Biography & Autobiography

RECENT REVIEWS

Water World

Water World

THIS YEAR marks the centenary of two projects that, at first glance, would seem to have nothing to do with each other. As Laura Bliss has reported in these pages, last November the Los Angeles Depart...

Company

Company

I KNOW WHAT GEORGE was wearing that night. Not because I remember, exactly, but because he always wore the same thing in those days: a pair of cut-off Levis, two or three frayed threads noodling over ...

He Worked at the Writer’s Trade

He Worked at the Writer’s Trade

I SUPPOSE it’s now obligatory in a review of a collection of letters to comment wistfully on how quaintly superseded this is, on how we will never again have relationships that exist outside of the ...

Bigmouth Strikes

Bigmouth Strikes

MIDWAY THROUGH Morrissey’s highly anticipated Autobiography, a scene unfolds in a manner that is both sinister and jarring. The scene depicts a bleak Saddleworth Moor — a region of the English Pea...

Middlemarch and Me

Middlemarch and Me

BLESSED IS THE READER who, while still young, discovers a book that becomes a touchstone and mirror to accompany her for the rest of her life, never dulling on successive readings but instead offering...

Dirty Laundry

Dirty Laundry

A MONTH OR SO AGO, I was minding my own business, when I stumbled upon — or rather slipped on — a scummy article in The Guardian. I had only to read the beginning of the headline, “If the rumour...

Barbara Stanwyck Was One Tough Dame

Barbara Stanwyck Was One Tough Dame

BARBARA STANWYCK was one tough dame — tougher and more cold-hearted than the ruthless seductress she portrayed in Double Indemnity, the 1944 movie for which she is perhaps best known. Her early env...

The Richard Pryor Show

The Richard Pryor Show

OUT IN ONTARIO where he believed the women and money were supposed to be, Richard Pryor was looking at the latest Newsweek (June 17, 1963) when he came across a full-page article on a black stand-up c...

Flip-flopping on Free Speech

Flip-flopping on Free Speech

WHY DO PEOPLE change their minds? We’re not talking about switching restaurants or picking different socks to wear. Once a person makes a serious commitment to something important, something th...