Dale Peck

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The 15 Best Nonfiction Books of the Year So Far

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From a personal examination of the modern definition of spinsterhood to an exploration of the internet’s dark and secret places, literary and journalistic nonfiction has gone to incredibly varied places this first half of the year. Here are the books that have stood out as we reach the half-year mark, all fueled by obsession and reflection, the hallmarks of the… Read More

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‘Til Human Voices Wake Us: Dale Peck’s ‘Visions and Revisions’ in the Age of AIDS

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Visions and Revisions, the title of Dale Peck’s new memoir about coming of age as a writer — as a person — during the AIDS crisis, might seem like a strange one from a novelist, critic, and essayist who once maligned literary modernism and its descendants. Only it isn’t. The title comes, as many readers will know, from T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” perhaps the 20th century’s greatest literary work devoted to sexual indecision. This is fitting for Peck, whose memoir is embroidered with the sexual indecisions brought about by the AIDS crisis, which, the book reminds us, was a matryoshka doll of other crises, both public and private, theoretical and practical, cultural and political — all of which threatened to overwhelm the writer. The subtitle of the first section: “And in short I was afraid.”
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Famous Literary Truces: Epic Feuds That Fizzled

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This week, the literary world was abuzz with the news of the reconciliation of Salman Rushdie and John le Carré after fifteen years of enmity, though we have to admit, we’re a little disappointed. You just don’t get that many good literary feuds these days, what with all the excessive apologizing and proper behavior (or maybe it’s just that there’s not enough drinking), and Rushdie is one of the last living writers ready for a dust-up, even if it’s just with Facebook. Still, we know our mothers would tell us that it’s better to be friends than enemies, so after the jump, we present a short list of famous literary feuds that went sweet and ended in truces. Click through to get the warm and fuzzies, and let us know who we missed in the comments.
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A Few of Our Favorite Author vs. Critic Dustups

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10 Notorious Literary Spats

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Patrick Kingsley recently wrote in The Guardian about “poisonous literary feuds” and the peacemakers who could broker a truce. We ran a post on the subject last year, but thought we would do an international list of troublemakers this time around. We’d also like to honor the man who racked up the most hours feuding with his literary colleagues: Norman Mailer. Writers today generally aren’t as venomous toward each other (although maybe Colson Whitehead would disagree after his salivary encounter with Richard Ford). We have to agree with Mailer’s proclamation on The Dick Cavett Show: “I’m going to be the champ until one of you knocks me off.”
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