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"If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skulls, then why do we read it? Good God, we also would be happy if we had no books and such books that make us happy we could, if need be, write ourselves. What we must have are those books that come on us like ill fortune, like the death of one we love better than ourselves, like suicide. A book must be an ice axe to break the sea frozen inside us."

—Franz Kafka (1883-1924) Austrian writer, The Metamorphosis, The Trial

 

New York Times Book News



ArtsBeat: Live From the Public Library: Joseph O’Neill, Joyce Carol Oates and Dr. Funkenstein 
  Thu, 31 Jul 2014 04:02:00 GMT 
    The Live From the NYPL season will include appearances by novelists and scholars, as well as George Clinton, the Parliament-Funkadelic mastermind.








Bel Kaufman, Who Told What School Was Really Like, Dies at 103 
  Thu, 31 Jul 2014 01:40:02 GMT 
    Ms. Kaufman’s first novel, “Up the Down Staircase,” portrayed the topsy-turvy world of a New York City public school and was based on her experience as a teacher.








ArtsBeat: Irish Arts Center Announces New Season 
  Wed, 30 Jul 2014 21:30:19 GMT 
    A new monthly music and literature residency organized by the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon will be part of center’s fall season.








Hijuelos Novel to Be Published Posthumously 
  Wed, 30 Jul 2014 20:41:27 GMT 
    “Twain and Stanley Enter Paradise,” a novel by Oscar Hijuelos, who died last year, will be published in 2015.








Books of The Times: In ‘The Dog,’ Jack Livings Writes of a Modernizing China 
  Wed, 30 Jul 2014 19:43:46 GMT 
    In his short-story collection “The Dog,” Jack Livings describes Chinese characters scrambling to adjust to their nation’s rapid changes.








Edan Lepucki’s ‘California,’ Alberto Moravia’s ‘Agostino,’ and More 
  Wed, 30 Jul 2014 19:30:33 GMT 
    New books by Edan Lepucki, Scott Cheshire, Bill Morris, Mark Chiusano, Alberto Moravia and Can Xue visit California, Detroit and Marine Park in Brooklyn, among other places.








ArtsBeat: Warren G. Harding’s Racy Love Letters Unsealed 
  Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:52:29 GMT 
    Nearly 1,000 handwritten pages of Warren G. Harding’s steamy letters to his mistress, Carrie Phillips, are available online.








Children’s Books: ‘The Great Greene Heist,’ by Varian Johnson 
  Wed, 30 Jul 2014 14:00:01 GMT 
    In Varian Johnson’s “The Great Greene Heist,” a middle schooler dreams up a plan to influence an election for student council president.








De Villiers May Gain an American Audience, Posthumously 
  Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:01:52 GMT 
    Vintage will release English translations of the spy thrillers by Gérard de Villiers, the French novelist who died of cancer last fall.








ArtsBeat: James Wolcott and Frank Bidart Among 2014 PEN American Winners 
  Wed, 30 Jul 2014 12:00:07 GMT 
    The PEN American Center announced its annual literary award winners today, with a ceremony to follow on Sept. 29.








Books of The Times: ‘Selected Poems,’ by Mark Ford, Covers a Career 
  Tue, 29 Jul 2014 20:09:42 GMT 
    “Selected Poems” gathers decades of works by the British poet Mark Ford.








ArtsBeat: A Crowdsourced Sonnet for a Summer’s Day in the Office 
  Tue, 29 Jul 2014 18:39:18 GMT 
    The poem, assembled by The American Scholar online begins, “How like a prison is my cubicle.”








Bookends: Highbrow, Lowbrow, Middlebrow — Do These Kinds of Cultural Categories Mean Anything Anymore? 
  Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:00:02 GMT 
    Thomas Mallon and Pankaj Mishra discuss whether there is any use in retaining old labels of cultural prestige.








Louise Shivers, Conjurer of Rural South, Dies at 84 
  Tue, 29 Jul 2014 02:11:37 GMT 
    Ms. Shivers was startled by the critical success of her first novella, “Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail” (1983), published when she was in her 50s.








Books of The Times: ‘The Invisible Bridge,’ by Rick Perlstein 
  Mon, 28 Jul 2014 21:39:04 GMT 
    In “The Invisible Bridge,” his latest history of the American conservative movement, Rick Perlstein chronicles 1973 through 1976.






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