Mark Arax is one of California’s best journalists. He’s the author of two books that in my opinion are essential to understanding present-day California–they are The King of California and West of the West, and they give everyday readers the kind of information necessary to having an informed debate about agriculture in California, which itself is so central to so many major debates going on in this country right now: immigration, sustainable/healthy food, the economy.
So, knowing this about Arax, you can imagine what I thought when I saw that Bookforum featured a review . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Charles McGrath, NYTimes.
Lede reveling in Vollmann's output? Check.
HOLTVILLE, Calif. — William T. Vollmann, legendarily prolific, writes in a studio that used to be a restaurant in Sacramento. The place is surrounded by a big parking lot where he encourages homeless people to camp out. Inside he runs a one-man assembly line. His bibliography so far includes nine novels, including “Europe Central,” which won the National Book Award in 2005; three collections of stories; a seven-volume, 3,000-page history of violence; a book-length essay on poverty; and a travel book about hopping . . . continue reading, and add your comments
The Guardian provides the first UK review I've seen of Jonathan Littell's The Kindly Ones.
This is a decidedly positive review, and it provides some extra-literary info that I was not aware of:
The first significant work of Jonathan Littell, Francophone son of American spy author Robert, it was an entirely unexpected success. Gallimard, the publisher, originally printed 5,000 copies. Within months, Les Bienveillantes had sold 300,000 copies, had been welcomed by critics as the most important book for 50 years and had won the Goncourt and Femina prizes. Stupendous sums were paid for its . . . continue reading, and add your comments