Books

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Art for Art’s Sake

Of all the artists known as Abstract Expressionists -- those color field, action-painting revolutionaries who, with just a few bold splashes of paint in...
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A Certain ‘Patois’

SPEAKING VOLUMES In the long relationship that Jews have had with the comic strip and its cousin, the comic book, Milt Gross stands as the...
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A Life That’s Nasty, Brutish and … Funny

SPEAKING VOLUMES Phil Camp, the central character of Bill Scheft's third novel, Everything Hurts, published by Simon & Schuster, is grappling with a number of...
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His Own Kind of Free Thinker

When the artist R.B. Kitaj died at age 74 in October of last year, The New York Times ran a respectful, studied sort of obituary, under...
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How Much Is Too Much?

When Florence Noiville's Isaac B. Singer: A Life arrived in my office, just the look of the book -- it's sheer lack of heft...
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In the Eye of the Beholder

I've said it many times over the years -- Yale University Press continues, season after season, to publish some of the finest, most adventurous...
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Story of Modern Hebrew: 22 Letters That Witnessed History

Amherst College professor and prolific writer Ilán Stavans' most recent book, Resurrecting Hebrew, recounts the story of how, at the end of the 19th...
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In New Book, ‘Rocky Stories’ Get Re-Enacted on Art Museum Steps

They're really just stone steps, all 72 of them: five flights of 13 and another with seven steps -- and those last ones are...
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Abandon ‘Hope’: Author Charts Terrain of Novel

Shalom Auslander, a 41-year-old fiction writer and essayist, lives in upstate New York and grew up in the Orthodox enclave of Monsey, N.Y. Much...
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Speaking Volumes: (Not So) Star Struck: On ‘Baby Doll’s and spaghetti westerns

If you're in the mood for a treatise on the fine art of acting, with frequent asides about the history of the Actors Studio...