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The Wages of the Present

The new Pushcart anthology of the best of the small presses is heavy on sincerity, light on cynicism; heavy on depth of feeling, light on cheap shots.

Dec 3, 2020
A Moveable Feast

“One Last Lunch,” Erica Heller’s colorful compendium of essays, gives a number of writers the chance to share a repast with their deceased friends, lovers, colleagues, occasional alter egos, and notably fathers, from Saul Bellow to John Cheever to, of course, Joseph Heller.

Nov 25, 2020
A Failure of Justice

In “On Account of Race,” Lawrence Goldstone traces Supreme Court decisions regarding voting rights from the Constitutional Convention of 1787 to the present. It is a book that challenges your faith in the independence and fairness of the high court.

Nov 19, 2020
To the Afterlife

Grace Schulman casts her steady eye on mortality in her new collection of poems, “The Marble Bed.” Or, more accurately, she casts her eye on the things around her and they describe mortality back to her. 

Nov 12, 2020
The Credibility Gap

Donald Trump is by far the most egregious liar ever to reside in the White House, but he is hardly the first, writes Eric Alterman in “Lying in State: Why Presidents Lie — and Why Trump Is Worse,” a kind of American history textbook for our unsettled times.

Nov 5, 2020
An Essayist’s Arabesques

Roger Rosenblatt’s “Cold Moon” is like an extended prose poem, with runs of free associations and streams of consciousness tackling major themes of life, death, and grief.

Oct 29, 2020
Book Markers 10.29.20

On the new books front: Suzanne McNear’s “Swimming Lessons and Other Stories” and Janet Lee Berg’s “Restitution,” a follow-up to “Rembrandt's Shadow,” historical fiction about one family’s art looted by the Nazis.

Oct 29, 2020
Strangeness in Suburbia

The character-driven second book by the singer-songwriter turned novelist Suzzy Roche is set in a Catholic enclave in Pennsylvania in 1961. It is a social satire with sympathy, realism with softened edges.

Oct 22, 2020
Major Jackson Reads for Writers Speak

The M.F.A. program in creative writing and literature at Stony Brook Southampton will welcome the poet Major Jackson for an online reading and talk on Oct. 28 at 7 p.m.

Oct 22, 2020
Poems of Faith and Doubt

Bill Henderson’s “The Family Bible” is a collection of plainspoken, candid poems centering on his struggle with the fundamentalist, literalist religion of his childhood and youth, with its contradictions of a loving and angry God and stories of kindness and violence.

Oct 15, 2020
Book Markers 10.15.20

Alastair Gordon talks up the Barnes Coy architecture firm and interviews a principal, and Grace Schulman headlines a celebration of Turtle Point Press via Canio’s Books.

Oct 15, 2020
Truth and Dare Atop the C.I.A.

Chris Whipple’s “The Spymasters” fleshes out the triumphs, tragedies, and turf wars of national intelligence with a trove of new details and insights from an astounding cast of characters.

Oct 8, 2020