Latest Articles


Is Boston right for writers?

Boston, the birthplace of American literature, boasts three MFA programs, an independent creative-writing center, and more than a dozen colleges offering creative-writing classes.
Three authors take on the city’s literary culture
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  March 08, 2013

Life as a commercial: John Kenney's Truth in Advertising

Gwyneth Paltrow, 1984 , and dirty diapers aren't an obvious mix.

By CLEA SIMON  |  January 18, 2013

Mansbach is back

Prior to the meme-tastic success of last year's Go the Fuck to Sleep (Akashic Books), Adam Mansbach had written two acclaimed novels about race and culture.
By JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  January 11, 2013

Michael Chabon feels the flow

Michael Chabon has a thing for pop culture.

By CLEA SIMON  |  September 28, 2012

Hilary Mantel's power play

Endings, perhaps more than beginnings, set the tone in historical fiction.
King's Man
By CLEA SIMON  |  May 11, 2012

Interview: R.L. Stine and the scary hamsters

For a man who's spent the past 20 odd years writing about psychotic cheerleaders, undead ex-boyfriends, and all manner of creatures ghoulish and gruesome, R.L. Stine is a cheery guy.
Horror Story
By ALEXANDRA CAVALLO  |  March 16, 2012


The realist’s guide to experimental fiction

Ten years ago, I bought a copy of Ben Marcus's first novel, Notable American Women, on the recommendation of a young literary editor.
Ripeness is all
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  March 16, 2012

Trying to find now

William Gibson — the writer who famously coined the term "cyberpunk" and whose classic tech-punk novels like Neuromancer and The Difference Engine helped spawn a couple generations' worth of bleak, busted fantasies — is now on tour promoting his first c
William Gibson's randomized experience
By MATT PARISH  |  January 06, 2012
Preview: Books winter 2012

Authors tote their wares to area bookstores

A new story collection from Dan Chaon and new novels from Heidi Julavits and Adam Johnson are just some of the delights in store for Boston lit nerds.
Road shows
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  December 30, 2011

Photos: Boston Anarchist Book Fair 2011

Simmons College hosts the Boston Anarchist Book Fair on November 11-13, 2011.
Simmons College | November 11-13, 2011
By ALI CARTER  |  November 18, 2011

A conversation between Richard Russo and Andre Dubus III

The novelists Richard Russo and Andre Dubus III might have first met each other at the Newburyport Book Festival in 2006, but they might not have — they hit it off so well that neither of them can quite remember. They've been friends ever since.
Blue-collar poetry
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  October 14, 2011


Annamarie Pluhar's guide to housemating

Sharing housing is a sustainable choice, especially considering recent reports that average North American households produce 150 pounds of carbon dioxide a day, nearly five times the global average; like other aspects of our super-size culture, America'
Fair housing
By LIZ PELLY  |  August 19, 2011
martin list

The Game of Thrones author visits his realm

The immense appeal of George R. R. Martin's storytelling relies, in part, on the innate thrill of the mechanics of power.
The madness for King George
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  July 22, 2011
Phyllis Karas finds Whitey Bulger in California

Phyllis Karas finds Whitey

Good timing
Good timing
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  July 02, 2011

Ann Patchett finds her readers

Ann Patchett forever endeared herself to Bostonians with her 2007 novel, Run, a lyrical take on the Kennedys and crisp New England winters.  
Up the Amazon
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  June 03, 2011
Rob Bell interviewed  by S.I.Rosenbaum

Rob Bell freaks out evangelicals

Saved by the bell
Saved by the bell
By S. I. Rosenbaum  |  May 20, 2011

o list

Daniel Orozco gets to work

"Temporary Stories," the eighth entry in Daniel Orozco's debut collection, Orientation (Faber and Faber), is a gem and a killer.  
On the jobs
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  May 20, 2011
adrian list

Chris Adrian's tragic enchantments

Chris Adrian's novels puff you full of delight, then rip your heart out. Adrian's a sadist, maybe. Or maybe he's got the biggest heart of any living writer, so big that it can hold the sweetest thoughts alongside shame and also death — real death, in all
Magic night
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  May 13, 2011

Vowell's America

How Hawaii became "American"
How Hawaii became "American"
By AMY FINCH  |  March 25, 2011
Téa Obreht author of The Tiger's Wife

Téa Obreht 'remembers' the old country

For Obreht to set her first novel in a country she hasn’t lived in since the age of 12 shows considerable ambition.
Foreign affairs
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  March 11, 2011

PODCAST: William Powers & Nicholas Carr on the Internet and the State of Our Braaains [MP3]

GOOGLE ATTACKS!Scared? We are too. And so is author Siva Vaidhyanathan, who read from his recent release The Googlization of Everything (And Why We Should...
By Michael Goetzman  |  February 25, 2011

The Lover's Dictionary

Love's lexicographer

As the editorial director at Scholastic, David Levithan is surrounded by emotional stories about adolescents. Being overexposed to such hyperbolic feelings about feelings could easily turn a writer off pursuing such ventures himself — despite the secre
David Levithan defines affection
By SHARON STEEL  |  February 11, 2011

Nick Bilton, Kevin Kelly, David Kirkpatrick, and Nicholas Negroponte on "The Tendencies of Technology" at Boston Book Festival 2010 [podcast]

NICK BILTON is one of the people we listen to most closely on tech. Now the Times' lead technology writer, he's a veteran of New...
By Carly Carioli  |  October 29, 2010
Dennis Lehane and Tom Perrotta on taking novels "From Page to Screen" at Boston Book Festival 2010 [podcast]

Dennis Lehane and Tom Perrotta on taking novels "From Page to Screen" at Boston Book Festival 2010 [podcast]

Every book festival needs legendary dudes like DENNIS LEHANE and TOM PERROTTA -- the kinds of authors whose stories are famous even to people who...
By Carly Carioli  |  October 28, 2010

Four Great Ideas: David Edwards on cultural incubation; Atul Gawande on checklists; Neri Oxman's futuro-naturalist design; and Steven Johnson on where good ideas come from [podcast]

Inspiration is seldom as easy as it seems. One of the lessons of STEVEN JOHNSON's Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation...
By Carly Carioli  |  October 26, 2010

Boston Book Fest 2010 Podcast: "Crimes and Misdemeanors" with Joan Parker, Andrew Gross, Raffi Yessayan, Hallie Ephron, and David Boeri

As promised, the Boston Phoenix will be podcasting every panel from this year's second annual BOSTON BOOK FESTIVAL, yet another smashing success last weekend. (Don't...
By Carly Carioli  |  October 20, 2010


Hit the Books

The Boston Book Festival happens this Saturday, October 16, from 10 am to 9 pm at various locations in Copley Square.
Thirty-three reasons you can't miss this year's Boston Books Festival
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  October 15, 2010

Review: Tao Lin's Richard Yates

When this review is posted online, 27-year-old Tao Lin will quickly send out its URL in a tweet and file it on his website's meticulously maintained record of press coverage.
A better stunt: Lin transcends his self-promotion
By CARRIE BATTAN  |  October 15, 2010

Lit-snobs, hot librarians, and the rise of the literary tattoo

Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich was sitting down for a meal at Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, when she found herself under critique.
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  October 08, 2010

Musician + Author = Crap

On Tuesday, musician Ben Folds (formerly of the Five) and rock-obsessed novelist Nick Hornby ( High Fidelity ) released a collaborative record called Lonely Avenue . The result of this musical-literary team-up isn't excruciating.
Worst of Both Worlds
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  October 01, 2010