Archive Of Month: September 2010

Books: Malamud’s “The Assistant”

What to read after Jonathan Franzen’s luminous, full-bodied “Freedom?” I tried one of Franzen’s favorites, Paula Fox’s “Desperate Characters” (1970) but found it episodic and curiously unsatisfying I picked up Malamud’s “The Assistant” (1957). Its first sentence sets the inviting but grim tone: “The early November street was dark though night had ended…” By the


Books: Oprah and Franzen’s “Freedom”

Never mind Oprah’s endorsement: buy, borrow, beg, steal Jonathan Franzen’s “Freedom.” I have a pre-Oprah copy that’s making its way through my household; my teenage son is reading it, my husband has next dibs, my college-age son is visiting this weekend. We’ll have to hide it from him. Does it matter that it’s become an


Books: New releases and Updike

Can a book beat you up? I’ll carry the psychic bruises from John Updike’s “Rabbit, Redux” for a long, long time. I’m not complaining! I’d rather go for a wild ride than slog through some of the fiction I waded into this summer. I brought a stack to my favorite reading spot, a dock beside