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  • Article

    Bring Us the Old People

    Ibergekumene tsores iz gut tsu dertseylin: "Troubles overcome are good to tell." Marisa Kantor Stark's first novel admirably follows this Yiddish proverb by chronicling a difficult survival and its costliness. Narrated by Maime, a 92-year-old in ...

    by Ellen Miller on January 5, 1999
  • Open House

    Article

    Open House

    It is about time the world got to see Reverend Al Sharpton's houseplants, and, thanks to the color photographs in Dominique Nabokov's New York Living Rooms, there is his philodendron. We also get a look at Nan Goldin's wood floors, Philip Glass's cha...

    by Toni Schlesinger on January 5, 1999
  • Bio Hazard

    Article

    Bio Hazard

    Smarter, funnier, and more "meta" than the overhyped David Foster Wallace novel, Infinite Jest, Bruce Sterling's Distraction doesn't suffer the genre-inferiority complex Wallace labored under when he and his publishers used the marketing term metafic...

    by Carol Cooper on December 29, 1998
  • Article

    In the Pond

    In the Pond, Ha Jin's first novel, is slender almost to the point of fable. Shao Bin is a talented calligraphist and painter working at a maintenance job in the northern Chinese commune of Dismount Fort, ready to speak out against injustice after ...

    by Ed Park on December 29, 1998
  • Christmas Candy - Treats Wholesome and Otherwise

    Article

    Christmas Candy - Treats Wholesome and Otherwise

    We know this world pierced by beams of smoky light and besieged by crashes of electronic music. Its denizens are beautiful, fierce, and obsessed with sex. Women wield legs like pincers. Usually we never find out why they're so het up; they just are. ...

    by Deborah Jowitt on December 29, 1998
  • Article

    Troupe Dreams

    Meet Stephen Melendez, age 12, a precious kid teetering on the brink of adolescence. When he's not rooting for the Jets, solving math problems, or shepherding his younger sister to and from school, he's often practicing pirouettes. Lately it's paying...

    by Christopher Reardon on December 29, 1998
  • Yiddish Dreams

    Article

    Yiddish Dreams

    How tempting it is to claim, as one gets swept into the fervor of the small community of non-Hasidic Yiddish speakers in America, that the once-belittled and murdered language is making a comeback. Not that it's really possible to imagine that a few ...

    by Alisa Solomon on December 29, 1998
  • Out of the Past - Among the Exiles With Fazal Sheikh

    Article

    Out of the Past - Among the Exiles With Fazal Sheikh

    In his extraordinary new book, The Victor Weeps: Afghanistan, photographer Fazal Sheikh writes about his first night at the refugee settlement of Bizen Khel in northern Pakistan. His companions are the village's Afghan Muslim elders, all former Mujah...

    by Vince Aletti on December 29, 1998
  • Rites of Man

    Article

    Rites of Man

    The desire of American musical comedy to shed its laughter and become "music theater" has always puzzled me. There was never anything to prevent the genre from taking on whatever topic, tone, or technique it chose. Parade, the latest musical offering...

    by Michael Feingold on December 29, 1998
  • Article

    Paper Dolls

    The most astonishing moment in Mercy (Vineyard Theatre) occurs midway in Act 2, when a new arrival during the play's Upper West Side dinner party alludes to Sarah's career as a documentary filmmaker and Isobel's work as a writer. Yet for nearly an...

    by Francine Russo on December 29, 1998
  • Article

    Taking It Apart - Radical Expats Drop by New York

    Seeing the ballets William Forsythe has contributed to various American companies is no substitute for watching the dancers in his own Ballett Frankfurt define his thornily intellectual structures. In the dazzling full-evening Eidos: Telos, shown at ...

    by Deborah Jowitt on December 22, 1998
  • Article

    Digging Deep

    Susan Marshall likens the process of choreographing The Most Dangerous Room in the House a 75-minute dance-theater piece playing at BAM's Majestic Theater December 16 through 20 to excavating. In the studio, she sees her role as uncovering what's a...

    by Jody Sperling on December 22, 1998
  • Article

    Sister Act

    Wendy Osserman, a thoughtful, intelligent Smith College alumna, makes dances with gentle physicality and acerbic wit. In her Re:Sisters, which reopens at Dance Theater Workshop December 17, six distinctive women speak and move through an hour-long, m...

    on December 22, 1998
  • Going Dutch

    Article

    Going Dutch

    While the Booker prize given to Amsterdam last month honors the year's "best novel" by a writer from the old British Empire, Ian McEwan's natural milieu is not Britannia but Europe: he writes books that are ready for export, embodying the progressive...

    by Paul Elie on December 22, 1998
  • Article

    The Hellbox

    To hell with poetry:/life's more important," declares Greg Delanty in The Hellbox, his fourth collection of poems. This half-truth is less a dismissal than a riff on the dispute between living fully and thinking deeply, and between physical and intel...

    by Diane Mehta on December 22, 1998
  • Let It Drip

    Article

    Let It Drip

    Get ready to have your eyes rewired. For all the artist's ups and downs, the Jackson Pollock retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art is one of the greatest exhibitions of a 20th-century artist to be seen in a New York museum. This show comes at a t...

    by Jerry Saltz on December 22, 1998
  • Article

    Home Ech

    Perfect homes, deranged women amid the opulence of postwar suburbia, wives maintained facades of placid domesticity while controlling everything from their husbands' careers to the color of their draperies. Their houses were extensions of their bod...

    by Leslie Camhi on December 22, 1998
  • Sightlines

    Article

    Sightlines

    Strip Polka As actors in the theater of postindustrial economy, we're all called upon to do a little song and dance to conceal the roots of our collective pathos. We're all former child stars bludgeoned by the ugly reality of celebrity culture and r...

    on December 22, 1998
  • Jingle Hells - Kiki and Herb's Blight Christmas

    Article

    Jingle Hells - Kiki and Herb's Blight Christmas

    When boozy lounge lizard Kiki reels into a room, she's this close to a nervous breakdown. Kiki now appearing in Do You Hear What We Hear? at P.S. 122 is the damaged alter ego of Justin Bond, and her entrance is merely the beginning of trouble. Thea...

    by Laurie Stone on December 22, 1998
  • Article

    Heads and Tales

    Twenty-foot tall, papier-mch puppets can do no wrong. Let them recite stilted dialogue, let their movement vocabulary be limited to a shuffle and wave, let them read boring excerpts from The Communist Manifesto: it's absolutely delightful. Theater...

    by Alexis Soloski on December 22, 1998
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