Cloudy
60°
Cloudy
Hi 62° | Lo 50°

Books

Fire Shut Up in My Bones

Blow speaks on the complexity of the black male experience in ‘Fire Shut Up in My Bones’

Sunday, September 28, 2014

New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow’s new memoir, Fire Shut Up in My Bones, was released Tuesday. So far, headlines about the book have focused almost entirely on one thing: Blow’s grappling with his attraction to other men. The author says that’s fair and that the attention to the issue is understandable. The story is about much more than just his sexuality, though. It poetically chronicles the writer’s life, taking readers on a journey from a painful childhood in a Louisiana town to a role as one of America’s most respected journalists, in a coming-of-age story with universal lessons. The Root spoke to Blow … 0

Easy Rawlins eyes Hearst-like case

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Walter Mosley evokes the curious turns of the Patty Hearst kidnapping saga and the fractured culture of that era in Rose Gold, his latest Easy Rawlins crime thriller. Rawlins, a black private investigator based in Los Angeles, follows leads from poor, simmering L.A. streets to secluded beachside mansions and laid-back hippie encampments. His … 0

Brilliant new biography of Tennessee Williams

Sunday, September 28, 2014

When The Glass Menagerie opened on Broadway in March 1945, the actress cast as Southern matriarch Amanda Wingfield got so drunk before the show that a bucket was placed in the wings so she could throw up between scenes. Seated six rows from the stage was the 34-year-old playwright, Tennessee Williams, who was … 0

Despite fumblings, ‘Green Girl’ strives toward optimism

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Long before Lena Dunham and her Girls, writers have wrestled with youth’s peculiar blend of narcissism and self-hatred: the sense that success is just around the corner and that one’s best days are long gone. Early in Hamlet, … 0

‘Blue Mind’ a study of emotional, psychological, physical connections

Sunday, August 17, 2014

As I look up from the pages of this book, there’s nothing between me and the horizon but water. The only sounds are the hypnotic hiss of stones as they are dragged back by waves and the occasional … 0

American Life in Poetry: Go back to the ’70s in ‘Man on the Run’

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Playing on the title of the 1973 Wings album Band on the Run, the title of Tom Doyle’s biography implies that this portrait of Paul McCartney in the 1970s is of a man fleeing his fame. But the … 0

The Mindful Reader:

Sunday, August 17, 2014

New Hampshire author J.P. Francis revisits a little-known part of our state’s history in a debut novel, The Major’s Daughter. Collie Brennan has left Smith College to assist her father, who is commanding officer of the WWII POW … 0

Gilmanton portrait: New book explores rich history of ‘Peyton Place’ inspiration

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Gilmanton is a town in Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 3,777 at the 2010 census. The town includes the villages of Gilmanton Corner and Gilmanton Ironworks. That’s the Wiki version. Jessica Lander’s version of … 1

‘The Property’ graphically illustrates war’s devastating effects

Sunday, August 10, 2014

In her superb graphic novel The Property, Israeli author Rutu Modan writes of war’s devastating effects from the long view of multiple generations, even drawing upon the experiences of her ancestors in Poland. So it was especially gratifying … 0

‘What We See When We Read’ a small, shallow pond of a book, but ‘Cover’ is worth a look

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Let me get the brickbat out of the way. What We See When We Read is a small, shallow pond of a book in which author Peter Mendelsund exhaustively swims around without ever going very deep. The premise … 0

‘The Invisible Bridge’ goes far beyond political history

Sunday, August 10, 2014

You can learn a lot by reading newspapers, especially if you have helped write them. Frederick Lewis Allen was a journalist of the 1920s who became a book author by taking what he and other journalists had written … 0

‘Red or Dead’ a postmodern epic and ultimate sports novel

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sports novels generally rank low on the literature scoreboard – unless you regard Moby-Dick as a harpooning competition. But Robert Coover, Don DeLillo and David Foster Wallace have shown that it is possible to write ultraliterary, even experimental … 0

‘Price of Inheritance’ has plenty to savor

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Karin Tanabe’s heroine, young Carolyn Everett, wasn’t born grasping a Tiffany rattle, but she grew up in the guesthouse on the grounds of one of the toniest estates in Newport, R.I. After graduating from Princeton, she continues her … 0