New Books Network

Tom Perrotta on Flannery O’Connor
[Re-posted with permission from Jenny Attiyeh’s ThoughtCast] Tom Perrotta, the esteemed author of Little Children, Election, The Abstinence Teacher and the recently published novel The Leftovers (St. Martin’s Press, September 2011) speaks with ThoughtCast about a writer who fascinates, irritates and inspires him: Flannery O’Connor.  His relationship with her borders on kinship, and he admires and admonishes her as... Read More
Alan Jacobs, “The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction” (Oxford UP, 2011)
In his new book, The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction (Oxford University Press, 2011), Alan Jacobs, Clyde S. Kilby Chair Professor of English at Wheaton College, discusses the state of reading in the United States. Where some would argue that there are too few people doing the... Read More
Evander Lomke and Martin Rowe, “Right Off the Bat: Cricket, Baseball, Literature & Life” (Paul Dry Books, 2011)
Last spring’s Cricket World Cup was a major global event. Estimates of the television audience for the final matches ranged from 400 million to one billion, while the website ESPNcricinfo.com had an average audience, throughout the entire 43-day tournament, of 72,000 people per minute. But for most American sports fans,... Read More
Antonia Levi, Mark McHarry, and Dru Pagliasotti, “Boy’s Love Manga: Essays on the Sexual Ambiguity and Cross-Cultural Fandom of the Genre” (McFarland, 2010)
Growing up in the suburbs of Indianapolis, Indy-car racing offered my friends and me some very exciting heroes. As children, we played “Indy 500” on our bikes in the cul-de-sac. As we became teenagers, the Indy-car drivers who descended on our city in April and May became some of our... Read More
Lee Ambrozy, “Ai Weiwei’s Blog: Writings, Interviews, and Digital Rants, 2006-2009” (MIT Press, 2011)
Anyone who has been following the news this year has likely heard of Ai Weiwei. This provocative and gifted Chinese artist-activist has made 2011 headlines for his controversial work Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads and for his recent arrest by Chinese police. What has been less widely appreciated is Ai’s profound... Read More
Alan Nadel, “August Wilson: Completing the Twentieth-Century Cycle” (University of Iowa Press, 2010)
Many scholars consider August Wilson to be the premier American playwright of the 20th Century. Alan Nadel is surely one of their number. In the early 1990s, he focused our attention on Wilson’s plays in the outstanding collection of essays May All Your Fences Have Gates: Essays on the Drama... Read More
George Hunka, “Word Made Flesh: Philosophy, Eros, and Contemporary Tragic Drama” (Eyecorner Press, 2011)
George Hunka’s book Word Made Flesh: Philosophy, Eros, and Contemporary Tragic Drama (Eyecorner Press, 2011) offers a series of challenges, provocations and meditations on Theatre (with a capital “T”). It’s a valuable piece of work to wrestle with, inviting both consideration and criticism. Much of Word Made Flesh is distilled... Read More