And All the Saints – Michael Walsh

There’s a reason New York’s "Hell’s Kitchen" was called by that name, and—to a large degree—that reason is Owen (called "Owney" by his mother and his friends) Madden. Born in Ireland in the late 19th Century, Madden emigrated to  ...

Nina Simone Live at Ronnie Scott’s

On her very first LP, on the Bethlehem label in 1957, there was, in the singing and piano playing of Nina Simone (1933-2003) an authority, an artistic confidence unusual in a novice performer of 24. She had been trained  ...

Dispatches – Michael Herr

Dispatches was praised by John le Carre as "the best book I have ever read on men and war in our time." There is a masculine mystique that revolves around wartime fear, bravery, foolhardiness. Can a war book equally  ...

Minor Characters – Joyce Johnson

One "minor character" is accorded just half a sentence in biographies of cult author Jack Kerouac: he had "an erratic love affair with Joyce Glassmann between 1957 and 1959." In 1983, Glassmann (now Johnson) published her account of that  ...

Atonement – Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan’s latest novel, Atonement, which was nominated for the Booker Prize in 2001, is a taut, intensely satisfying meditation on the nature of reality and the narrative structure of morality. The first part of the novel is  ...