Browsing All posts tagged under »book review«

The Translator by Daoud Hari

April 25, 2008


Originally published in the Los Angeles Times: MOST Americans have heard of Darfur. Some know that it’s in western Sudan, that the U. S. has called the crisis there a genocide, and that the United Nations has authorized a peacekeeping force. Yet few understand the roots of the conflict, what is happening on the ground, […]

Pitch Perfect

January 1, 2008


Originally published in Bookforum: If you were a movie mogul and had to choose between funding a documentary on the history of twentieth-century classical music and one on rock, which would you select? The average businessperson would probably opt for the latter. Me, I’d wager on classical without a second thought. The history of classical […]

Schumann Anatomy

September 1, 2007


Originally published in Bookforum: As I write this, I’m humming the opening bars of Schumann’s Papillons (1829–31), one of his earliest compositions for piano, a piece I haven’t played, let alone heard, in at least six years. I can recall these notes because I remember the visceral pleasure of playing an ascending scale in octaves, […]

Ancestors Stones by Aminatta Forna

October 1, 2006


Originally published in the San Francisco Chronicle: It is 1956 in Sierra Leone. Serah, a teenager, volunteers to serve as an officer at a polling station during the presidential election. With an hour left to go, only “two votes lay in the cavern of the ballot box, like visitors in an empty church.” She decides […]

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami

September 24, 2006


Originally published in Newsday: In The Kidney-Shaped Stone That Moves Every Day, one of the stories in Haruki Murakami’s new collection, Junpei, a short-story writer, falls in love with an older woman named Kirie. She seems to reciprocate, but one day he calls her and her phone has been disconnected. Thus far, this is familiar […]

Kind of Bleu

January 1, 2006


Originally published in Bookforum: Jazz has long been labeled “America’s classical music,” a title some, like Wynton Marsalis and the board of Jazz at Lincoln Center, work hard to espouse, and one that still others hold responsible for the genre’s fossilization. What neither group contests is that the audience for jazz is waning in America, […]