Correspondence

A charming diversion: N. John Hall, best known for his biography of Anthony Trollope, here delivers a novel in letters about a retired New Jersey bank clerk who comes into possession of his great-great-grandfather's correspondence with an all-star cast of ninetheenth-century novelists: Dickens, Thackeray, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, and the aforementioned Mr. Trollope among them. His attempts--through communications with an auction house--to understand the value of what he has inherited make this curious book a leisurely treat.

April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

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…

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