Monthly Archives: April 2007

Lots of images from The Deep

April 30, 2007
By
Lots of images from The Deep

A few weeks ago, we called attention to a review of Claire Nouvian’s The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss in the print version of Discover magazine. Today, we noticed that the review, complete with a gallery of images excerpted from the book, is available online. Surf over to Discover magazine to gaze into the depths. Even more images are available at www.thedeepbook.org.

. . .

Read more »

Mike Royko

April 29, 2007
By
Mike Royko

Mike Royko, Pulitzer prize winning journalist and author, died ten years ago today—on April 29, 1997. Royko, a man whom Jimmy Breslin called “the best journalist of his time,” was one of the most thorough and incisive chroniclers of the American experience over his long career, writing successively for the Chicago Daily News, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Chicago Tribune.

A few days ago the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum assembled family, friends, and former colleagues for a tribute to Royko. Rick Kogan, Carol Marin, and Sam Sianis (owner of the Billy Goat tavern) were among the speakers.

The Chicagoland blog published by the Chicago Reader had a nice piece about Royko, pointing out the continuing relevance of his progressive views and insightful writing. Tributes have also appeared in, of course, the Tribune and the Sun-Times—pieces that are remarkably different in focus—the Trib on his writing, the Sun-Times on his personality.

The University of Chicago Press was pleased publish two volumes of the best of Royko’s columns; One More Time: The Best of Mike Royko and its encore, For the Love of Mike: More of the Best of Mike Royko. You can sample a few classic Royko columns on our . . .

Read more »

Ebert receives a warm welcome back

April 27, 2007
By
Ebert receives a warm welcome back

It is widely known that acclaimed film critic and author Roger Ebert has been fighting a fierce battle with cancer ever since 2002. For four years Ebert was able to endure treatment while continuing to host his TV show as well as publish his most recent book, Awake in the Dark: The Best of Roger Ebert. But 2006 found him bedridden after undergoing a series of more serious surgeries for his condition. All the while his audiences have eagerly awaited his return to the cinema, and as the Chicago Tribune‘s Mark Caro reports, they finally received their wish. Caro reports:

It was about 15 minutes before the opening of the 9th Annual Roger Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival when the festival’s namesake quietly entered the theater from the back, marking his first public appearance since cancer surgery on his jaw in June. … Several surgeries later, the 64-year-old film critic—who has since appeared only sporadically in the Chicago Sun-Times and not at all on his syndicated television show Ebert & Roeper—still can’t speak or completely close his mouth. Yet he was back where he grew up and attended the University of Illinois, wearing a blue blazer with a peach-colored handkerchief in . . .

Read more »

Review: Longenbach, Draft of a Letter

April 25, 2007
By
Review: Longenbach, Draft of a Letter

Publishers Weekly recently ran a positive review of James Longenbach’s most recent collection of poems Draft of a Letter. Praising one of the central themes of the work the PW reviewer writes:

This third book by noted critic and poet Longenbach is a collection of lyrics presenting conversations between an eternal soul and that soul’s embodied, temporal self. When this idiosyncratic fragmentation of “the mind thinking” works, the results are lovely, intimate and distilled, as in the title poem, when the soul informs us, “If you say the word death/ In heaven,/ Nobody understands”; or in “Second Draft,” when the embodied self explains, “…I said// Being mortal,/ I aspire to/ Mortal things.// I need you,/ Said my soul,/ If you’re telling the truth.”

Indeed, in Draft of a Letter Longenbach has fashioned an introspective and personal dialogue that simultaneously results in an unusually inviting and accessible new work.

. . .

Read more »

Review: McLaren, Impotence

April 24, 2007
By
Review: McLaren, Impotence

Last Sunday, April 22, the New York Post ran a review of Angus McLaren’s new book Impotence: A Cultural History. Praising McLaren’s unprecedented history of male sexual impotence, its causes, and cures, reviewer Nick Gillespie calls Impotence an “erudite, entertaining, and insightful study of what’s now been medicalized as ‘erectile dysfunction.’” Gillespie’s review continues:

“Western culture,” writes McLaren, a history professor at Canada’s University of Victoria, “has simultaneously regarded impotence as life’s greatest tragedy and life’s greatest joke.” In discussing impotence from Roman times (when a hard man was good to find, regardless of the object of his affections) to the Middle Ages (when Church officials would order suspect husbands to perform in front of clergy) to our current era of little blue pills (whose furious rise in sales has already started to decline), McLaren has written a path-breaking history of masculinity.

Updated May 1: We now have an online feature drawn from the book: “Two Millennia of Impotence Cures.” Enjoy!

. . .

Read more »

Steve Goodman in the Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine

April 23, 2007
By
Steve Goodman in the Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine

Just in time for Earth Day, Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine ran a fascinating and beautifully illustrated cover story on Steve Goodman, world renowned biologist, conservationist, and editor of our recently published The Natural History of Madagascar—the authoritative guide to one of the planets most diverse ecosystems. With years of field work deep in the Malagasy forests under his belt, as the Tribune article notes, Goodman has become the driving force behind efforts to document the hundreds of species endemic to the island, and to develop long term plans for their conservation; efforts that make him and his work easily appropriate for an Earth Day feature. Laurie Goering wrote in the Tribune:

, who works as the Field Museum’s only field biologist, thinks of himself as a Victorian-era naturalist for the modern age. Hefting a machete, he goes where next-to-no-one has gone before, takes a good look around and usually comes back with a collecting tub full of new species. Over the years, he has helped discover nearly 300 and scientifically describe almost 50.

Madagascar, where he has lived and worked for 15 years, is his ideal habitat. The California-sized island off the east coast of Africa has . . .

Read more »

Esalen gets four bunnies

April 20, 2007
By
Esalen gets four bunnies

The current issue of Playboy reviews Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion by Jeffrey J. Kripal and gives it a four-bunny rating. Not bad for the J. Newton Rayzor Professor in Religious Studies at Rice University. Playboy advises:

Esalen Institute … was ground zero of the 1960s social revolution: the sweaty hot-tub commingling of free love, tantric yoga, Buddhist meditation and Gestalt therapy—as well as the academy for the propagation of the human-potential movement. Outlaw all-stars like Aldous Huxley, Allen Ginsberg and Hunter S. Thompson felt the pull of the place. Now scholar Jeffrey Kripal has produced the first all-encompassing history of Esalen: its intellectual, social, personal, literary and spiritual passages. Kripal brings us up-to-date and takes us deep beneath historical surfaces in this definitive, elegantly written book.

At least, we think it’s in the current issue of Playboy. We combed the website for the magazine for several hours—it’s a distracting place—but we didn’t find it. If you see it, let us know, OK?

Read an excerpt from the book. And have a good weekend.

. . .

Read more »

Press Release: Burke, Lee Miller

April 20, 2007
By
Press Release: Burke, Lee Miller

Lee Miller’s life embodied all the contradictions and complications of the twentieth century: a model and photographer, muse and reporter, sexual adventurer and domestic goddess, she was also America’s first female war correspondent. Carolyn Burke, a biographer and art critic, here reveals how the muse who inspired Man Ray, Cocteau, and Picasso could be the same person who unflinchingly photographed the horrors of Buchenwald and Dachau. Burke captures all the verve and energy of Miller’s life: from her early childhood trauma to her stint as a Vogue model and art-world ingénue, from her harrowing years as a war correspondent to her unconventional marriages and passion for gourmet cooking. A lavishly illustrated story of art and beauty, sex and power, Modernism and Surrealism, Lee Miller illuminates an astonishing woman’s journey from art object to artist.

Read the press release.

. . .

Read more »

Press Release: Hall, Under Sleep

April 20, 2007
By
Press Release: Hall, Under Sleep

An extended meditation on how death affects those left behind, Under Sleep is a skillfully understated, beautifully rendered elegy for the poet’s partner. Formally inventive and technically sophisticated, Daniel Hall attends to the power of death to haunt every perception. The poet’s voice registers as though he were walking on the bottom of the ocean, in a state of mind somewhere "under sleep," in a kind of waking dream. In Hall’s hands, isolated moments of perception bloom into truly touching love elegies.

Read the press release.

. . .

Read more »

Review: Gossett, Divas and Scholars

April 19, 2007
By
Review: Gossett, Divas and Scholars

Adding to the long list of positive reviews of Philip Gossett’s new book Divas and Scholars: Performing Italian Opera, in this month’s Literary Reviewcritic Patrick O’Connor rains his praise on Gossett’s extraordinary study of the Italian opera. O’Connor writes:

a very personal and wide-ranging study of the great nineteenth-century Italian composers, and the problems and challenges facing those who decide to study their music beyond the available printed scores.… The depth and scope of Gossett’s book, on which he has been working for over twenty years, makes it one that will be of immense value to anyone approaching the subject of opera in the so-called age of bel-canto. Although the minute detail of some of the individual music examples he chooses may be beyond even the informed opera aficionado, he writes so clearly, and with such vigor, that the arguments about transpositions, cuts, translations and interpolations, take on something of the feel of detective work.

And indeed Gossett’s work is both extensive enough to enthrall aficionados of Italian opera and passionate enough to captivate newcomers seeking a reliable introduction to it—in all its incomparable grandeur and timeless allure.

Read an excerpt.

. . .

Read more »

Search for books and authors

Switch to our mobile site