes us queasy. Many of our megachurch preachers choke on the word sin, and when politicians talk of "evildoers" they seem to be speaking a dead language. It's easy to forget, in this
Two broadsides against American intellectuals after 9/11 hit harder than most. The first came from Paul Berman, who, in Terror and Liberalism (2003), chastised his fellow liberals for turning a blind eye to the fascist roots of "Muslim totalitarianism." The second came from Tony Judt, who denounced
In his new book, Paco Underhill, a longtime student of consumer behavior, evinces a particular aversion to the word woman. He prefers instead "the female of the species" or "the female of the household" or "the female of the house." The female of the species, we learn, behaves in a specific, predictable
In the 1960s, John Waters was an admirer of a lesbian stripper in Baltimore named Lady Zorro. "She just came out nude and snarled at her fans, 'What the fuck are you looking at?' To this day," Waters writes in his splendid new book, "Zorro is my inspiration." This kind of dual portraiture surfaces
Rilke has had plenty of remarkable translators, most famously, Stephen Mitchell. All have produced fine versions of Rilke's unrelentingly intense and sculptural poems, but only Edward Snow has tuned his ear to most or all of Rilke's body of work.