Updike by Adam Begley
The Collected Stories: Collected Early Stories, Collected Later Stories by John Updike, edited by Christopher Carduff
The Impossible Exile: Stefan Zweig at the End of the World by George Prochnik
The Grand Budapest Hotel a film directed by Wes Anderson
Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, translated from the French by Arthur Goldhammer
The Catholic Rubens: Saints and Martyrs by Willibald Sauerländer, translated from the German by David Dollenmayer
Biology’s Brave New World: The Promise and Perils of the Synbio Revolution by Laurie Garrett
The Principles for the Oversight of Synthetic Biology by the Friends of the Earth US, the International Center for Technology Assessment, and the ETC Group
Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade by Walter Kirn
The Contest of the Century: The New Era of Competition with China—and How America Can Win by Geoff Dyer
Unbalanced: The Codependency of America and China by Stephen Roach
China Goes Global: The Partial Power by David Shambaugh
China Story Yearbook 2013: Civilising China edited by Geremie R. Barmé and Jeremy Goldkorn
Local Souls by Allan Gurganus
FDR and the Jews by Richard Breitman and Allan J. Lichtman
FDR and the Holocaust: A Breach of Faith by Rafael Medoff
The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates
Carthage by Joyce Carol Oates
The World According to Dick Cheney a film directed by R.J. Cutler and Greg Finton
In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir by Dick Cheney, with Liz Cheney
Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency by Barton Gellman
500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars by Kurt Eichenwald
Peter Brooks is Sterling Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at Yale and Andrew W. Mellon Scholar at Princeton. His books include The Melodramatic Imagination, Reading for the Plot, and, as editor, the recently published The Humanities and Public Life.
David Cole is the Honorable George J. Mitchell Professor in Law and Public Policy at Georgetown University Law Center. He is the author of several books, including The Torture Memos: Rationalizing the Unthinkable (2009), Less Safe, Less Free: Why America Is Losing the War on Terror (with Jules Lobel, 2007) and Enemy Aliens: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism (2003).
Mark Danner is the author, most recently, of Stripping Bare the Body: Politics Violence War. He is Chancellor’s Professor of English and Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley and James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and the Humanities at Bard. His writing and other work can be found at markdanner.com.
Michael Dirda, a weekly book columnist for The Washington Post, received the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for criticism. He is the author of the memoir An Open Book and of four collections of essays: Readings, Bound to Please, Book by Book, and Classics for Pleasure. His most recent book, On Conan Doyle, received a 2012 Edgar Award for best critical/biographical work of the year. Dirda graduated with Highest Honors in English from Oberlin College and earned a Ph.D. in comparative literature (medieval studies and European romanticism) from Cornell University. He is a contributor to The New York Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, the online Barnes & Noble Review, and several other periodicals, as well as a frequent lecturer and an occasional college teacher.
Wendy Doniger is a Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago and the author of The Hindus: An Alternative History and, most recently, On Hinduism. Her essay in the May 8, 2014 issue was delivered as the opening keynote speech at the annual meeting of the Association of Asian Studies in March 2014.
Noah Feldman is Bemis Professor of Law at Harvard. His books include Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR’s Great Supreme Court Justices and Cool War: The Future of Global Competition. (May 2014)
Peter France is Professor Emeritus of French at the University of Edinburgh and the editor of The New Oxford Companion to Literature in French. The poem in the May 8, 2014 issue is included in Poems of Osip Mandelstam, translated and with a foreword by Peter France, to be published by New Directions in June 2014. (May 2014)
Hermione Lee is President of Wolfson College, Oxford, and the author of biographies of Virginia Woolf and Edith Wharton. Her biography of Penelope Fitzgerald will be published later in 2014. (May 2014)
David Lehman’s new book of poems, his sixth, is When a Woman Loves a Man. He is the series editor of The Best American Poetry, the annual anthology he founded in 1988, and is currently preparing a new edition of The Oxford Book of American Poetry. His nonfiction books include The Last Avant-Garde: The Making of the New York School of Poets and Signs of the Times: Deconstruction and the Fall of Paul de Man.
Richard C. Lewontin is Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology and Professor of Biology at Harvard University. He is the author of The Genetic Basis of Evolutionary Change and Biology as Ideology, and the co-author of The Dialectical Biologist (with Richard Levins) and Not in Our Genes (with Steven Rose and Leon Kamin).
Osip Mandelstam (1891–1938) was born and raised in St. Petersburg, where he attended the prestigious Tenishev School, before studying at the universities of St. Petersburg and Heidelberg and at the Sorbonne. Mandelstam first published his poems in Apollyon, an avant-garde magazine, in 1910, then banded together with Anna Akhmatova and Nicholas Gumilev to form the Acmeist group, which advocated an aesthetic of exact description and chiseled form, as suggested by the title of Mandelstam’s first book, Stone (1913). During the Russian Revolution, Mandelstam left Leningrad for the Crimea and Georgia, and he settled in Moscow in 1922, where his second collection of poems, Tristia, appeared. Unpopular with the Soviet authorities, Mandelstam found it increasingly difficult to publish his poetry, though an edition of collected poems did come out in 1928. In 1934, after reading an epigram denouncing Stalin to friends, Mandelstam was arrested and sent into exile. He wrote furiously during these years, and his wife, Nadezhda, memorized his work in case his notebooks were destroyed or lost. (Nadezhda Mandelstam’s extraordinary memoirs of life with her husband, Hope Against Hope and Hope Abandoned, published in the 1970s, later helped to bring Mandelstam a worldwide audience.)
Anka Muhlstein was awarded the Prix Goncourt in 1996 for her biography of Astolphe de Custine, and has twice received the History Prize of the French Academy. Her books include Balzac’s Omelette and, most recently, Monsieur Proust’s Library.
Darryl Pinckney, a longtime contributor to The New York Review of Books, is the author of a novel, High Cotton, and Out There: Mavericks of Black Literature. He has worked for Robert Wilson on various theatrical projects, most recently an adaptation of Daniil Kharms’s The Old Woman.
Vladimir Sorokin was born in a small town outside of Moscow in 1955. He trained as an engineer at the Moscow Institute of Oil and Gas, but turned to art and writing, becoming a major presence in the Moscow underground of the 1980s. His work was banned in the Soviet Union, and his first novel, The Queue, was published by the famed émigré dissident Andrei Sinyavsky in France in 1983. In 1992, Sorokin’s Collected Stories was nominated for the Russian Booker Prize; in 1999, the publication of the controversial novel Blue Lard, which included a sex scene between clones of Stalin and Khrushchev, led to public demonstrations against the book and to demands that Sorokin be prosecuted as a pornographer; in 2001, he received the Andrei Biely Award for outstanding contributions to Russian literature. Sorokin is also the author of the screenplays for the movies Moscow, The Kopeck, and 4, and of the libretto for Leonid Desyatnikov’s Rosenthal’s Children, the first new opera to be commissioned by the Bolshoi Theater since the 1970s. He has written numerous plays and short stories, and his work has been translated throughout the world. Among his most recent books are Sugar Kremlin and Day of the Oprichnik. He lives in Moscow.