Books

Actors — talented actors, that is — are usually amusing raconteurs and often good writers. They have a love of language, the sensuous savoring of the perfect phrase, and they develop a feeling for the dramatic arc of a scene, the...

Right around the corner from our boys’ grade school, they’d go there — first with us and then, older enough, with their friends — for after-school treats, Everett’s bushy mustache always smiling behind the counter...

    Here’s how it went: Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was at a posh Bastille Day brunch at an oceanfront East Hampton home. A young woman, newly arrived on the East End, trying to make conversation over the smoked salmon tray, offered:...

Poets Pack a Gallery     It’s billed as a Valentine’s Day reading of poems — but loosely. The day, Saturday, is after the fact, and the definition of a love poem has been expanded to include, for example, a love...

 “And So It Goes” Charles J. Shields Henry Holt, $30 “Kurt Vonnegut: Novels & Stories, 1963-1973” Edited by Sidney Offit Library of America, $35
Look Ahead, Writers     February on eastern Long Island. It can seem like the calendar’s equivalent of 3 a.m., when nothing good happens, not even snow. But using the down time to plan for better days — how about July...
    Out this week in paperback, Helen Schulman’s “This Beautiful Life” is a highly contemporary tale of woe. The novel looks at how a family manages and fails to manage in the grip of a thoroughly distressing...

“Elizabeth and Hazel” David Margolick Yale University Press, $26  

    Now in its 36th year, the annual Pushcart Prize anthology, “Best of the Small Presses,” has become a standard title for anyone interested in a sampling of who or what is happening in contemporary American literature.