E. L. Doctorow

Works that illuminate the mind at play and the body under stress.


Few writers have had a larger influence on American letters in the last half-century than E. L. Doctorow. In novels like  RagtimeBilly Bathgate and The March, the lives of ordinary citizens collide with events that will dwell in the nation's memory. His recent book of new and collected stories, All the Time in the World, yields the penetrating moral investigations that characterize all of the author's work.  Here, E.L. Doctorow recommends three books that expand our understanding of the mind's grasp and ambition's reach.


Books by E. L. Doctorow




Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity

By Rebecca Newberger Goldstein


"A highly personal consideration of the life and work of the great excommunicated Jewish secularist philosopher, I found it insightful and eloquently presented."





Proust Was a Neuroscientist

By Jonah Lehrer


"This is an original study of the poets, novelists, painters, and composers whose work anticipated the discoveries of contemporary cognitive science. A convincing case for the prophetic capacities of art."






South: The Endurance Expedition

By Ernest Shackleton


"Depicts Shackleton's disastrous transcontinental voyage across Antarctica -- how he and his men were stranded and the harrowing super-human means by which they survived their years on the ice and returned to civilization. This is a painfully beautiful work."


April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysely Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.

The Promise of Hope

Killed last year in the infamous terror attack at Nairobi's Westgate mall, Kofi Awoonor was a national treasure in his native Ghana.  His career began in 1964 with Rediscovery, and this magnum opus serves as a tribute to his entire long journey charting his beloved nation's course through his accomplished poetry.

Winter Mythologies and Abbots

A pair of linked stories finds that, as translator Ann Jefferson relates, "[Pierre] Michon's great theme is the precarious balance between belief and imposture, and the way the greatest aspirations can be complicated by physical desire or the equally urgent desire for what he calls glory."