Deadline Artists

If the daily newspaper ever completely dies, then so will the reign of the great columnists, writers who used to enter our houses every morning, as familiar and welcome as good neighbors. This anthology collects representative work from the journalistic pantheon that stretches from Mark Twain to Maureen Dowd.

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…