Aerial Maneuvers

Calvino's The Baron in the Trees, the book of his I love most, has accompanied me through life as a sort of moral and political manifesto. It may seem… More

Confessions of a Silent Genre

The reader’s report is the most silent of literary genres, its existence publicly acknowledged only in attacks or parodies. In Umberto Eco’s Misreadings, spectacularly obtuse flunkies advise publishers to… More

The Prison

The prisoner took a step—then another—and broke into a run. He hit the fence six feet above ground and scrambled to the top. Grabbing barbed wire, he ignored the… More

Albert Mobilio and Geoffrey O’Brien

Albert Mobilio: In a very clever book called Home Rules that was published a few years ago, the authors look at the rules that govern a house. They're very… More

Uneasy Peace

Many years ago, during what would have been my senior year in college if I hadn't left college and moved to New York, I got to attend a writers'… More

Lifetimes Out of Moments

A small boat crowded to the gunnels with journalists met the docking of Gertrude Stein’s steamship in New York. Her name ran like an illuminated rabbit around Times Square.… More

Open Destiny of Life

Let me put it this way: I went to school to poetry—that was where I learned how to write. People learn to write by doing various things. I suppose… More