Tag Archives: NYRB Classics

“Stories can wait.”

In his introduction to Mavis Gallant’s short story collection, Varieties of Exile, Russell Banks offers us a quote from the other herself— Stories are not chapters of novels. They should not be read one after another, as if they were meant to follow along. Read one. Shut the book. Read something else. Come back later. […]

Exuberance is beauty

#128 of 2011 • Sunflower by Gyula Krúdy, translated from the Hungarian by John Bátki, with an introduction by John Lukacs. Published by NYRB Classics. “Let’s wait for winter. The first, the second, the third winter… Let’s wait for monotonous evenings of this place, the courses of the moon, the howling-wolf nights. We’ll just have […]


#139 of 2011 • Victorine, by Maude Hutchins. Our Victorine is a strange one. She’s a bright-eyed adolescent, rapt and giddy with the secrets her body has just begun to disclose. And everything is hyper-eroticized, every brush with the world summons an arousal—it’s nearly ridiculous. Everything is sex! And not even necessarily a prelude to intercourse, […]

Brief thoughts on Monsieur Monde Vanishes by Georges Simenon

My first Georges Simenon [or, as the coolest kids refer to him, just Simenon (like Madonna?)], and I liked it immensely: Monsieur Monde Vanishes, about Monsieur Monde who walks out of his life seemingly the very moment he wakes up from his droning existence, and what he did while he disappeared. What compels people to […]

Not exactly disappointments

In this post: Thoughts on My Reckless Surrender by Anna Campbell [jump to A], and on Fair Play by Tove Jansson [jump to B]—two books I very much expected I would like—hell, I wanted to like them—but, well, just couldn’t. [A] • I like Anna Campbell, I really do. She was one of my great […]

Make way for the falco peregrinus

Some notes / questions-to-self made while reading The Pilgrim Hawk: A Love Story, a novella by Glenway Wescott. This edition, published by NYRB Classics, includes an introduction by Michael Cunningham. • Is it possible for a really short book to transcend the usual burdens of symbol? See, the eponymous pilgrim hawk is, as Michael Cunningham points […]

On “A Year of Grace,” short story from Nights in the Gardens of Brooklyn by Harvey Swados

Does every reader have the compulsion to seek out authors on the hopes that you’ll find traces of your long-favorite authors in their work? Say, you’ll swear by Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates, by the short fiction of Raymond Carver, of Elizabeth Hardwick—that you’ll willingly flirt with F. Scott Fitzgerald, with Anne Tyler, or the […]

Summer NYRBs

April is the usual [hello, global warming] start of the summer here in the Philippines. I’d know, though, regardless of any calendar—the daily twenty-minute walk from the office to the train station has me wishing I could rub against an ice cube doing the mambo. One of the things that the season [one of blasted […]

Hello, from the Glittery Land of Lazy Bloggers

I hereby drag myself out of the muck of the Glittery Land of Lazy Bloggers to publish this post. Although I love this space—after more than a year, still trying to figure out how to wiggle around here, actually—I do hate feeling like blogging is a job, egads and when the thought of attempting to […]

On The Long Ships by Frans G. Bengtsson

#46 of 2011 • The Long Ships by Frans G. Bengtsson — translated from the Swedish by Michael Meyer — with an introduction by Michael Chabon This, ladies and gentlemen, is an epic. An episodic epic, a gather-around-the-fire-with-your-mouth-open kind of epic. Written in the 1940s, yes, but so confidently structured, The Long Ships is patterned […]