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.

April 15: "A page...will begin with some principles of astronomy, or the motion of the earth; then come the laws of sound..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

advertisement
Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.

Dispute Over a Very Italian Piglet

Amara Lakhous delivers a mystery novel with its finger on the hot-button issues of today's Europe.  Immigration and multicultural conflicts erupt in the Italian city of Turin, as journalist Enzo Laganà looks to restore peace to his native burg.

Papers in the Wind

In this insightful novel by Eduardo Sacheri, a young girl left destitute by the death of her soccer-playing father is uplifted by the bold schemes of her uncle, his pals, and one newbie player to the professional leagues.