Critical Notes

Roundup: Theroux and Naipaul Make Up, Hans Keilson RIP, and more

By Mark Athitakis

Paul Theroux and V.S. Naipaul famously ended their long-standing feud last week—and Naipaul famously squandered whatever goodwill he earned from it by declaring himself better than every woman writer, ever. The New York TimesJennifer Schuessler uses the dustup as an opportunity to revisit recent literary feuds, from Mario Vargas Llosa versus Gabriel Garcia Marquez to Colson Whitehead versus Richard Ford.

Hans Keilson, a novelist and psychoanalyst whose literary career enjoyed a revival last year—he was a 2010 NBCC fiction finalist for his novel Comedy in a Minor Key—died last week at 101.

Stephen Burt pays tribute to the late science fiction writer and feminist critic Joanna Russ in the Beacon Broadside.

Carolyn Kellogg reviews Ann Patchett’s new novel, State of Wonder, in the Los Angeles Times.

Michael Antman lists “88 Highly Debatable Statements About ‘Reality’” in David Shields’ Reality Hunger, at Popmatters.

Heller McAlpin reviews Alexandra Styron’s memoir of her life with father William Styron, Reading My Father, in the Washington Post.

Judy Kreuger reviews Vanessa Vaselka’s novel Zazen at the New York Journal of Books.

Meredith Maran reviews Jon Ronson’s The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry in the San Francisco Chronicle.

David Abrams reviews Andrew Krivak’s World War I novel, The Sojourn, at the Barnes & Noble Review.

Mary Ann Gwinn reviews Erik Larson's In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin in the Seattle Times.

George De Stefano reviews Why Pamper Life’s Complexities?: Essays on the Smiths at the New York Journal of Books.

Shaun Randol reviews John Williams’ Stoner at his blog, Gently Read Literature.

Chuck Leddy reviews James Fergusson’s Taliban: The Unknown Enemy in the Boston Globe.

Barbara Spindel reviews Julie Winch’s The Clamorgans: One Family’s History of Race in America at the Barnes & Noble Review.

Steve Weinberg reviews Jane Bradley’s novel You Believers for the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Joseph Peschel reviews Paul Lisicky’s novel The Burning House for the Boston Globe.

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