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Greil Marcus When That Rough God Goes Riding

These dreams of Van Morrison.

On the very first page of his new book, When That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison (Public Affairs, 195 pages, $22.95), rock critic Greil Marcus (Mystery Train, Lipstick Traces) compar ...   More
Wednesday, April 21, 2010 MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Frank Meeink Autobiography Of A Recovering Skinhead

How to build a skinhead; how to save one.

An Orangina bottle, soap in an old sock, and a pair of boots: These were Frank Meeink’s seemingly innocuous stepping stones in his rise as a notorious neo-Nazi leader. Autobiography of a Recove ...   More
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 NATALIE BAKER

Rebecca Skloot The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

History’s most important cancer, revealed.

In all the hullabaloo over healthcare reform, one issue I never heard addressed by either the talking heads or the screaming ninnies on the Mall is the unfathomable gulf of education that separates th ...   More
Wednesday, April 7, 2010 BEN WATERHOUSE

Alafair Burke 212

A former Portland assistant DA sends the Goldschmidt scandal to NYC.

Former Gov. Neil Goldschmidt keeps a low profile these days, but Portland writers keep resurrecting him—or characters based on him—in their novels. There was Phillip Margolin’s Execu ...   More
Wednesday, March 31, 2010 NIGEL JAQUISS

Mac McClelland For Us Surrender Is Out Of The Question

A Midwestern teacher visits the world’s oldest war.

What happens when an English teacher from Ohio stumbles onto the world’s longest-running war and a resulting humanitarian catastrophe bleeding through two troubled Southeast Asian countries? If ...   More
Wednesday, March 24, 2010 JAMES PITKIN

Mark Gluth The Late Work Of Margaret Kroftis

A beautiful little death.

The sentences in Mark Gluth’s debut novella are short. Like this. All of them. The title is a tip-off: “Kroftis.” That’s an anagram for Kristof. Writer Agota Kristof, that is. ...   More
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 CHRIS STAMM

Anthony Brandt The Man Who Ate His Boots

To boldly go where no scurvy-ridden, candle-eating man has gone before.

Don’t be misled by the catchy title of The Man Who Ate His Boots: The Tragic History of the Search for the Northwest Passage (Alfred A. Knopf, 441 pages, $28.95). The book is far from a biograph ...   More
Wednesday, March 10, 2010 HENRY STERN

Mary Gaitskill Don’t Cry

Tales from the bloody, disembodied heart.

Mary Gaitskill’s stories have always been a long time coming; about a decade has separated each of Gaitskill’s collections since her now-classic 1988 debut, Bad Behavior. Grace Paley&mdash ...   More
Wednesday, March 3, 2010 MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Jake Adelstein Tokyo Vice

Of gaijin, gangsters and geisha.

Of course, Tokyo Vice (Pantheon, 335 pages, $26) begins with a threat. The dapper Japanese gangster (say it with me: ya-ku-za) ungently insinuates to the American reporter that unless he gives up on h ...   More
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Wells Tower Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned

Stories to pillage by.

There’s a great moment in “Retreat,” a new short story by Wells Tower. Two brothers have been out deer hunting on a chilly island in Maine. They haven’t bagged anything, and th ...   More
Wednesday, February 3, 2010 JOHN MINERVINI

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