I have to ask this of the 2015 listmakers: where's all the poetry?
Elizabeth Strout's new novel, My Name is Lucie Barton, returns to the mother-daughter turf of her debut, Amy and Isabelle, published a decade and a half ago.
Greg Pardlo submitted "Digest," his slim book of poems, to the major publishers. All rejected it. He sent it to Four Way Books, which is, like the poet, literary and decidedly non-profit. In 2014, Four Way published his 75-page book.
James Earl Jones is 84, and considered one of the world's finest actors, the voice of Darth Vader has been on Broadway since the 1950s, starring in plays from the Great White Hope and Othello to Fences and You Can't Take It With You. And he continues to dazzle audiences.
As with any thinking person, Miller's politics evolved, but he always believed in civil liberties and the right of artists, and all people, to express themselves freely. Although he later rejected the Marxism of his youth, he never lost his commitment to progressive causes and democratic rights.
Unless they're four gorgeously written, painstakingly molded, amazingly rendered and undeniably memorable books. If you can pull off four of those a year, more power to you. But most can't. I'd go so far as to say no one can, the qualifier being good books.
The past weighs heavily on Walter "Pops" Washington, the angry, suspicious ex-cop whose rage and stubbornness propel the fierce Between Riverside and Crazy, which opened American Conservatory Theater's 49th season a few days ago.
Award-winning writer Joyce Carol Oates has no fear of the notorious 'blank page', as she simply never faces it: "By the time I come to a blank page,...
"I like plays that feel like somebody took a fun house mirror and put it up to the real world, and it's sort of reflecting back a version of it to you. I find that, in looking at that reflection, you can start to understand a little more about your life."
Discomfort with history means that for the most part we as a country have allowed clouds of spun sugar to wrap around ugly truths. The young man steeped in racist ideology who murdered nine people in Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston last week has forced the nation to confront that complacence.
With my retirement on June 30 barely a heartbeat away, it is, as the hash-tag says, getting real. Each day has the tinge of poignancy, of last times...
Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet joins Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony this week in four performances of Leonard Bernstein's "Symphony No. 2: The Age of Anxiety."
Born in Wichita, Kansas, Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American to win an Oscar for her portrayal of Mammy in the classic 1939 movie Gone with the Wind.
The Pulitzer Prize for Drama was given to the writer of a fast and funny and poignant new American play that I had the good fortune to see, Between Riverside and Crazy.
Being a writer and journalist myself, I've always wondered about winning the Pulitzer Prize. It can change your life, I've intuited correctly. Not anybody can win it. You have to really be on top of your game to win one.
Last season on Broadway, actor Bryce Pinkham dazzled audiences in the musical A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. The murderous role earned him a Tony nomination (along with a Tony award for the show).