Turning Back the Pages
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This spring’s literary nonfiction offers fresh perspectives on
old books and past masters, with stories about the mak-
ing—or unmaking—of famous titles, new materials from
the archives of well-known authors, and an account of how
great writers have faced the end.
Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth
A.O. Scott. Penguin, Feb. 9
The New York Times film critic shows why we need criticism now more than ever, pointing out
that critical thinking informs almost every aspect of artistic creation, civil action, and interpersonal life.
Critics, Monsters, Fanatics, and Other Literary Essays
Cynthia Ozick. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, July 5
Ozick offers critiques of writers from the mid–20th century to today, including Martin Amis, Saul
Bellow, William Gass, and Bernard Malamud.
Everybody Behaves Badly:
The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises
Lesley Blume. HMH/Dolan, June 7
Blume reveals how a raucous trip to Pamplona, Spain, in the summer of 1925 led Hemingway to
create a masterwork.
Calvin Trillin. Random, June 28
The best of New Yorker writer Trillin’s pieces about the American South in the 1960s and the
legacy of those years are gathered into one volume.
Joe Gould’s Teeth
Jill Lepore. Knopf, May 17
New Yorker staff writer Lepore tells the story of the discovery of a long-lost manuscript, The Oral
History of Our Time by Joe Gould, the subject of two famous profiles by New Yorker writer Joseph
Native: Dispatches from an Israeli-Palestinian Life
Sayed Kashua. Grove, Feb. 2
Kashua presents columns written for Haaretz between 2006 and 2014 about his life and
perspective as an Arab-Israeli.
Old Age: A Beginner’s Guide
Michael Kinsley. Crown/Duggan, Apr. 26
Vanity Fair columnist Kinsley takes an irreverent look at the boomer generation’s maturation,
using his own 20-year battle with Parkinson’s as a starting point.
The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Pioneer’s Correspondence
Laura Ingalls Wilder, edited by William Anderson. Harper, Mar. 8
Newly available, the letters collected in this volume span 60 years, from 1894 to 1956, offering a
new perspective on the author of the Little House on the Prairie books.
The View from the Cheap Seats:
A Collection of Introductions, Essays, and Assorted Writings
Neil Gaiman. Morrow, May 31
The acclaimed author of novels and comics assembles a collection of his nonfiction for the first
The Violet Hour: Great Writers at the End
Katie Roiphe. Dial, Mar. 8
Roiphe provides a deeply researched account of the last days of Sigmund Freud, Maurice
Sendak, Susan Sontag, Dylan Thomas, John Updike.
ESSAYS & LITERARY CRITICISM TOP 10