Eisenberg’s shorts certainly are salient

March 31, 2006 • 0
I’ve always thought short stories were just something novelists did to pass the time. They express a creative urge, certainly, but nothing epic — if the writer just eats a cookie, I imagine the urge will subside. To put it simply, when reading “The New Yorker,” I skim the short stories and scavenge for the »

Jesus loves you and Gilead

February 3, 2006 • 0
To the casual college-aged reader, Marilynne Robinson’s “Gilead” offers little appeal. The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, recently issued in paperback, is anything but sexy. And yet, in a more perfect world, students would slide the novel into their messenger bags each morning. Wedged among pens, planners and iPods, “Gilead” would still shimmer with rare, essential knowledge: »

“Magical” memoirs lacks

November 11, 2005 • 0
Augusten Burroughs is, for better or worse, the poor man’s David Sedaris. The two men share much in common: a sexual orientation (gay), colorful families (which are borderline abusive) and an essentially dim view of human nature (countered by unapologetic vanity and self-absorption). However, the similarities taper there. While Sedaris is a regular contributor to »

Author chronicles the obsessed, magician

November 5, 2005 • 0
The profiles Mark Singer writes for “The New Yorker” are as wry and intricate as the idiosyncratic details they contain. Singer’s style is to shovel detail atop detail in restrained, intelligent prose and slowly, these seemingly inane facts accrue meaning — ultimately, they add up to a complete person. Similarly, Singer’s stories gain significance and »

Debut novel goes awry

September 30, 2005 • 0
“Indecision,” Benjamin Kunkel’s debut novel, seems awfully heavy for a trim, quick-paced 240 page book. Maybe that’s because the book is bogged down by the hope and hype surrounding it. After all, Kunkel is a young, handsome, accomplished Harvard grad. NYC literati like Jay McInerney have already anointed Kunkel as a new voice for a »

A Friedman revisits puberty, again

October 16, 2004 • 0
I don’t think Peter knew what he was getting into when he signed up to work at a summer camp. Peter and I worked together this summer. We lived in a bunk with seventeen 14 year old boys. At times, it was downright bizarre. Peter’s from England. He’s proper, gracious, well-mannered, really kinda feminine — »

After a tumultous year, a makeover for WYBC-AM

March 28, 2003 • 0
WYBC-AM, Yale’s student run radio station, wants to be recognized for more than just their ubiquitous T-shirt logo. In the past, WYBC-AM has lacked a clear mission, said Caroline Nathan ’04, the station’s president and general manager. The station has reached out to the greater Yale community by establishing a new comprehensive Web site to »