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Article Archive for August 2008

State of the Union

August 8, 2008
wave-large

State of the Union
Eds. Joshua Beckman and Matthew Zapruder
Wave Books, 2008
There are many things I like about the new political anthology from Wave Books, State of the Union. I like its size–very manageable at just …

August 2008 issue

August 1, 2008
large_pigeon

Open Letters’ Monthly 2008 cover images

Familiar Wishes

August 1, 2008
lostinuttar

For sixty years, the great and shapeshifting American author Evan S. Connell has woven strands of short stories through the fabric of his ongoing larger works. These beguiling stories have changed (and often deepened) with time while many of their ardors and tensions have remained the same, creating an irresistible dialectic. The three founding editors of Open Letters, united in their appreciation for this living legend of the American literary scene, pay tribute by writing a piece apiece on Connell’s life, career, and latest short story collection, Lost in Uttar Pradesh.

Gathering Driftwood

August 1, 2008
connell_reduced2

For sixty years, the great and shapeshifting American author Evan S. Connell has woven strands of short stories through the fabric of his ongoing larger works. These beguiling stories have changed (and often deepened) with time while many of their ardors and tensions have remained the same, creating an irresistible dialectic. The three founding editors of Open Letters, united in their appreciation for this living legend of the American literary scene, pay tribute by writing a piece apiece on Connell’s life, career, and latest short story collection, Lost in Uttar Pradesh.

Backyard Arcana

August 1, 2008
mrsbridge

For sixty years, the great and shapeshifting American author Evan S. Connell has woven strands of short stories through the fabric of his ongoing larger works. These beguiling stories have changed (and often deepened) with time while many of their ardors and tensions have remained the same, creating an irresistible dialectic. The three founding editors of Open Letters, united in their appreciation for this living legend of the American literary scene, pay tribute by writing a piece apiece on Connell’s life, career, and latest short story collection, Lost in Uttar Pradesh.

Being Che

August 1, 2008
cheguevara

A poem by Matthew Klane

Scolds in the Agora

August 1, 2008
dumbest

For those too addled by Xbox to grasp subtlety, Mark Bauerlein and Richard Shenkman have titled their respective books The Dumbest Generation and Just How Stupid Are We? For the rest of us, Laura Tanenbaum provides a nuanced evaluation of the laments of these cultural Jeremiahs.

Life on the Page

August 1, 2008
howworks2

He’s the world’s most highly-regarded critic, and in How Fiction Works James Wood doesn’t stop at simply describing what’s in good novels but prescribes how they ought to be written. Daniel Green tells us how the fiction that James Wood really, really likes works.

Pinnacle

August 1, 2008
romance

Lianne Habinek reviews Katie Hafner’s A Romance on Three Legs and gives up all the gossip on one of the most strange and successful relationships in music history, the ménage a trois among Glenn Gould, a blind piano tuner, and a one-of-a-kind Steinway concert grand.

He Went Thataway

August 1, 2008
tropics-empire

Overlooked by many historians is the fact that Columbus didn’t just sail west to reach the East, he also sailed south, and he (and the rest of the world) had some specific ideas of what that meant. Bartolomeo Piccolomini shows how Nicolas Wey Gomez’s new book brings the full sphere of The Discoverer’s navigation to life, showing you a Columbus you never knew.

One Encounter: Eight Hours from Home

August 1, 2008
humanbondage

Out of cash, out of work, bounced from his home, and lost in the world, Steve Brachmann turned to an old friend for help—W. Somerset Maugham. In this installment of our regular feature, we see how a single good book—for Steve, it was Of Human Bondage—can help right a life.

Worthy of a Tale or Two

August 1, 2008
bacon

Without him, there would be no “Year with the Tudors,” and in the latest chapter of his year-long feature, Steve Donoghue examines Henry Tudor, who took the crown from Richard III at Bosworth Field and became Henry VII – the first Tudor monarch.

The End of the End of the End of the End of History

August 1, 2008
thereturnofhistory

In his latest book (a slim one this time), Robert Kagan again probes the socio-political state of the West. History is back, he tells us—about a week after he told us it was gone. Greg Waldmann helps us to to keep track of the epochs without a scorecard in his review of The Return of History and the End of Dreams.

“That is Impossible,” He Told the Court

August 1, 2008
plot-pepys

At the peak of his career, Naval Secretary (and posthumously famous diarist) Samuel Pepys found himself out of a job, in jail, and facing execution for his alleged plot against the government. Father and son writing team of James and Ben Long take the reader through all the twists and turns of the case; father and son reviewers Thurlow and Zach Truman report back.