Browsing category books

five dials. hamish hamilton.


You may have heard of a place in London called Seven Dials, a well-known junction near Covent Garden where seven streets converge. At the centre of the roughly-circular space is a pillar bearing six (yes, six) sundials. By the eighteenth century Seven Dials had become one of the most notorious slums in London and when

the original of laura. nabokov’s posthumous finale.


Virgil asked that Aeneid be destroyed upon his death. Augustus decided to save it for posterity. Kafka wanted a friend to burn a collection of manuscripts on his decease. The friend ignored the request. The Trial and The Castle resulted. Now to Nabokov. On his deathbed, Vladamir Nabokov asked his wife, Vera, to destroy a

the chekhov cave


The Chekhov mood is that cave in which are kept all the unseen and hardly palpable treasures of Chekhov’s soul, so often beyond the reach of mere consciousness. — Constantin Stanislavski I’ve talked before about The Sister and how we’re really crushin on our Russians right now. She’s heavy on her Tolstoy and keeps reminding

a doctor’s visit. by anton chekhov.


“Tamara was lonely and she saw the devil.” Before daylight this morning I read Chekhov’s short story A Doctor’s Visit. My favourite line referenced Lermontov. I have no particular interest in Lermontov’s devil or Tamara’s seeing of it…it’s the way the sentence is structured by Chekhov that makes it so wonderful and interesting. I can’t

on stillness. lack thereof. and elizabeth strout.


I’m exhausted. And my brain’s just not working right for me today. It wont sit still. I also keep tasting salt. I worry it’s some kind of aura, because that’s what it usually is. Every neurological episode I’ve ever had (my brain’s way faulty) has been proceeded by the inexplicable and lingering taste of salt

read read read


“I am reading a mass of things.” – Chekhov What’s on my night stand this month: A big mouthed mason jar for drinking water. A framed print of some fellow in his “I have Russell Brand hair and his skinny velvet trousers” days. A blue silk eye mask. And these three books. 2666 – Roberto

buffy and anton. how to write like chekhov.


“How to Write Like Chekhov: Advice and Inspiration. Straight from his own Letters and Work.” Edited and introduced by Piero Brunello and Lena Lencek. Translated by Lena Lencek. I bought this last night at Borders. This morning I read it and loved it and got to thinking… I’m not at all sure that ‘Buffy and

in cold blood. by truman capote.


In 1959 Kansas the Clutter family were murdered in the early hours of the morning. The killers left no clues and there was no apparent motive. On assignment from The New Yorker, Truman Capote was sent to cover the story. “In Cold Blood” was the end result. As an artist, Capote is a master of

phillip toledano. days with my father.


One of Chris’s favorite things to say to me is: “So it’s a long story then?” Because it always is. Because I’m always more long winded than short. Because I rarely have less than a million words for anything I think, see, or feel. But I have no words for this. None. So I’ll use

hell-heaven


“Pranab Chakraborty wasn’t technically my father’s younger brother. He was a fellow Bengali from Calcutta who had washed up on the barren shores of my parents’ social life in the early seventies, when they lived in a rented apartment in Central Square and could number their acquaintances on one hand. But I had no real