New review of an old fave.

Slightly late to posting: my review of Javier Marías latest novel, Thus Bad Begins went live awhile back at Literal Magazine. I have written about Marías before, having reviewed his penultimate novel, The Infatuations, for The Millions. Here’s how my review starts, picking up on a line I had mentioned in my review of The […]

The first in a series.

My review of Julio Cortázar’s Save Twilight: Poems (from City Lights Books) is up at Literal Magazine. It should be the first in a multiple reviews for Literal, where I have been given the opportunity to regularly write on Latin American and/or Spanish language literature. If you know me, you know I’ve been a longtime fan of […]

On James Salter.

Enigmatic—and brilliant—writer James Salter has died. Invariably, the obituaries and online remembrances call him a “writer’s writer” and point to his reverential, if small, following. That is probably true. It’s ironic, then, that Salter’s true gift was how he was able to encompass the entire human experience. A couple years ago I first encountered Salter in reviewing […]

Seven Reasons Not to Write Novels.

Javier Marías, listing about the many reasons not to write a novel: What’s more, it can take months or even years of work to write an average-length novel that some people then might want to read. Investing all that time in a task that has only a one per cent chance of making any money is absurd, […]

Paperback of “The Infatuations.”

The paperback of Javier Marias’ superb novel The Infatuations is now out. A few months ago I wrote what turned out to be a glowing review in The Millions. Just recently, I was walking through a Barnes & Noble in Baltimore only to discover that my review became a blurb in the actual paperback. (On Amazon, you can read my quote […]

Of the books I read published in 2013, these are my favorites.

Last year I joined list hysteria (“listeria”?) of end-of-the-year reading. At the end of 2013, I’m succumbing again. I’ll just quote myself from last year regarding the rather lengthy title to this post: Since it would be silly to say these are the “best” books of 2012—”best” is impossible to determine, and considering I’ve read only […]

New York Times’ 100 Notable Books.

It’s getting to be my favorite time of the year—at least as far as book lists go. The New York Times’ notable “100 Notable Books” is the monarch of lists, and it’s a good one. I can recommend several titles on the list, a few of which I’ve reviewed before: Fiction A Constellation of Vital […]

“The Darkness is Deep Indeed”: Essay on Javier Marias.

My essay on Spanish writer Javier Marías has gone live at The Millions. It’s also a review of his latest novel, The Infatuations, which was just released this past Tuesday (August 11). The very short and very rough version of the essay: Marías is brilliant, and the book is brilliant, and you should read it. […]

The Millions’ Most-Anticipated Books.

The Millions has posted its fantastic most-anticipated books list—this one of books for the second half of the year. Their round-ups are always must-reads. One notable book on an auspicious list: The Infatuations by Javier Marías. My ARC of the book just arrived in the mail today, and I’m preparing an essay on Marías—an absolute […]

Paris Review Interview with Javier Marías.

Javier Marías, in an interview with The Paris Review: Some have said that writing is a unique way of knowing, but it is a unique way of recognizing. This happens very often in Proust in particular. You read something and you say, Yes, this is true, this is something I have experienced, this is something […]