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Former magazine published articles on arts and books.

Articles from No. 31, November-December

Achieving Perfection
AN ARTIST ACHIEVES A CERTAIN RANK IN THE PANTHEON, and all too often the moment coincides with a marked decline of talent and relevance. What a pleasure, then, to catch up with Toni Morrison on the eve of the publication of her latest novel. If the...
Amy Tan: "I Love Dark, Small Rooms," Tan Says. "I Feel Enclosed-Which Is How I Feel When I'm in My Imagination"
1 CERAMIC STATUE "That's a statue that I first got when I was writing The Kitchen God's wife. There was this story of the Kitchen God, one that everyone knows--if you're Chinese. The way he got his status was because of his wife, and how he wronged...
Bends in the River: For Mark Twain, Writing the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, His Masterpiece, Seemed Easy ... but Only at First
MARK TWAIN WAS VISITING INDIA in 1896 when he was introduced to Sri Swami Bhaskarananda Saraswati, a Hindu holy man whom the locals revered as a god, The two men exchanged books in a show of mutual admiration and respect, Twain received a learned commentary...
Fang Shui: In the Wake of Her Husband's Death, Anne Rice Rearranges Her Life-And Says She's Done Writing about Vampires
HORROR MAVEN ANNE RICE completed Blood Canticle, her new vampire novel--and perhaps her final vampire novel--last fall, just a couple of months before the death of her husband, the poet and artist Stan Rice. Stan was Rice's most trusted editor and...
Finding the Way: Mario Vargas Llosa's New Novel, the Way to Paradise, Is More Than Just a Story about the Painter Paul Gauguin. It's the Next Step in What's Been a Lifelong Search
MARIO VARGAS LLOSA HAS LONG BEEN interested in the idea of utopia. As a novelist, he was looking for an artistic version of it when he left his native Peru for Europe in the early '60s. (His first novel, The Time of the Hero, was a sendup of Peru's...
Flash Backs: Looking Back on Literary History
[1889] TIME OUT OF MIND A prolific but still unknown Friedrich Nietzsche was on the verge of losing his mind--from syphilis or a brain disease, most scholars believe--when he wrote Ecce Homo, a megalomaniacal yet lucid review of his own work. He...
Great Cookbooks of 2003: Never Eat out Again
NEVER EAT OUT AGAIN Great Cookbooks of 2003 Book Why we picked'em Standout setections The Gift of Lewis' books have long Cardamon-scented Southern Cooking been a fixture in kitchens, whipped sweet by...
He's Having a Baby: This Halloween, after Four Years of Torturing Children, Superstar Author Lemony Snicket Is Getting Exactly What He Deserves
AT LAST CHECK--BACK IN EARLY SEPTEMBER--DANIEL Handler's first child still had a distinct chance of being born on Halloween. This is no publicity stunt, as many of the author's fanatical young fans will probably assume, but grant them this: The coincidence...
Kitchens Confidential: In Preparation for This Year's Round of Holiday Fetes and Feasting, We Asked Seven of Our Favorite Authors about Their Favorite Holiday Fare. Here Are Their Secrets
MAIN COURSE Jacquelyn Mitchard Author of Christmas, Present My Godmother's Never-Fail Marinara with Homemade Linguine "The only time I cook is during the holidays," says Mitchard, who serves this pasha dish at her annual Christmas Eve dinner...
Life of Lady James: P.D. James Is a Master of Both Politics and Prose
BACK IN AUGUST EUROPE WAS SIZzling through a record heat wave that all but dried up the Danube and cost as many as five thousand French citizens their lives. But P.D. James, the eighty-three-year-old dowager of crime fiction, never lost her cool. With...
Peter's Panorama: In the Three Centuries since Its Founding on the River Neva, St. Petersburg's Haunting Streets and Spectacular Architecture Have Inspired Writers from Dostoevsky to Brodsky
FOUNDED ON SWAMPLAND THREE hundred years ago by Peter the Great, St. Petersburg is one of the most mysterious and alluring cities in all of Europe. Its history is filled with struggle and conflict: The opening battles of the Russian Revolution took...
Romancing the Readers: Publishers Want to Use Their Web Sites to Reach a Particularly Desirable Group: Yours
MICHELLE HOGAN IS NEITHER A high-profile author nor a high-powered critic. She's being wooed by publishers as if she were, though. An avid, motivated reader, Hogan is co-leader of a flourishing book group in her northern Kentucky hometown--and that's...
Secret Loves
MY HUSBAND LOOKED AT ME LIKE I WAS HOLDING A kilo of cocaine instead of a bookstore bag. "Don't you dare bring that thing in this house!" he exclaimed, blocking the front door so ! couldn't get in. "We simply cannot go on living like this. You know...
Spatial Relations: Nick Sagan, Son of Carl, on Being a Space Oddity
NICK SAGAN HAD HIS FIRST SHOT at stardom in i977, when he was six years old. That was the year Voyager I, now more than 7.8 billion miles away from Earth, was launched into space. As it explored the solar system, Voyager carried recorded greetings...
Star Power: Love Is Toni Morrison's Best Novel in More Than a Decade. Now She's Aiming Even Higher
TONI MORRISON LOOKS WEARY. THE SEVENTY-TWO-year-old Nobel laureate has just returned from a doctor's appointment and she's complaining of eye trouble. Lately, she says, she's been having difficulty doing the crossword puzzle. She says she is putting...
Stories Told from the Art: Engaging Tales about Artists like Andy Warhol and John James Audubon Illustrate Their Lives and Talents
IMAGINE, AS A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD, MAKing a surprise visit with your family to Andy Warhol in his Manhattan apartment--and startling him in bed early one morning before he puts on his wig, a funny moment in the delightful picture-book memoir Uncle Andy's:...
Talkin' about the Revolution Jimmy Carter & Robert Morgan: Call It Serendipity, Call It the Fulfillment of the Long-Standing Promise That the South Would Rise Again. This Fall, Two Writers with Strong Ties to the Region Are Coming out with Novels That Reexamine Its Underestimated Role in America's War for Independence
THE WAR FOR INDEPENDENCE IS ONE OF THIS COUNTRY'S lest frequently examined conflicts. It has appeared comparatively rarely in works of the popular imagination--artists and writers having generally preferred the tragic grandeur of the Civil War, the...
Ten British Treasures
Longing for more of the eccentric British charm and humor that you love in the Harry Potter books? You can find it elsewhere in British children's books if you know where to look. Here are ten often overlooked British treasures for giving as presents,...
Will the Real Ben Franklin Please Stand Up? Walter Isaacson, the Latest Biographer of the Multitalented Founding Father, Is Cut from Much the Same Cloth as His Subject
Benjamin Franklin: An American Life was one of the stellar successes of the year--with nine weeks near the top of The New York Times bestseller list at press time--and it's understandable if you're a little surprised by this. After all, Franklin would...
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