Category Archives: books

Paul Beatty wins Man Booker Prize, a first for an American writer

Although I haven’t read Paul Beatty’s novel The Sellout, I will now, for it’s just won the Man Booker Prize, Britain’s most prestigious literary award. I’ve found the Booker Prize a reliable source for good literature: that’s the way I originally came upon Paul Scott’s The Raj Quartet (its sequel, Staying On, won the Booker in […]

Discovery Institute and Commentary laud Tom Wolfe’s evolution-bashing in “The Kingdom of Speech” (and diss Professor Ceiling Cat)

Think of the poor schmucks who work at the Discovery Institute (DI). Having completely failed to get Intelligent Design taught in schools, or ever moderately accepted in the scientific community—and they predicted such acceptance would have happened by now—they are reduced to carping about evolutionists like me, making ad hominem arguments, and touting those scholars—like Jerry […]

Adam Kirsch on writing and cultural appropriation

Just to show how ridiculous is the claim that writers should generally avoid producing fiction about “marginalized groups” unless they belong to those groups (see here, here and here re the Lionel Shriver affair), have a butcher’s at a new kerfuffle: that involving “Elena Ferrante,” an Italian author of wildly popular novels, especially the “Neapolitan Novels”, a series […]

The best review yet of Tom Wolfe’s book on language

I don’t think my WaPo review of Tom Wolfe’s new book The Kingdom of Speech was half bad, but there’s a better one out, which is very long and ergo can cover a lot more ground. It’s at 3:AM Magazine, is by “E. J. Spode” (probably a pseudonym), and, when printed out, is 19 pages long. But […]

Reflections on the tenth anniversary of The God Delusion

Over at The Friendly Atheist, Hemant Mehta has been collecting quotes from atheists about the significance of Richard Dawkins’s book The God Delusion, which was published ten years ago today. Hemant says this about the book, “. . . you could argue that The God Delusion has created more atheists than any other book in history… […]

Nick Cohen on the flaws of the “cultural appropriation” warriors

I keep saying that Nick Cohen is an Anglophonic treasure. In terms of his straightforwardness and adherence to classical rather than Regressive Leftism, he’s the closest thing we have to the late Christopher Hitchens. And everyone should read his two books You Can’t Read this Book: Censorship in an Age of Freedom and What’s Left?: How Liberals […]

Peter Singer’s new books on ethics

Peter Singer’s new book on ethics, a series of short essays about real-world ethical issues, came out September 13 (Princeton University Press), and already it’s Amazon’s #1 release in “Philosophy of Ethics and Morality”. I’ll be reading it for sure, as Singer is one philosopher who has something to say about how real people live […]

Lionel Shriver’s full speech on literature and cultural appropriation

On September 11 I wrote about an article in the Guardian by black Australian Muslim author Yasmin Abdel-Magied. Her piece, “As Lionel Shriver made light of identity, I had no choice but to walk out on her,” describes how Abdel-Magied was deeply triggered by a speech by novelist Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin and other books) at […]

More Egnorance about Darwin and language in the Washington Post

Well, given the number of comments on my review in the Washington Post of Tom Wolfe’s abysmal new book on Darwin, Chomsky, and the evolutionary basis of language (Wolfe says there is no such basis), I shouldn’t have been surprised that there would be pushback from readers. But what I didn’t expect was that one of the […]

France 24 interviews Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie has a “new” book (see below), although it’s actually a year old. And review have been mixed (see this versus this, for example). I haven’t read it, so readers who have should weigh in below.  This interview with France 24’s Marc Perelman is nominally about the book, but really deals with a number […]