Michael Greenberg is the author of Hurry Down Sunshine and Beg, Borrow, Steal: A Writer’s Life. 
(August 2016)

IN THE REVIEW

The Passions of Vargas Llosa

Mario Vargas Llosa, Lima, Peru, October 1994

Notes on the Death of Culture: Essays on Spectacle and Society

by Mario Vargas Llosa, edited and translated from the Spanish by John King

The Discreet Hero

by Mario Vargas Llosa, translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman
Even among his extraordinary generation of Latin American literary figures, Mario Vargas Llosa has had an unusually prodigious career. He is nine years younger than his most famous contemporary, Gabriel García Márquez, yet his first two novels had an electrifying effect on Latin American literature when García Márquez was still …

Scorched by Murder

Richard Price, New York City, 2009

Lush Life

by Richard Price

The Whites

by Richard Price writing as Harry Brandt
Richard Price published his first novel, The Wanderers, in 1974, when he was twenty-four. It’s a propulsive, plotless bullet of a book whose story is its teenage characters’ lives. It has much in common with Last Exit to Brooklyn, Hubert Selby Jr.’s sordid gale force of a novel about dope …

Catching Hold of the Devious City

Saul Leiter: Red Umbrella, circa 1955

The New York School: Photographs, 1936–1963

by Jane Livingston

Saul Leiter: Early Black and White

with essays by Max Kozloff and Jane Livingston
New York street photographers were among the great flaneurs of the twentieth century. These weaponized observers with their loaded metal boxes (so much more conspicuous than reporters with their pocket-sized notebooks) did their most striking work in the 1940s and 1950s. One thinks of Helen Levitt’s image, from 1940, of …

The NY Police vs. the Mayor

Law enforcement officers turning their backs on a live screen of Mayor Bill de Blasio as he delivered a eulogy for NYPD Officer Rafael Ramos inside Christ Tabernacle Church, Glendale, Queens, December 27, 2014
When Mayor de Blasio took his place at the pulpit during Officer Ramos’s funeral in Queens on December 27, the shiver of hostility from the police was astounding. So abruptly did they turn their backs to the mayor’s image on the screen that for an instant I thought it must be some kind of religious ritual, a turning to the East perhaps, toward Bethlehem, in deference to Ramos’s devoutness.

NYR DAILY

Caught in the Act

A sampling of meticulous mug shots, along with about forty crime-related images from American tabloids, police files, security cameras, and photographers both anonymous and widely known, comprise the fascinating exhibition “Crime Stories: Photography and Foul Play,” currently at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The curators have set up an interesting dialogue between celebrated victims and assassins, on the one hand, and the unknown on the other: Robert F. Kennedy seconds after he was shot on June 5, 1968, provokes a predictable ache; an anonymous, plebian bank robber, ferociously tries to shoot out a security camera in a burst of smoke and light.

Dislodged in New York

Mark Reay in Thomas Wirthensohn's Homme Less, 2014

A new documentary, Homme Less, opening on August 7 at the IFC Center in Manhattan, is a reminder of how far the homeless population now reaches in New York. Mark Reay, fashion photographer and former model, has been living on the fire-escape of a private building for three years. With Promethean effort he has managed to hold the dooming signs of destitution (the odor, the accreted grime) at bay. Though he is isolated in his double life, he is far from alone.

‘We’re Not Going to Stand for This Anymore’

A protester outside City Hall in New York City, December 10, 2014

The decision of a Staten Island grand jury not to indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo for the death of Eric Garner has thrust the city into the center of a rapidly intensifying national debate. Many New Yorkers seem to be just becoming aware of the fact that a huge number of their fellow citizens live daily in a state of high alert, if not outright fear of the police and have been doing so for decades.

A Beautiful Mosaic of Filth

Steven Hirsch: Rhode, 2014

Steven Hirsch’s photos of the Gowanus Canal are solely concerned with the surface of the water—the gonorrhea, coli, and putida bacteria that cling to one another there in a mosaic of filth. In fact, these images are a microscopic record of an ecological disaster.

NYR CALENDAR