Recent Stories: Books

Baylis Greene
September 14, 2017
Barney Rosset reconsidered, and Martin London's life as a pugnacious lawyer.

Rosset, Considered and Reconsidered

Looking for more Rosset? There was the front-page obituary in The New York Times in 2012, but after a lull there followed in relatively speedy succession a posthumous autobiography, a collection of his decades of correspondence with his friend Samuel Beckett, and “Barney’s Wall,” a documentary film about a 12-by-15-foot collage and mural the publisher and part-time East Hamptoner put together toward the end of his life in his East Village apartment — each written about in these pages.

Baylis Greene
September 11, 2017
Writers Speak starts Wednesday, with the college's new hires, Amy Hempel and Cornelius Eady, reading from their work.

Get out your Kleenex, should Amy Hempel choose to read "In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried," her most famous story, and justifiably one of the most anthologized of the last 30 years -- a meditation on friendship and loss that also touches on life in Los Angeles and even the regrettably familiar particulars of an extended hospital stay. To say nothing of one of the most moving "kickers," to borrow a term from journalism, in the American short-story tradition.

Baylis Greene
September 7, 2017
Poetry Pairs is back at Guild Hall’s John Drew Theater on Sunday with readings by Stephen Dunn and Jill Bialosky.

After the hubbub of the season, here’s a sane respite, and it’s free: Poetry Pairs is back at Guild Hall’s John Drew Theater on Sunday, with staged readings by Stephen Dunn, a winner of a Pulitzer Prize in poetry, and Jill Bialosky, an editor at W.W. Norton, novelist, and author of a new memoir, “Poetry Will Save Your Life.” 

That book traces the comfort that poems by Ben Jonson, Emily Dickinson, and W.H. Auden, among many others — often offering insight into the experience of bereavement — have provided Ms. Bialosky throughout her life, from the premature death of her father to her sister’s suicide to two failed pregnancies. 

Christopher Walsh
September 7, 2017
In “Liner Notes,” Loudon Wainwright III weaves tales of a meandering career marked by deep ambivalence with candid admissions of personal shortcomings that closely tracked those of his father, the celebrated Life magazine writer.

“Liner Notes”
Loudon Wainwright III
Blue Rider Press, $27

The subtitle of the musician Loudon Wainwright III’s memoir, “Liner Notes,” leaves nothing to chance. A longtime visitor to East Hampton and sometime resident of Shelter Island, Mr. Wainwright’s memoir, published on Tuesday (his 71st birthday), is a lengthy rumination “On Parents and Children, Exes and Excess, Death and Decay, and a Few of My Other Favorite Things.” 

August 31, 2017
On the life and excellent enthusiasms of a 19th-century Parisian photographer, writer, illustrator, and balloonist.

“The Great Nadar”
Adam Begley
Tim Duggan Books, $28

The title of Adam Begley’s amiable and readable new biography, “The Great Nadar: The Man Behind the Camera,” might provoke a couple of questions. The first is “Who?” Nadar (the nom de plume of a 19th-century Parisian photographer, writer, illustrator, and balloonist christened Félix Tournachon) may or may not be familiar throughout France, but he’s hardly Monet or Victor Hugo. 

And “Great” in what ways? As an artist or, as the title suggests, as a showman? He seems to have been both. 

August 24, 2017
Lucas Hunt, in his new book of poems, “Iowa,” engages his subject matter through use of precise evocative imagery.

Iowa
Lucas Hunt
Thane & Prose, $21.99

Lucas Hunt’s new book of poems, “Iowa,” is a somewhat uneven collection that shows the poet engaging his subject matter through use of precise evocative imagery, while other poems — notably his shorter ones — fail to engage because they neglect to provide readers with surprise or illumination. So there is much to admire in this collection and much one wishes Mr. Hunt had further revised. 

August 17, 2017
Jill Bialosky uses 51 poems in her affecting memoir to demonstrate how reading and remembering poetry can provide a kind of salvation.

“Poetry Will Save
Your Life”

Jill Bialosky
Atria Books, $24

In 1939, W.H. Auden famously asserted that “poetry makes nothing happen.” Jill Bialosky seems to offers a diametrically opposing view in her unusual and affecting new memoir. Using 51 poems, ranging broadly from nursery rhymes to a Shakespeare sonnet, she sets out to demonstrate how reading and remembering poetry can provide a kind of salvation. 

Bryley Williams
August 10, 2017
The fund-raiser called “the premier literary event of the Hamptons” is bound to be a good time.

The fund-raiser called “the premier literary event of the Hamptons” is bound to be a good time. The 13th annual Authors Night on Saturday, benefiting the East Hampton Library, offers a chance to mingle with favorite writers and illustrators under a tent at 4 Maidstone Lane in the village. The evening will kick off at 5 with a book signing and reception complete with hors d’oeuvres and wine.

August 10, 2017
Dodge City may have been a small cow town, but it had 16 saloons, 47 prostitutes, and gunfights nearly every night.

“Dodge City”
Tom Clavin
St. Martin’s, $29.99

For such a small town, Dodge City had an outsized reputation. The cow town sat in southwest Kansas, the last stop before the Great American Desert, the huge swath of mostly unexplored land that stretched to the Rocky Mountains. On the edge of the frontier, it was known as the “wickedest town in the West.” 

Baylis Greene
August 3, 2017
A Comic Book Extravaganza on Cove Hollow Road in East Hampton courtesy of Nancy Silberkleit of Archie Comics.

The cover of Critical Hit number one shows its two heroines, faces obscured by scarves, bandit-style, cargo pants looped with utility belts worthy of Batman, wielding the heavy tools of their vengeance-wreaking trade — a sledgehammer and an ax. In shaded relief above them we see what spurs their mission — the lab-experimented cat, the hunter-stalked deer — and understand that the gals have turned the implements of the abattoir and the barnyard into weapons of animal liberation.

Baylis Greene
August 3, 2017
A Lustgarten fund-raiser doubles as a tribute to poets lost to pancreatic cancer.

First, Virginia Walker, a poet and professor from Shelter Island, donated all the sales of her last collection of poems, “Neuron Mirror,” a collaborative work with the late Michael Walsh, to the Lustgarten Foundation for pancreatic cancer research. So far that total is $9,000.

Now she’s holding a poetry contest to raise more money.

“One by one, poet friends from the East End community of poets succumbed to this deadly cancer, which has a six-percent survival rate,” Ms. Walker said in a release, referring to Antje Katcher, who with Mr. Walsh was part of the East End Poetry Workshop, Robert Long, who was an editor at The Star, Siv Cedering, and Diana Chang.

August 3, 2017
If there’s a new book on politics that should be read at the Trump White House — but probably won’t be — it’s this one.

“The Gatekeepers”
Chris Whipple
Crown, $28

If there’s a new book on politics that should be read at the Trump White House — but probably won’t be — it’s this one, “The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency,” by the veteran TV journalist and producer Chris Whipple.

Baylis Greene
July 27, 2017
The last of the summer’s Poetry Marathon gatherings is July 30, when at least seven poets will read from their work starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Marine Museum in Amagansett.

Catch it while you can: The last of the summer’s free Poetry Marathon gatherings is Sunday, when at least seven poets will read from their work starting at 5:30 p.m. at the East Hampton Town Marine Museum. The museum, on Bluff Road in Amagansett, will be open for touring at 5, and refreshments will be served at a reception afterward.

The readers include Carole Stone, Rosalind Brenner, Walter Donway, Pauline Yeats, Carolyn Bistrian, and Daniel Hays. Joining them will be Dee Slavutin of Springs, who last year took over the marathon from the duo who ran it for many years, Sylvia Chavkin and Bebe Antell. She not only took it over, she raised the money to save it.

Mark Segal
July 27, 2017
Sheldon and Margery Harnick, and their son, Matthew, have pooled their talents to create “Koi: A Modern Folktale,” with photographs of the legendary fish by Margery and Matthew and text by Sheldon Harnick.

Sheldon and Margery Harnick, and their son, Matthew, have pooled their talents to create “Koi: A Modern Folktale,” with photographs of the legendary fish by Margery and Matthew and text by Sheldon Harnick. They will talk about the book on July 29 at 5 p.m. at BookHampton in East Hampton. 

Ms. Harnick first began taking photographs of koi on a visit to her daughter, Beth, in Malibu, Calif. Those images led her to research the history of koi, which includes many legends that testify to their endurance and perseverance.

July 27, 2017
Here is the history of the rarest, most valuable postage stamp ever. Welcome to “Stamp World.”

“The One-Cent Magenta”
James Barron
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, $23.95

Among the most gratifying reading experiences one can enjoy is to penetrate a book that, at first glance, appears to be esoteric or of little interest, only to find it riveting. Daniel James Brown’s “The Boys in the Boat” and virtually anything by John McPhee jump to mind as examples of this phenomenon.

Jackie Pape
July 25, 2017
All year long, BookHampton hosts authors for readings and book signings, and the latest to join the list of notables is Chelsea Clinton.

All year long, BookHampton hosts authors for readings and book signings, and the latest to join the list of notables is Chelsea Clinton.

On Friday, Aug. 4, Ms. Clinton will be on hand to sign her newest book, “She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World,” which introduces readers to a baker’s dozen of “inspirational women who never took no for an answer, and who always, inevitably and without fail, persisted.” Some are living, others long gone.

The book tells the stories of Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Virginia Apgar, Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, and Sonia Sotomayor.

Jackie Pape
July 24, 2017
All year long, BookHampton hosts authors for readings and book signings, and the latest to join the list of notables is Chelsea Clinton.

All year long, BookHampton hosts authors for readings and book signings, and the latest to join the list of notables is Chelsea Clinton.

On Friday, Aug. 4, Ms. Clinton will be on hand to sign her newest book, “She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World,” which introduces readers to a baker's dozen of “inspirational women who never took no for an answer, and who always, inevitably and without fail, persisted.” Some are living, others long gone.

The book tells the stories of Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Virginia Apgar, Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, and Sonia Sotomayor.

July 20, 2017
Neil deGrasse Tyson is an authoritative source of clear ideas about our universe and writes in stylish, eloquent prose — without mathematics.

“Astrophysics for
People in a Hurry”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
W.W. Norton, $18.95

If this were a book review “for people in a hurry,” I’d suggest: Read this book (1) because it’s a conduit to the cosmos, (2) because you’ll become hungry for more, and (3) so that you can join the club! 

If you’re not in a hurry, stay tuned. 

In “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry,” Neil deGrasse Tyson writes a vivid and virtuosic opening chapter, “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” that is a tour d’horizon (pun intended) of those events that unfolded following the origin of our universe. 

Star Staff
July 13, 2017
Prick up your ears, poetry fans: Grace Schulman will take to the lectern to read at Sunday’s gathering of the Poetry Marathon in Amagansett.

Prick up your ears, poetry fans: Grace Schulman will take to the lectern to read at Sunday’s gathering of the Poetry Marathon in Amagansett. The Springs part-timer not long ago pulled down a Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America for her distinguished lifetime achievements. A distinguished professor of English at Baruch College, she is the author of numerous collections of poems, most recently “Without a Claim.” She edited “The Poems of Marianne Moore” and in 2010 came out with “First Loves and Other Adventures,” a book of essays on artistic influences and the writing life.

Bryley Williams
July 6, 2017

The Amagansett Library has a packed literary summer planned with an Authors After Hours series that begins Saturday night with Gerard Doyle, an actor and narrator, and continues to mid-August. 

Mr. Doyle, who is the performing arts teacher at the Ross Upper School in East Hampton, has recorded hundreds of audiobooks, including the “Inheritance” series by Christopher Paolini, “Sea of Trolls” by Nancy Farmer, and “The Looking Glass Wars” by Frank Beddor. He won an AudioFile Earphones Award for his first audiobook, “A Star Called Henry,” and has won myriad awards since then.

Mark Segal
July 6, 2017
“Sag Harbor: 100 Years of Film in the Village,” an homage to a century of cinema on Main Street, traces the theater’s history from the silent era to its nearly four-decade tenure as the last independent, single-screen theater on the East End.

“Sag Harbor: 100 Years of Film in the Village,” an homage to a century of cinema on Main Street, came out on Tuesday. Written by Annette Hinkle, former associate editor of The Sag Harbor Express and currently the community news editor of The Shelter Island Reporter, the book traces the theater’s history from the silent era to its nearly four-decade tenure as the last independent, single-screen theater on the East End. 

Evan Harris
July 6, 2017
In “The Whole Thing Together,” set in Wainscott, the young-adult novelist Ann Brashares is back with her suite of strong suits showing.

“The Whole Thing
Together”

Ann Brashares
Delacorte, $18.99

Summer, Wainscott, family weirdness. In “The Whole Thing Together” the young-adult novelist Ann Brashares of “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” series fame is back with her suite of strong suits showing. 

The book is immediately engaging, fast moving, and appealingly easy to read. All of these hold through the book’s conclusion in spite of a somber fork in the narrative road. It’s light and breezy meets situation tragedy.

Baylis Greene
July 6, 2017

Simon Perchik, Star Black, and Edward Butscher will usher in this summer’s iteration of the Poetry Marathon on Sunday at the East Hampton Town Marine Museum on Bluff Road in Amagansett.

There will be four readings this year, all of them this month. Each starts at 5:30 p.m. and is followed by a reception. The Marine Museum will be open for tours, as well.

Mr. Perchik, a prolific poet who lives in Springs, published his latest collection, “The B Poems,” with Poets Wear Prada at the end of last year. A review in The Star called it a deep exploration of the underworld in verse lacking all artifice.

Laura Wells
June 29, 2017
Ariel Levy's arresting memoir shows her eye for detail, her innate curiosity, and a great essayist's knack for not letting style get in the way of the story.

“The Rules
Do Not Apply”
Ariel Levy
Random House, $27

“To this day I feel comforted and relieved of loneliness, no matter how foreign my surroundings, if I have a pad and a pen.” As much as Ariel Levy’s arresting memoir, “The Rules Do Not Apply,” is about taking bold steps — she discovers Cap T, Cap L True Love when she meets Lucy during a blackout, describing her as a woman who “had the radiant decency of a sunflower” — the real spine of this book is about Ms. Levy’s passion for writing.