NYRB News


April showers bring May flowers—and May birthdays!

May Day wasn’t the only celebration at the beginning of this month—there are also four literary birthdays!

Cover
Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) was born May 5. This Danish philosopher was one of the masters of contemporary thought. He wrote about existentialism and twentieth-century theology alike, and the anthology of his work, The Living Thoughts of Kierkegaard, edited and with an introduction by W.H. Auden, is the perfect introduction to Kierkegaard.
Cover
On May 6, it was Randall Jarrell (1914-1965), of Randall Jarell’s Book of Stories, an extraordinary anthology that is not only a collection of stories, but, with a celebrated introductory essay by Jarrell himself, an illumination of the art of storytelling.
Cover
Then there’s Edmund Wilson (1895-1972), born May 8, widely regarded as the foremost man of letters of the twentieth century, and the author of Memoirs of Hecate County. Of all the books he wrote, Wilson proclaimed this work of fiction to be his favorite. One need only read these interlinked sublime and satirical stories, told with marvelous detail of the depravity of the American Dream, to understand why.
Cover
Finally, there’s the great poet Charles Simic, who celebrates his birthday on May 9. The author of Dime-Store Alchemy, a reflection on the life and work of Joseph Cornell, and Confessions of a Poet Laureate, a New York Review e-book original.