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Illustration by Lorraine Name

What the Bear Doesn’t Know

Our daughter talked early and walked late and was a lover of books even before she could talk. So it is not always easy to reconstruct the chronology of her enthusiasms for the stories we read to her and the make-believe they inspired, especially now that she is a few years older than her mother and I were at her birth. The difficulty has not deterred us: “Storytime” has become a story in itself for our family, a mythology all our own, though the telling calls up emotions any aging parent might claim.

Illustration by Alvaro Tapia Hidalgo

The Abuses of Enchantment

“Once upon a time, in a faraway land across the big sea, there was a very old city,” the old man with the very thick glasses said in his very thick accent. “It bordered on some woods and there, in a little house close to them, many many years ago, a boy was born.” 

<i>Why I Read: The Serious Pleasure of Books</i> by Wendy Lesser. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Hardcover, 240p.

The Criticism of Exhaustion

March 31, 2014

Two centuries ago it would have been reflex to name the dominant novelist or poet of your generation; eclectics might’ve named a few. Today that’s not so easy. Who are the children of postmodernism? The paragons of millennial literature? Dozens o [...]

Why I Don’t Read Books Much Anymore

For several years now I've been reading fewer books, from start to finish, that is. Not that my reading has diminished. If anything, I'm reading more now, more words certainly, every day, every week, daily and Sunday newspapers, weeklies, fortnight [...]