Archive - Columns

2007

November 11, 2007
As an undergrad, I fell in love, like most young poets, with Neruda, his sweeping images, intense and burning on the page. Neruda made me want to learn Spanish, but alas, I was studying Hebrew. Then... ›› read more
December 12, 2007
Judith Ayer Doyle and Sandy Taylor next to the small press they used in the 1970s and early 1980s. Judith Ayer Doyle is a co-director of Curbstone Press. As an undergrad, I fell in love, like most... ›› read more
December 12, 2007
Visit the First, in which we become acquainted, explain our intentions, and introduce our inaugural selections. Dear Reader. I know you. You're a bookshelf spectator. When you pay a visit to a friend... ›› read more
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. In 2006, the duo wrote Bust (Barry... ›› read more
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. She gathered up some papers and started... ›› read more
December 12, 2007
Don't let that charming grin fool you. Charles Ardai 's business is crime. By day, he puts in long hours as the co-founder and editor of Hard Case Crime , an exciting independent publishing house he... ›› read more
December 12, 2007
I. The Empty Vessel Project I used to work odd, early hours in an empty office, at an open cubicle, overlooking a grille of unoccupied cubicles. To an increasingly disconcerting degree, I'd identify... ›› read more
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. Late afternoon, late in the season, and... ›› read more
December 12, 2007
Naomi Long Madgett, Lotus Press, Publisher Poetry is a labor of love-no surprise there, but I hope what you find in this series of monthly articles will. As a poet myself, I often feel as if what I... ›› read more

2008

May 5, 2008
It would have been spring. The neighborhood yards still yellow and concrete-hard, the side panels of the cars you pass on the way home from work spattered with arcing crusts of road salt, the big... ›› read more
May 5, 2008
[Excerpt] It would have been spring. The neighborhood yards still yellow and concrete-hard, the side panels of the cars you pass on the way home from work spattered with arcing crusts of road salt,... ›› read more
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... ›› read more
June 6, 2008
by Jonathan Lachance, photos by Erika Imberti If you walked through the tourists who throng the market stalls in Union Square's South Plaza like unmoored dirigibles on July 22nd, your course would... ›› read more
June 6, 2008
Buckminster Fuller and Isamu Noguchi 1971 I recently went to the show at the Noguchi Museum called "Best of Friends," an exhibition chronicling the collaborations between Buckminster Fuller and Isamu... ›› read more
June 6, 2008
By Robin Epstein I confess I've never gotten off on animation, but for the sake of art, I was willing to give it a try. Truth is, I was looking forward to the screening of Eiichi Yamamoto's erotic... ›› read more
July 7, 2008
Diane Rostyak 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... ›› read more
July 7, 2008
Michael Scammell [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... ›› read more
July 7, 2008
/images/lit/arthur1.jpeg/images/lit/arthur2.jpg Got a writer . . . got a writer . . . Sometimes I feel like a junkie looking for a quick fix when I look at the KGB calendar and see that I need to... ›› read more
August 8, 2008
by Victoria Gomelsky 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... ›› read more
August 8, 2008
By Nancy Agabian {Excerpt} I was sitting between two men on the Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Yerevan, at 1 in the morning, September 10, 2005. The man to my left was large and mid 40's, with brown... ›› read more
August 8, 2008
by Anne K. Yoder 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... ›› read more
August 8, 2008
by Brendan McCall 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... ›› read more
August 8, 2008
by Priya Jain At the beginning of The Lieutenant of Inishmore , two men are standing in a small, bleak living room; the beaten-up chairs and stained walls, and the sparse black-rock landscape beyond... ›› read more
August 8, 2008
by Brendan McCall 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. In 2006, the duo... ›› read more
August 8, 2008
by Brendan McCall Don't let that charming grin fool you. Charles Ardai 's business is crime. By day, he puts in long hours as the co-founder and editor of Hard Case Crime , an exciting independent... ›› read more
September 9, 2008
Lawrence Block, Hit and Run 304 pages, $24.95Published by William MorrowKeller is back.This spring, Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Lawrence Block rolled out the latest exploits of Keller,... ›› read more

2009

January 1, 2009
WEEK 1 UNRELIABLE NARRATORDo you want a reliable narrator? An unreliable narrator? If there is any first-person element to your narration, there's one answer: all people lie to themselves, all people... ›› read more
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,... ›› read more
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... ›› read more
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... ›› read more
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... ›› read more
September 9, 2009
(Little, Brown, 423 pages hardcover, $27.99) The Dutch painter Hieronymous Bosch used color on vast triptychs to articulate his fantastical visions of morality, in works such as The Garden of Earthly... ›› read more

2010

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... ›› read more