It’s a big week for new books. Amitav Ghosh’s River of Smoke is now out, as is Lost Memory of Skin by Russell Banks, Chango’s Beads and Two-Tone Shoes by William Kennedy, Luminous Airplanes by Paul La Farge, and The Funny Man by John Warner, who recently appeared in these pages. Philip Roth’s American Trilogy is getting the Library of America treatment. (Capsule previews of all of the preceding titles are available here, incidentally). New in non-fiction is Stephen Greenblatt’s The Swerve: How the World Became Modern and Susan Orlean’s Rin Tin Tin. And out in paperback: none other than Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom.
In New York, Gabriel Sherman checks in on Wall Street and finds that the big money culture may be gone for good. "There has been a growing recognition on Wall Street that the system that had provided those million-dollar bonuses was built on a highly unstable foundation."
“If Schiff is right to accuse us of nurturing an unrequited infatuation with what amounts to America’s first tabloid scandal, then she’s done the literary equivalent of force us into a cold shower.” The New Republic reviews Stacy Schiff’s new book, The Witches: Salem, 1692.
We're not supposed to call it a hypertext, but when you've got some time, try playing around with Paul La Farge's website for Luminous Airplanes - which will eventually grow to encompass three times as much material as the print edition of the book.