Archive - Columns


November 11, 2007
Carly SachsAs an undergrad, I fell in love, like most young poets, with Neruda, his sweeping images, intense and burning on the page.
December 12, 2007
Late afternoon in The Secret Library, patrons mostly nestled in the window seats with leather-bound editions of Swann's Way, browsing the dusty curio shelf.
December 12, 2007
Visit the First, in which we become acquainted, explain our intentions, and introduce our inaugural selections.
December 12, 2007
Essayist Edward Hoagland once told me that writing was a 'real lone-wolf enterprise.' Obviously, crime fiction authors Ken Bruen and Jason Starr missed that memo.
December 12, 2007
I commenced begging. "Listen, I'll pay it, please, that's my flight. I have to go on it.""Forget it, you're antisocial, the flight's closed," she said.
December 12, 2007
Don't let that charming grin fool you. Charles Ardai's business is crime.


May 5, 2008
It was about 500 degrees in the Cuban prison. I had been here only three hours, but I honestly thought I might die soon. I had diarrhea. I was dehydrated. I hadn't eaten in two days. There was one ancient, tiny fan in the room that only the Cuban cop sitting at the front desk was privileged to enjoy.
June 6, 2008
Buckminster Fuller and Isamu Noguchi 1971
June 6, 2008
I confess I've never gotten off on animation, but for the sake of art, I was willing to give it a try.
July 7, 2008
Aurore and I became friends after my mother invited her up to our apartment one summer afternoon."Remember Aurore from Florence Avenue School?" my mother asks, always excited for new company. "She just moved down the block."
July 7, 2008
[This excerpt describes Koestler's first visit to France after the publication and huge success of his novel, Darkness at Noon, in French translation. It is taken from a chapter called "Adventures Among the Existentialists."] Cosmic Reporter is to be published by Random House in 2007.
August 8, 2008
Straining to revive long-forgotten memories, I stared at the balcony of my former apartment, a one-bedroom I shared with my parents and twin sister in the fall of 1978, when we joined thousands of Soviet Jewish émigrés living in the coastal town of Ladispoli, Italy.
August 8, 2008
At the beginning of The Lieutenant of Inishmore
August 8, 2008
Halloween is a time of tricks and mischief. This past Halloween marked the release date of a special treat for crime fiction fans: a new book by Mickey Spillane, the godfather of the pulps.
August 8, 2008
A thin forest green box lies adrift in a sea of papers: meticulous diagrams of conical and cylindrical machine parts, a small sliver with a few words, a vortex of ninety-three sheets sprawling outward from the center.
September 9, 2008
304 pages, $24.95  Published by William Morrow


January 1, 2009
April 4, 2009
Los Angeles. The city of (fallen) angels has lured many crime fiction writers over the years, its truths often stranger than fiction. From Hollywood to Echo Park, L.A. is a siren song of corruption, racial tension, drugs, and silicone implants. Perfect grist for a writer's mill.
April 4, 2009
Hard Case Crime recently turned 50. The independent publishing house dedicated to all things pulp has published over 50 titles since it opened for business in 2005. And what a business for lovers of crime fiction: HCC not only reissues out of print classics by ‘usual suspects' Donald E.
July 7, 2009
By now, fans of Hard Case Crime's brand of pulp crime fiction already know Jason Starr. Along with the delightfully cynical crime writer Ken Bruen of Ireland, Starr co-authored Bust, Slide, and The Max—a wicked trilogy reveling in dark humor, gratuitous sex & violence, and quotations from the Buddha.
September 9, 2009
My birth mother sends me messages on MySpace. She's 68 years old, creeping around a website where friend is a verb and teenagers want someone to tell them they're pretty. She lives alone. She drinks and thinks too much, and sometimes, usually after midnight, she can't help herself. “What kind of person does that?” I ask my brother, her son.
September 9, 2009
(Little, Brown, 423 pages hardcover, $27.99)


March 3, 2010
When I was 25, I got married and stayed married for eight weeks to a man with a name like a comb-over. Let's call him Wallace. Wallace was six feet six inches tall. He had a buzz cut, wore shiny and mysteriously expensive suits, and had a tattoo of a black-widow spider on his arm.

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