How Should One Read a Book?

In the first place, I want to emphasize the note of interrogation at the end of my title. Even if I could answer the question for myself, the answer… More

The Most Insidious Censorship: A Conversation

K. ANTHONY APPIAH: As member’s of PEN’s Freedom-to-Write Committee, we’re heirs to a tradition of worrying mostly about the role of governments in restricting access to information, which is… More

First Love

Mrs. Dalloway is the first great book I ever read. I was fifteen, a not very promising student at a not very good public high school in Southern California,… More

The Play’s the Thing: A Discussion

BEGINNINGSCHARLES MEE: I had polio when I was a kid, and up until I was fifteen I had never read anything but comic books. Then a high school English… More

The Real Story: Literary Fact and Fiction

CHARLES MCGRATH: It seems fair to say that we’re living in an age of porosity; the traditional boundaries between fact and fiction have become permeable, with factual narratives borrowing techniques… More

One-Legged Walter

One-Legged WalterHe always made me wonder.Eyes crow-footed from sun,on snow.Body slumped,from slack times.He lived in Sullivan’s junk-yard,in a gutted ’51 Chevy.On the floorboard,tattered blankets, neatly sewn together,made his bed.Sunkist… More

All the Range

Borges was an immensely prolific writer who never wrote anything long, and what he mainly wrote, besides his thousand pages of short stories and around five hundred poems, was… More

Nothing Simple

After his death, when I visited Buenos Aries with my wife, Paula Cooper, it was remarkable to stay in a hotel next door to a building that Borges once… More

1,001 Laughs

1,001 LaughsBack in the thirties, Borges worked for an Argentinean womens’ magazine called El Hogar—a magazine of middle-class attitudes and presumptions, roughly similar to Redbook in America today. I… More