Jonathan Raban’s books include Surveillance, My Holy War, Arabia, Old Glory, Hunting Mister Heartbreak, Bad Land, Passage to Juneau, and Waxwings. His most recent book is Driving Home: An American Journey, published in 2011. He is the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Heinemann Award of the Royal Society of Literature, the PEN/West Creative Nonfiction Award, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers’ Award, and the Governor’s Award of the State of Washington. He is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books, The Guardian, and The Independent. He lives in Seattle.
The Letters of William Gaddis edited by Steven Moore, with an afterword by Sarah Gaddis
The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
The Pale King: An Unfinished Novel by David Foster Wallace
The Broom of the System by David Foster Wallace
Fate, Time, and Language: An Essay on Free Will by David Foster Wallace
Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity by David Foster Wallace
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, translated from the French and with an introduction and notes by Lydia Davis
Going Rogue: An American Life by Sarah Palin
Sarah from Alaska: The Sudden Rise and Brutal Education of a New Conservative Superstar by Scott Conroy and Shushannah Walshe
Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits by Linda Gordon
Daring to Look: Dorothea Lange’s Photographs and Reports from the Field by Anne Whiston Spirn
Wendy and Lucy a film by Kelly Reichardt, adapted from a story by Jon Raymond
Livability: Stories by Jon Raymond
The Selected Essays of Gore Vidal edited by Jay Parini
The Anglo Files:A Field Guide to the British by Sarah Lyall
The Conservative Soul: How We Lost It, How to Get It Back by Andrew Sullivan
The Road to Guantánamo a film directed by Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross
Enemy Combatant: My Imprisonment at Guantánamo, Bagram, and Kandahar by Moazzam Begg with Victoria Brittain
Guantánamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power by Joseph Margulies
Terrorist by John Updike
The Letters of Robert Lowell edited by Saskia Hamilton
The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States by The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks
Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror by "Anonymous" (Michael Scheuer)
Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror by Richard A. Clarke
The Power of Nightmares by Adam Curtis
Al-Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror by Jason Burke
The Outlaw Sea: A World of Freedom, Chaos, and Crime by William Langewiesche
The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition by Caroline Alexander. Published in association with the American Museum of Natural History, New York, where Caroline Alexander has co-curated an exhibition that includes the James Caird and more than 150 of Frank Hurley's photographs
Shackleton by Roland Huntford
I May Be Some Time: Ice and the English Imagination by Francis Spufford
South: A Memoir of the Endurance Voyage by Ernest Shackleton
Endurance: An Epic of Polar Adventure by F.A. Worsley, with a preface by Patrick O'Brian
Shackleton’s Boat Journey by F.A. Worsley
South: Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance Expedition (1919) a film by Frank Hurley
Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
Scott’s Last Expedition: The Journals by Robert Falcon Scott, with a new introduction by Beryl Bainbridge
Mrs. Chippy’s Last Expedition: The Remarkable Journal of Shackleton’s Polar-Bound Cat by Caroline Alexander
Alongshore by John Stilgoe
The Lure of the Sea: The Discovery of the Seaside in the Western World 1750-1840 by Alain Corbin, translated by Jocelyn Phelps
Waterfronts: Cities Reclaim Their Edge by Ann Breen, by Dick Rigby. maps by Diane Charyk Norris and Charles Norris
A Frolic of His Own by William Gaddis
English Journey by J.B. Priestley
English Journey, or The Road to Milton Keynes by Beryl Bainbridge
J’Accuse: The Dark Side of Nice by Graham Greene
Monsignor Quixote by Graham Greene
Collected Stories by V.S. Pritchett
The Turn of the Years: “As Old as the Century” by V.S. Pritchett
“The Seasons’ Course” selected engravings by Reynolds Stone
Halfway Around the World: An Improbable Journey by Gavin Young
Because Washington state now votes by mail, elections here tend to play out, at an agonizingly slow speed, over many days and, sometimes, weeks. So it was a relief when Dino Rossi, the Republican challenger, conceded to Senator Patty Murray less than 48 hours after the polls closed, with 1.8m ballots counted and around 600,000 still to come.
After the short-lived tornado of “Bigotgate” on April 28, and the final televised prime ministerial debate the next evening the British opinion polls have been all over the place. They agree that David Cameron’s Conservatives will win and Gordon Brown’s Labour party will lose, but everything else is shrouded in fog.
After the second televised prime ministerial debate, Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats continue to run neck-and-neck in opinion polls with David Cameron’s Conservatives, with Gordon Brown and Labour in third place.
Britain’s first ever televised prime ministerial debate, which took place on April 15 in Manchester, can be seen on C-Span (though when I watched it the sound and pictures were distractingly out of sync), or heard on BBC Radio 4.
Trying to follow the impending British general election from afar, I’ve been reading The End of the Party: The Rise and Fall of New Labour by Andrew Rawnsley, chief political commentator for the Observer. Eight hundred pages long, and crammed with “inside” political gossip (or credible intelligence, if you prefer), it’s a book as hard to admire as it is to put down. Though the text is bespattered with authenticating footnotes (many say no more than “Conversation, Cabinet minister”), it reads like airport fiction. Its flawed (and credible) hero is Tony Blair, its cardboard villain Gordon Brown.
Some visual footnotes to my piece on Dorothea Lange in the new issue of The New York Review. I wrote about her work for the Farm Security Administration and her famous photograph Migrant Mother, and also discussed other areas of her work that may be less well known to readers, including this portrait of a Hopi man, which appears in Linda Gordon’s new biography of Lange.
Yonville l’Abbaye, literature’s capital of provincial conformity, clichés, and idées reçues, was said by Flaubert to be “a place that does not exist.” But ever since Maxime du Camp, Flaubert’s friend and traveling companion, told the world that the germ of Madame Bovary was the scandalous death by suicide of Delphine Delamare, wife of the officer of health in the small market town of Ry, fiction and fact, Yonville and Ry, have become inseparably entwined.