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Saturday, November 29, 2003

So much for not blogging 

But with a snowstorm raging and a tenuous internet connection, I was thisclose to just bagging it. But as usual, too many goodies not to at least be semi-informed about.

For the first time in a while, Laura Miller has a column truly worth reading, as she delves into the shadowy world of the Weather Underground and other radical groups as represented in a slew of novels, memoirs, and movies of late.

Cynthia Ozick uses the publication of John Updike's THE EARLY STORIES as a springboard to examine his place in contemporary literature.

Also in the NYT this morning: a thoughtful review of Paul Auster's latest novel; Sasha Frere-Jones
looks at Murad Kalam's NIGHT JOURNEY; and Julie Gray is amused by Louis Bayard's takeoff on "A Christmas Carol," MR. TIMOTHY.

Harry Mulisch is in a unique position to write about Holocaust-related matters: his father was an Austrian Nazi sympathizer, and his mother was Jewish. His latest book tries to find "some good in Hitler."

Is a biography ever complete? Claire Tomalin talks about the pros--and cons--of revised editions of such works.

Elsewhere in the Guardian, Michael Marshall Smith raves about Peter Straub's LOST BOY LOST GIRL; Josh Lacey is nonplussed by Ruaridh Nicoll's WIDE EYED; Helen Falconer is haunted by Peter Jinks' moody new thriller; and DJ Taylor appreciates Henry Sutton's fresh spin on the "bloke novel."

The "dirty little secret" that non-fiction writers and journalists feel about themselves is that they aren't "real writers." Walter Isaacson examines this dichotomy of those who write for a living but may not conform to the so-called excesses of the writing life.

Over at the Washington Post, Maureen Corrigan finds Sara Paretsky's latest to be a provocative blend of genre and social issues; Jonathan Yardley finds a new biography of Nero to be a fully fleshed portrait of the Roman Emperor; and Bruce Bawer is charmed by James McCourt's look at post WWII to 80s gay culture, QUEER STREET.

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