Incisive and expansive, Leslie Jamison’s The Recovering is an addiction memoir for the ages

Hemingway in Cuba. John Cheever’s drunk swimmer. Carson McCullers’ gin and cigarettes diet. Writing and drinking have long intertwined in the cultural consciousness, often making legendary myths of artists with very real drinking problems. In her new critical memoir, The Recovering: Intoxication And Its Aftermath,…

The author of Beasts Of No Nation returns with an overwhelmingly evocative coming-out novel

An evocative narrative and stark dialogue keeps Uzodinma Iweala’s Speak No Evil from a single dull moment. In Washington, D.C., two teens struggle with their identities and their futures. Niru is reaching adulthood, with one year left before he graduates high school. He’s overwhelmed by the pressures exerted by his…

Children Of Blood And Bone is less a novel than a YA movie franchise in waiting

Children Of Blood And Bone made headlines before the book was even published, thanks to a pair of flashy deals betting on Tomi Adeyemi’s planned Legacy Of Orisha trilogy to be the next YA sensation. Macmillan paid a reported seven figures for Adeyemi’s trilogy, while Fox is already adapting Children Of Blood And Bone…

Dave Eggers brews a weak cup of coffee and aspiration in his latest nonfiction The Monk Of Mokha 

Mokhtar Alkhanshali wasn’t a coffee drinker. He didn’t know a Chemex from a Keurig. He couldn’t distinguish a coffee plant from an olive tree. He hadn’t realized that his ancestral homeland of Yemen basically originated the art of coffee. But that didn’t stop him, a 25-year-old college dropout, from endeavoring to…

Life and death are weird and wild in Denis Johnson’s The Largesse Of The Sea Maiden

“In the last five years I’ve been arrested about eight times, shot twice, not twice on one occasion but once on two different occasions, etc etc and I think I got run over once but I don’t even remember it.” The narrator of “The Starlight On Idaho” in Denis Johnson’s The Largesse Of The Sea Maiden writes this from an…

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Tom Hanks the writer is no Tom Hanks the actor, but his new book Uncommon Type is pretty good

It’s possible, but highly improbable, for one person to be so gifted they excel at everything they attempt. That’s the thing about polymaths; they’re exceedingly rare. While Tom Hanks’ debut short story collection Uncommon Type does not earn him a place next to Steve Martin or the late Sam Shepard on the dais of those…