Susanna Confer

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A Poet on the Road

<i>Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,<br>Healthy, free, the world before me.</i> <br>—Walt Whitman<p>Like other poets of my generation, I’ve given …

World Book Night: Ten writers' reasons for reading

• "A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading."<b><br>William Styron</b><p>• "In …

Postscript: E. L. Konigsburg (1930-2013)

As a child in Pennsylvania, Elaine Lobl (E. L.) Konigsburg found that the best place to read was the bathroom. “It was the only room in our house that had a lock on the door,” she wrote, “and I could run water in the tub to muffle the sounds of my sobbing over Rhett Butler’s leaving Scarlett. …

More! is no more – and that's a sad message for tomorrow's teenagers

This weekend, two halves of my childhood died, albeit very different deaths. First came the announcement on Saturday night that EL Konigsburg, the …

Gay-lit icon Edmund White on ‘the end of fiction’

Edmund White makes an astonishing confession as we sit down to discuss his forthcoming appearances at Montreal's Blue Metropolis Literary Festival.<p>"I hate writing," says the award-winning, prolific author, playwright and journalist. "I almost never write. I write against deadlines. And when I'm …

Kate Atkinson leaves her detective tales behind – and the gamble pays off

Unlike most successful novelists who can thrive no matter what reviewers say, Kate Atkinson admits to reading what they write about her. And why not? The notices for her most recent novel, <i>Life After Life</i>, have been nothing but good, hailing it as a "major achievement" that has elevated an author …

Escape of the invasives: Top six invasive plant species in the United States

By Emily Grebenstein<p>Non-native plant species pose a significant threat to the natural ecosystems of the United States. Many of these invasive plants …

The Sheltering Sky

• <b>Author:</b> Paul Bowles<p>A beautiful paperback edition of a landmark of 20th Century literature, by acclaimed author Paul Bowles<p>In this classic work of psychological terror, Paul Bowles examines the ways in which Americans apprehend an alien culture--and the ways in which their incomprehension destroys …

The Plantagenets

• <b>Author:</b> Dan Jones<p><b>The New York Times bestseller that tells the story of Britain’s greatest and worst dynasty—“a real-life Game of Thrones” (The Wall Street Journal)—by the author of The Templars</b><p>The first Plantagenet kings inherited a blood-soaked realm from the Normans and transformed it into an …

Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.

• <b>Author:</b> Sam Wasson<p>NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER<p>NEW YORK TIMES BEST BOOK OF 2010<p>“So smart and entertaining it should come with its own popcorn” – People<p>“A bonbon of a book… As well tailored as the little black dress the movie made famous.” – Janet Maslin, New York Times<p>“Sam Wasson is a fabulous social …

The Secret Keeper

• <b>Author:</b> Kate Morton<p>From the <i>New York Times</i> and internationally bestselling author of <i>The Distant Hours, The Forgotten Garden,</i> and <i>The House at Riverton,</i> a spellbinding new novel filled with mystery, thievery, murder, and enduring love.<p>During a summer party at the family farm in the English …

Beautiful Ruins

• <b>Author:</b> Jess Walter<p>The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She …

The Great Gatsby

• <b>Author:</b> F. Scott Fitzgerald<p>The exemplary novel of the Jazz Age, F. Scott Fitzgeralds' third book, <i>The Great Gatsby</i> (1925), stands as the supreme achievement of his career. T. S. Eliot read it three times and saw it as the "first step" American fiction had taken since Henry James; H. L. Mencken …

Rules of Civility

• <b>Author:</b> Amor Towles<p><b>From the New York Times-bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow, a “sharply stylish” (Boston Globe) novel of a young woman in post-Depression era New York who suddenly finds herself thrust into high society.</b><p>On the last night of 1937, twenty-five-year-old Katey Kontent is in a …

A Week in Winter

• <b>Author:</b> Maeve Binchy<p>Stoneybridge is a small town on the west coast of Ireland where all the families know one another. When Chicky Starr decides to take an old, decaying mansion set high on the cliffs overlooking the windswept Atlantic Ocean and turn it into a restful place for a holiday by the …

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

• <b>Author:</b> Maria Semple<p><b>*Soon to be a major motion picture starring Cate Blanchett*</b><b>A whip-smart, hysterical dramedy about a family in crisis after the disappearance of its brilliant, misanthropic matriarch.</b><br>Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated …

Manuscript Found in Accra

• <b>Author:</b> Paulo Coelho & Margaret Jull Costa<p><b>The latest novel from the #1 internationally best-selling author of The Alchemist.</b><p><i>There is nothing wrong with anxiety.</i> <i><br>Although we cannot control God’s time, it is part of the human condition to want to receive the thing we are waiting for as quickly as</i> …

The Sun Also Rises

• <b>Author:</b> Ernest Hemingway<p>The quintessential novel of the Lost Generation, <i>The Sun Also Rises</i> is one of Ernest Hemingway’s masterpieces and a classic example of his spare but powerful writing style.<p>A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the novel …

Punch’s Picks: A Playful Spring

Bill Murray: The ESQ+A

The actor talks about inaccessibility and freedom, commitment and fatherhood. And Wes Anderson. And citrus fruit.<p><i>Published in the June/July 2012 issue</i><p><i>Friday, early evening in the basement of Murray's house in Charleston, South Carolina. Raab got into town around noon.</i><p><b>SCOTT RAAB:</b> Your name came up …

Bill Murray

Adventure Time: “Princess Potluck”

With each new season, the writers of <i>Adventure Time</i> have taken more chances with their storytelling, exploring more of the characters' personal drama …