• READER'S DIARY

Firefly

A novelist makes chamber drama out of Noël Coward's Jamaican twilight.

 

Read more...

  • READER'S DIARY

The First Muslim

Is it possible to write the mind of a prophet?

 

Read more...

  • READER'S DIARY

Sweet Tooth

The author of Atonement launches a tale of narrative deception from the spy games of a dying Cold War.

Read more...

  • READER'S DIARY

George Orwell: Diaries

The journals of one of the twentieth century's most powerful voices contain the seeds of the ideas his books explored.

Read more...

  • READER'S DIARY

Ride a Cockhorse

Raymond Kennedy's ribald comedy pinned a satire of late-1980s excess on a small-town banker's sudden mania.

Read more...

  • READER'S DIARY

Pale Blue Ink in a Lady's Hand

A fresh translation of a classic novel unveils an Austrian life overshadowed by the rise of fascism.

Read more...

  • READER'S DIARY

How It All Began

A delicate network -- and a vulnerability to chaos -- connect the characters in this thoughtful comedy.

Read more...

  • READER'S DIARY

If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home

The history of domestic life, the author argues, tells the story of our deepest secrets.

Read more...

  • READER'S DIARY

Tolstoy: A Russian Life

A new life of the writer focuses on Tolstoy's place in a changing Russian society.

Read more...

  • READER'S DIARY

The Forgotten Waltz

From the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Gathering comes a new novel that reckons the cost of love.

Read more...

  • READER'S DIARY

Wendy and the Lost Boys: The Uncommon Life of Wendy Wasserstein

A new biography of the playwright explores the secrets she guarded so closely.

Read more...

  • READER'S DIARY

Turn of Mind

A once-brilliant surgeon battles Alzheimer's disease. But is she forgetting a monstrous crime? 

Read more...

  • READER'S DIARY

A Life Like Other People's

The acclaimed British playwright details the shyness and madness that were his family inheritance.

Read more...

  • reader's diary

The Fall of the House of Walworth

A true-life tale of madness, scandal, and murder in Gilded Age New York.

Read more...

  • reader's diary

Nine Lives

An acclaimed travel writer and history explores the enduring religious inheritance of India through fascinating portraits of nine individuals.

Read more...

About the Columnist
Brooke Allen is the author of Twentieth-Century Attitudes; Artistic License; and Moral Minority. She is a contributor to The New York Times Book Review, The New Criterion, The New Leader, The Hudson Review, and The Nation, among others. She was named a finalist for the 2007 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle.

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 Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

advertisement
Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

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.