Archive for August, 2013

Weekend recs

The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti (2008) A plucky orphan with one hand and a deep conscience navigates colonial New England with a supporting cast of grotesque, mysterious and occasionally redeemable characters. Among them are a loyal murderer, an artistic dwarf, an ailing widow and a scoundrel lover, all crowding and competing in a vibrant […]

Elastic time: Open City

Cross-posted from From its first sentence I had a hunch that Teju Cole’s Open City (2011) would have been a perfect fit for the Writing New York syllabus Cyrus Patell and I tinkered with for almost a decade, and when we eventually take up the course again — Inshalla — I take very seriously […]

Family portrait

The Brown sisters were photographed together every year, in the same basic positions, from 1975 to 2010.

Weekend recs

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, by Mohsin Hamid (2013) You start reading a novel you know nothing about. It’s written in the second person, which is rarely done and even more rarely done well. But as you read the story of a young man in an unnamed Asian city, you are first […]

End-of-summer book club: Teju Cole’s Open City

Looking for one last, fantastic read before summer ends? This year I’m pitching Teju Cole’s 2011 award-winning novel Open City to anyone who’ll listen. It’s brief but still feels bursting with detailed observation, beautifully written, and as important a novel I’ve read about global politics and local identity in a long, long time. Set in […]