Criticism and interpretation
Nov 30, 2013 — A new collection of Dickinson's poems — written on envelopes and found after her death — opens a rare porthole into the enigmatic writer's life and art. Literally and figuratively shaped by their unusual medium, the poems in The Gorgeous Nothings invite endless interpretations.
Oct 23, 2013 — Claudia Roth Pierpont's new Roth Unbound looks at themes in the work of Philip Roth (no relation). All the themes, in every book by the famously prolific writer. Reviewer Heller McAlpin says it's "a dazzling if sometimes exhausting journey" that dutifully addresses Roth's foibles as well as his talent.
Dec 22, 2012 — On subjects familiar (Beethoven's Fifth) and obscure (notoriously tight-lipped cult artists), our favorite writing about music dove deep and showed us new ways to love the sounds in our lives.
Nov 5, 2012 — This week brings a notable story collection by Megan Mayhew Bergman and a memoir of art, alcoholism and family life by Jeanne Darst. Eric Weiner has an account of his spiritual journey, and Toby Lester explores Leonardo da Vinci's coming of age.
Mar 8, 2012 — Most people are familiar with Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man: A nude man, with his arms and legs outstretched, inside a square within a circle. In his book Da Vinci's Ghost, author Toby Lester tells the story of da Vinci's quest to create an image of the perfectly proportioned human.
Nov 28, 2011 — Critic Maureen Corrigan selects two of the best new works of fiction and criticism about The Great Detective, and offers recommendations for terrific novels featuring contemporary investigators who carry forward Holmes' trademark method of detection: "an observance of trifles."
Jul 17, 2011 — NPR coverage of The Gang That Wouldn't Write Straight: Wolfe, Thompson, Didion and the New Journalism Revolution by Marc Weingarten. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.
Dec 3, 2010 — Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead picks CDs, books and a DVD for the jazz lover on your list this holiday season. His selections include a book of Sonny Rollins photographs and music from the first season of the HBO series Treme.
Dec 1, 2010 — Even in a year notable for economic bust and an e-reader boom, big art books, lush photo retrospectives and other gems both quirky and collectible continue to roam the earth. Here are gift-book suggestions for every taste and budget.
Apr 27, 2010 — Tired of trying to break through the filibusters, steep the tea, climb the summits? In an era dominated by partisan shouting, Christine Rosen offers a reading list that should appeal to anyone — conservative and liberal alike — feeling left out of the debate.