I just reviewed Colson’s Whitehead’s THE NOBLE HUSTLE: Poker, Beef Jerky, and Death for the LA Times. While it ran long for a contemporary book review, I still needed space to really develop my arguments. Whitehead is immensely talented, but there’s a flaw running through the book that I think extends to many of the premiere novelists of his generation. When I get a head of steam going, I’ll write that piece. Maῆana, maῆana, maῆana.
My friend and former editor Paul Elie has been blogging daily at Everything that Rises. Literature, Italy, the papacy, are some of his main topics but he ranges widely. It’s now part of my my morning reveille and well worth a read. I don’t know how he stays so consistent but I haven’t seen a weak post yet. Check it out.
The title of his blog connects to his deep concerns – the Catholic Church, spirituality, the state of literature and the arts, and many things Italian. Paul published a book THE LIFE YOU SAVE MAY BE YOUR OWN: An American Pilgrimage, about four important mid-century American Catholic figures – O’Connor, Merton, Dorothy Day and Walker Percy. His newest book, REINVENTING BACH, provides a look at the great composer through the lens of a new millennium.
My new feature for Pacific Standard just came out. Last August and September I trekked into the Peruvian cloud forest to an Andean valley that only a handful of humans (or none) have traversed in the last five hundred years. In the 21st Century it’s remarkable that these places still exist, but in Peru they do. Alas, it’s only a matter of time until chain saws and flame sweep them away.