by Amanda Shubert

After Precocity: J.D. Salinger

J.D. Salinger’s subject is not precocious childhood at all, the experience of knowing too much too early, but what comes after: the prospects of precocious children once adulthood has caught up to them. Kenneth Slawenski’s new biography SALINGER: A LIFE brings Salinger’s less recognized status as a writer for adults excellently, and elegantly, into relief.

Iphigenia in Forest Hills: Anatomy of a Murder Trial – Janet Malcolm

If criminal law is a set of competing narratives that succeed or fail on the strength of their storytelling, Malcolm both identifies with and transcends the methods of the court room—she shows the human identity of the impersonal law, the fragility and foibles of its practitioners and the mercenary power of its effect.

The Sunday Night Roundup

In this roundup, writers I love: Pauline Kael, Susan Gillis, Emily Dickinson

The Sunday Night Roundup

The roundup returns: with Elif Batuman on literary fame, reading Sontag and Barthes in the digital age, and Jane Eyre. And more!

Alex Shephard on the NBCC blog

Fearless Full Stop leader Alex Shephard–our Editor-in-Chief–is interviewed on Critical Mass, the blog of the National Book Critics Circle.

Full Stop Recommends (April 27)

A new feature with recommendations for reading, listening and watching from Full Stop editors.

The Possessed – Elif Batuman

This is exactly what we need: more books that don’t force us to choose between enthusiasm and rigor, the ridiculous and the sublime, stories and arguments, the personal and the literary. If the theories we use to read novels don’t also help us read our lives, then we’ve missed the point entirely.

NOX – Anne Carson

NOX is mystifying and exquisite, and, to reverse Carson’s metaphor, it opens doors that won’t close—even once you fold the book back into its box, you remain inside it.

Alfred Kazin’s New York

I just finished reading Alfred Kazin’s book Writing Was Everything, written 1995 and worked up from his Massey Lectures at Harvard. The vitality of Kazin’s writing is so moving, so infectious, and his portraits of the writers and intellectuals of the day so enticing, I wanted to share some here.

The Sunday Night Roundup

A week in online reading: the photographer W. Eugene Smith celebrates a lesser known Tennessee Williams play, a biographer of Dickens and a translator of Rimbaud give notes on their work, the Criterion Collection re-releases Mike Leigh. And more!