1



Alan Cheuse

  • American writer
  • Born January 23, 1940
  • Died July 31, 2015

Alan Stuart Cheuse (January 23, 1940 – July 31, 2015) was an American writer, editor, professor of literature, and radio commentator.


We want a world with both historians and novelists, don't we? Not with one or the other. Every fiction writer crosses the line that divides artistry and documentation - or erases it.




In 'A Scandalous Woman,' the eventually distraught narrator watches as her high-spirited friend is beaten down - literally and figuratively - by Ireland's pious customs.




Sad to think that we won't have any new stories from John Updike, one of the last century's masters. But so many here in the two volumes of his collected stories, 186 by my count, stories to read, reread, savor over the course of a cold season. Updike's genius in the short form spills out of these many, many pages.




The dedication of Don Winslow's novel 'The Cartel' is nearly two pages long: a list of journalists who were either murdered or 'disappeared' in Mexico between 2004 and 2012 - the period covered in this hugely hypnotic new thriller.




From sublime affairs of state to the stark and vulgar popular culture of our own contemporary lives, let's make this descent into the lower registers together and recognize the good, nasty fun of 'Gone Girl,' Chicago writer Gillian Flynn's novel about the mysterious disappearance of a clever and deceptive young Midwestern housewife.




Former Dublin newsman Paul Lynch made his debut as a novelist a few years ago with a book called 'Red Sky in Morning,' set in mid-19th century County Donegal, where a rage-driven farmer has committed a murder with devastating results.




In 'Shadow Tag,' Erdrich creates scenes from a fictional marriage, that of two American Indians, Irene and her painter husband Gil, that suggest some of the worst psychological torments and stresses of real life.




Reading is as much a part of life as any part, and it's life itself. And it allows us to live other lives that we might not have lived if we hadn't picked up those books.




When Edna O'Brien's first novel, 'The Country Girls,' was published in 1960, her family and neighbors in the small Irish village where she was born tossed copies into a bonfire expressly set for that horrifying purpose.




I wish - I wish instead of just recommending these books, I could set them down at your doorstep. The collected stories of John Updike, the second volume of T.C. Boyle's collected stories, and Stanley Crouch's book about the rise and times of our genius saxophone player Charlie Parker. These are deep books, books that you can get lost in.




The premise of 'Descent' may sound pretty straightforward: One summer morning while vacationing with her family in the foothills of the Rockies, a young girl, a high-school athlete in her senior year, goes out for a run in the higher altitudes - and disappears.



1