1969 -- Steps

Since the first reports of his literary deceptions and personal quirks surfaced in the early 1980s, Kosinski has been discredited and dismissed so regularly that it is easy to forget how quickly and high his star rose in North America. His 1969 NBA winner, perhaps now the least read of these early books, was preceded by The Painted Bird (1965), and followed by Being There (1971), the acclaim won during these half-dozen years bringing Kosinski celebrity status, and with it the scrutiny and suspicion which undermined and destroyed him. The debates continue over what remains of Kosinski’s reputation and achievement, those agreeing with the early reviewers who compared Steps to the work of Celine, Kafka, Nabokov and Conrad having to accommodate the later revelations that the book was at least co-authored with Peter Skinner, and having to ignore the reports that the two would pause in their evening’s work (after first tucking the manuscripts away) to bed Sarah Lawrence coeds on an inflatable mattress.

July 22: On this day in 1941, on his twelfth wedding anniversary, Eugene O'Neill presented the just-finished manuscript of Long Day's Journey into Night to his wife, Carlotta.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).

Watching Them Be

What makes a film actor into a larger-than-life movie star? James Harvey's passionate, freewheeling essays explain why there are some faces (from Greta Garbo's to Samuel L. Jackson's) from which we cannot look away.


What if you called up the spouse on the verge of leaving you -- and instead found yourself magically talking to his younger self, the one you first fell for?  Rainbow Rowell, author of the YA smash Eleanor & Park, delivers a sly, enchanting take on 21st-century love.