The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer
The Year of the Greylag Goose by Konrad Lorenz, translated by Robert Martin, photographs by Sybille Kalas, by Klaus Kalas
The Apathetic Bookie Joint by Daniel Fuchs
The Boer War by Thomas Pakenham
White House Years by Henry Kissinger
Just Above My Head by James Baldwin
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter
Darkness Visible by William Golding
Neal Ascherson is the author of The Struggles for Poland, The Black Sea, and Stone Voices: The Search for Scotland. He is an Honorary Professor at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.
James Merrill (1926–1995) was an American poet whose major work The Changing Light at Sandover describes a series of spirit communications conducted over many years. He won the National Book Award from his collections Nights and Days and Mirabell: Books of Number.
Stanley Hoffmann is Paul and Catherine Buttenwieser University Professor at Harvard. His most recent books are Chaos and Violence: What Globalization, Failed States, and Terrorism Mean for US Foreign Policy and Rousseau and Freedom, coedited with Christie McDonald.
John Carey is Arts Emeritus Merton Professor of English at Oxford University. He has appeared as a host and commentator on numerous television and radio programs in England and is the former chief book reviewer for The Sunday Times. Among his books are The Intellectuals and the Masses, What Good Are the Arts?, Pure Pleasure: A Guide to the Twenieth Century’s Most Enjoyable Books, and a biography of William Golding. He has chaired the Booker Prize committee twice and in 2005 was the chair of the first international Booker Prize committee.
E.L. Doctorow is the author most recently of All the Time in the World: New and Selected Stories, which appeared last year. His essay in this issue will appear in different form as the introduction to a new edition of As I Lay Dying, to be published by Modern Library in May. (May 2012)
Allen Ginsberg (1926–1997) was a poet and one of most prominent figures of the Beat Generation. His epic poem “Howl,” which denounced bourgeois conformity and capitalistic greed, became the subject of a landmark obscenity trial in San Francisco. Known for his celebration of the marginalized and the downtrodden and his opposition to American militarism, Ginsberg drew inspiration from the long lines and anaphoric rhythms of Walt Whitman. His 1981 collection Plutonium Ode won the National Book Award; in 1993 Ginsberg was awarded the medal of Chevalier Des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.
Jeri Laber, Senior Advisor to Human Rights Watch, was formerly executive director of its Helsinki division. She is the author, with Barnett R. Rubin, of A Nation is Dying’: Afghanistan Under the Soviets, 1979—1987. (January 1997)
Arthur Miller (1915–2005) was an American playwright and essayist. His 1949 play, Death of A Salesman, received a Tony Award for Best Author, The New York Drama Circle Critics’ Award, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Philip Roth was born in Newark, New Jersey, which has served as the setting for many of his novels. He won the National Book Award for his first book, Goodbye, Columbus, and for Sabbath’s Theater, the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral, and three PEN/Faulkner awards, for Operation Shylock, The Human Stain, and Everyman.
Orville Schell is the former Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, and currently the Arthur Ross Director of the Center on US–China Relations at the Asia Society in New York City. (May 2010)
Susan Sontag (1933–2004) was a novelist, playwright, filmmaker, and one of the most influential critics of her generation. Her books include Against Interpretation, On Photography, Illness as Metaphor, and The Volcano Lover.
Rose B. Styron is a poet, journalist and human rights activist. She is the author of By Vineyard Light, a collection of poems centered on Martha’s Vineyard, where she and her husband, writer William Styron, spent extended summers. Her other books include From Summer to Summer, Thieves’ Afternoon and Modern Russian Poetry.
Robert Penn Warren (1936–2011) was an American novelist, poet and critic. From 1944 until 1945 he served as Consultant in Poetry—the position would later become Poet Laureate—to the Library of Congress.