Arts & Humanities Reviews | October 15, 2013

starred review star Auster, Paul. Report from the Interior. Holt. Nov. 2013. 352p. photos. ISBN 9780805098570. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780805098594. LIT

Celebrated author Auster (Sunset Park) observes his own life in this engaging memoir. Written on the premise that his memories are not deception, Auster writes in the second person to offer the reader a bird’s-eye view of his experience. Auster remembers his days as a child as “a constant plunge into the new”; he recalls that by the age of 12 “glimmers of adulthood” flickered in his brain as hormones and girls impacted his emotions and actions. Details of the novelist’s college travels to Paris and the 1968 uprising by Columbia University students help portray his early adulthood. Underlying all his memories and adventures is Auster’s love of reading and writing. A scrapbook of black-and-white photographs further illustrate the author’s interests and heroes, from Hopalong Cassidy and Edgar Allan Poe to Sandy Koufax and Buddy Holly. VERDICT Auster presents a fascinating take on the memoir. Students and fans will appreciate his original examination of his interior self. [See Prepub Alert, 5/20/13.]—Joyce Sparrow, Kenneth City, FL

starred review star Hirschhorn, Thomas. Critical Laboratory: The Writings of Thomas Hirschhorn. MIT. (October Bks.). 2013. 354p. ed. by Lisa Lee & Hal Foster. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780262019255. $40. FINE ARTS

Since the early 1990s, Swiss-born artist Hirschhorn has written prolifically about his work, disseminating texts in a variety of languages through press announcements, exhibition catalogs, emails, and letters. In this book, art historians Lee and Foster offer an expertly chosen collection of these disparate texts, many of which appear in English for the first time. The volume is divided into three sections: statements describing the concerns guiding Hirschhorn’s practice, texts relating to specific exhibitions and projects, and interviews with critics and scholars. Readers may identify affinities between Hirschhorn’s writings—fragmentary in form, polemical in tone, and peppered with egalitarian proclamations—and his artworks, which are often crudely assembled, barrage viewers with found imagery, and are installed within public spaces. But Hirschhorn does not intend for his writings to serve as an extension of his artistic practice. Rather, he views them as a means of wresting interpretive power from critics and of helping to define the terms of his work’s reception. His writings are not only engaging but often highly illuminating. For instance, an homage to Andy Warhol offers great insight into Hirschhorn’s provocative use of violent war imagery. VERDICT Highly recommended to readers interested in Hirschhorn’s work or artist writings more generally.—Jonathan Patkowski, CUNY Graduate Ctr.

starred review star Wasson, Sam. Fosse. Eamon Dolan: Houghton Harcourt. Nov. 2013. 736p. notes. index. ISBN 9780547553290. $32. THEATER

Wasson (Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman; A Splurch in the Kisser: The Movies of Blake Edwards) takes readers on a wild ride through the life of Bob Fosse, revered for his directorial and choreographical works on Broadway, such as Sweet Charity, Pippin, and Chicago, as well as the film version of Cabaret. His distinctive jazz dance style influenced many, including Michael Jackson. Fosse began performing in burlesque clubs at 16, danced for the troops during World War II, and appeared in several MGM musicals. He transitioned from dancing to choreography, directing, screenwriting, and film editing and was the first person to win an Emmy, a Tony, and an Oscar in one year (1973). Fosse often pushed his performers to the breaking point to bring out emotion, and it usually worked. Beyond his career, he battled drug addiction and distrust and, though he loved women, struggled with infidelity, as reflected in his three marriages and countless affairs. Yet Fosse was also beloved for his talent, friendship, and charm. The author interviewed more than 300 of the artist’s friends, relatives, and competitors for this book, and his hard work is evident in the intricate depiction of a complicated, brilliant man. Verdict A thoroughly researched and fascinating look at Fosse, viewed through the relationships and work that defined him. Highly recommended for theater or movie aficionados, aspiring performers, and fans of engrossing biography.—Katie Lawrence, Chicago

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The following titles are reviewed in this month's print issue.
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Adamson, Glenn. The Invention of Craft. Bloomsbury Academic. 2013. 243p. illus. index. ISBN 9780857850669. pap. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9780857850645. DEC ARTS

The Art of Bob Peak. Peak Bks. 2013. 380p. ed. by B.R. Gilbert. illus. ISBN 9780615556093. $79. GRAPHIC ARTS

Chihuly. Prestel. 2013. 234p. ed. by Diane Charbonneau. photos. notes. ISBN 9783791353241. $65. FINE ARTS

Koloman Moser: Designing Modern Vienna 1897–1907. Prestel. 2013. 400p. ed. by Christian Witt-Dörring. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9783791352947. $75. DEC ARTS

Kowsky, Francis R. The Best Planned City in the World: Olmsted, Vaux, and the Buffalo Park System. Univ. of Massachusetts. (Designing the American Park). 2013. 304p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9781625340061. $39.95. ARCH

Landau, Ellen G. Mexico and American Modernism. Yale Univ. 2013. 224p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780300169133. $50. FINE ARTS

Lanmon, Dwight P. & Francis H. Harlow. The Pottery of Acoma Pueblo. Museum of New Mexico. 2013. 624p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780890135761. $150. DEC ARTS

A Legacy of Armenian Treasures: Testimony to a People; The Alex and Marie Manoogian Museum. Indiana Univ. 2013. 336p. ed. by Edmond Y. Azadian. illus. maps. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780578113777. $75. FINE ARTS

Newell, Aimee E. & others. Curiosities of the Craft: Treasures from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts Collection. National Heritage Museum. 2013. 287p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9781889541006. $39.95. DEC ARTS

Portraiture & Photography in Africa. Indiana Univ. 2013. 472p. ed. by John Peffer & Elisabeth L. Cameron. illus. index. ISBN 9780253008602. pap. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780253008725. PHOTOG

Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life. Prestel. 2013. 544p. ed. by Okwui Enwezor & Rory Bester. photos. ISBN 9783791352800. $75. PHOTOG

Rosenfeld, Jason. John Everett Millais. Phaidon. 2013. 256p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780714839776. $59.95. FINE ARTS

Salvaging the Past: Georges Hoentschel and French Decorative Arts from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1907–2013. Yale Univ. 2013. 320p. ed. by Daniëlle Kisluk-Grosheide. photos. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780300190243. $85. DEC ARTS

Schiller, Justin G. & Dennis M.V. David. Maurice Sendak: A Celebration of the Artist and His Work. Abrams. 2013. 224p. ed. by Leonard S. Marcus. illus. ISBN 9781419708268. $45. FINE ARTS


Deaf American Prose, 1830–1930. Gallaudet Univ. (Deaf Literature, Vol. 2). 2013. 304p. ed. by Jennifer L. Nelson & Kristen Harmon. ISBN 9781563685651. pap. $60; ebk. ISBN 9781563685668. LIT

starred review star Olsen, Tillie. Tell Me a Riddle, Requa I, and Other Works. Univ. of Nebraska. 2013. 192p. ISBN 9780803245778. pap. $17.95. LIT

Patchett, Ann. This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage. Harper. Nov. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780062236678. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062236692. LIT

Scheherazade’s Children: Global Encounters with the Arabian Nights. New York Univ. Nov. 2013. 432p. ed. by Philip F. Kennedy & Marina Warner. illus. bibliog. ISBN 9781479857098. pap. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781479830756. LIT

Stillwell, Mary K. The Life and Poetry of Ted Kooser. Univ. of Nebraska. 2013. 312p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780803243866. $24.95. LIT


Bennahum, Ninotchka Devorah. Carmen, a Gypsy Geography. Wesleyan Univ. 2013. 296p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780819573537. $45; ebk. ISBN 9780819573544. DANCE

starred review star Bernstein, Leonard. The Leonard Bernstein Letters. Yale Univ. Oct. 2013. 480p. ed. by Nigel Simeone. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780300179095. $38. MUSIC

Conners, Peter. JAMerica: The History of the Jam Band and Festival Scene. Da Capo. 2013. 320p. photos. ISBN 9780306820663. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780306822391. MUSIC

Copland, Aaron & Vivian Pearls. The Complete Copland. Pendragon. 2013. 360p. illus. index. ISBN 9781576471906. $99. MUSIC

Fagen, Donald. Eminent Hipsters. Viking. Oct. 2013. 176p. ISBN 9780670025510. $26.95. MUSIC

Geck, Martin. Richard Wagner: A Life in Music. Univ. of Chicago. Oct. 2013. 416p. tr. from German by Stewart Spencer. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780226924618. $35. MUSIC

Green, CeeLo & others. Everybody’s Brother. Grand Central. 2013. photos. index. ISBN 9781455516674. $27. MUSIC

Lankford, Ronald D., Jr. Sleigh Rides, Jingle Bells, and Silent Nights: A Cultural History of American Christmas Songs. Univ. Pr. of Florida. Oct. 2013. 256p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780813044927. $21.95. MUSIC

McMillian, John. Beatles vs. Stones. S. & S. Oct. 2013. 288p. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9781439159699. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781451612387. MUSIC

Martin, Brett. Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution; From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad. Penguin Pr. 2013. 303p. notes. index. ISBN 9781594204197. $27.95. TV

Rusbridger, Alan. Play It Again: An Amateur Against the Impossible. Farrar. 2013. 416p. illus. index. ISBN 9780374232917. $28. MUSIC

Sagala, Sandra K. Buffalo Bill on the Silver Screen: The Films of William F. Cody. Univ. of Oklahoma. 2013. 232p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780806143613. $24.95. FILM

Urwand, Ben. The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact with Hitler. Belknap: Harvard Univ. Oct. 2013. 324p. illus. index. ISBN 9780674724747. $26.95. FILM

The Wire and Philosophy: This America, Man. Open Court. (Popular Culture & Philosophy, Vol. 73). 2013. 314p. ed. by David Bzdak & others. index. ISBN 9780812698237. pap. $19.95. TV


Edmonds, David. Would You Kill the Fat Man? The Trolley Problem and What Your Answer Tells Us About Right and Wrong. Princeton Univ. Nov. 2013. 240p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780691154022. $19.95. PHIL

Evans, Jules. Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations: Ancient Philosophy for Modern Problems. New World Lib. Oct. 2013. 320p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781608682294. pap. $15.95. PHIL

Negri, Antonio. Spinoza for Our Time: Politics and Postmodernity. Columbia Univ. (Insurrections: Critical Studies in Religion, Politics, & Culture). Oct. 2013. 144p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780231160469. $24; ebk. ISBN 9780231500661. PHIL


Giovanni, Nikki. Chasing Utopia. Morrow. Nov. 2013. 160p. ISBN 9780688156978. $19.99. POETRY

starred review star Komunyakaa, Yusef. Testimony: A Tribute to Charlie Parker. Wesleyan Univ. 2013. 152p. bibliog. ISBN 9780819574299. $30 w/CD; ebk. ISBN 9780819574138. POETRY

Mullen, Harryette. Urban Tumbleweed: Notes from a Tanka Diary. Graywolf. Nov. 2013. 120p. ISBN 9781555976569. pap. $15. POETRY

Swados, Elizabeth. Contest. Hanging Loose. Oct. 2013. 108p. ISBN 9781934909348. pap. $18. POETRY


Cooper, Kate. Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women. Overlook. Oct. 2013. 368p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781468307405. $27.95. REL

Gülen, Fethullah. So That Others May Live: A Fethullah Gülen Reader. Blue Dome. Oct. 2013. 216p. ed. by Erkan M. Kurt. index. ISBN 9781935295297. $18.95; pap. ISBN 9781935295204. $14.95. REL

Vallely, Paul. Pope Francis: Untying the Knots. Bloomsbury USA. 2013. 240p. photos. index. ISBN 9781472903709. pap. $20.95. REL


Fort, Rodney & Jason Winfree. 15 Sports Myths and Why They’re Wrong. Stanford Univ. 2013. 304p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780804774369. $29.99. Sports

starred review star Sports Illustrated Eds. Baseball’s Greatest. Time Home Entertainment. Oct. 2013. 288p. photos. ISBN 9781618930552. $32.95. SPORTS