Sunday, February 14, 2016


Early in The Fugitives, Christopher Sorrentino's wild yet subtle new novel, his protagonist, Sandy Mulligan, bad-mouths the film industry. Mulligan, a novelist himself, complains of hitting the Hollywood jackpot only to be ignored. The director shrugs: "It's not a comedy."
'There was a time, and it was many years ago now, when I had to stay in a hospital for almost nine weeks." So begins Elizabeth Strout's fifth novel, My Name Is Lucy Barton. One might assume that such an opening portends a narrative preoccupied with sickness and recovery; Strout, however, has other pursuits in mind.
A lot of people in the Philadelphia poetry world are very happy today. On Friday morning, Mayor Kenney is scheduled to announce that Yolanda Wisher, a poet with a long history of publication and community activism, has been appointed Philadelphia poet laureate for 2016-17. The event is to include a short reading by the appointee.
The word is out: Reading is far from dead.
An intimate, obsessive, navel-gazing adventure, Jhumpa Lahiri's In Other Words is ostensibly about learning Italian. But in this, her first nonfiction book, Lahiri intriguingly and delicately moves beyond tattered dictionaries to reveal a woman struggling to accept herself, with flaws.
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