When I meet Howard Nuer ’07, a Hassidic Jewish student, three Sundays ago in his room, I am struck most by his bookshelf—filled to the gills with advanced math books and Hebrew scripture. The math major sits relaxed at his … Read More
Though it might otherwise be dismissed as a horribly-written play, Me, Myself & I inspires additional disappointment, flowing as it does from the pen of three-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Edward Albee. A moving and clever piece, it is not. Perhaps the only element that could have saved and justified its stodgy formal progression—an insistent meta-theatricality—comes off as forced, hackneyed, dismissible. Yes, Albee reveals, these are actually actors onstage. We get it. Got it. Good.
That I spent the first 13 years of my life living with a Jamaican woman is always striking to those who best know me. Seldom, I suppose, is the topic broached in casual parley. So when I reveal I have … Read More
If anyone can pull off the role of satirical, socio-political prophet and shnooky belletrist, it’s Gary Shteyngart. The author of The Russian Debutante’s Handbook and Absurdistan, Shteyngart is one of the punchiest and funniest young novelists out there. His writing, colored and coarsened by the blunt cynicism of his 1970s upbringing in the Soviet Union, draws on intricate tessellations of classic Russian literature, self-deprecating Semitic humor, and current global politics. Being a Jew born in 1972 in the anti-Semitic Soviet Union and having immigrated to Queens in 1979, he has achieved status as a perpetual outsider, who can observe from remove and criticize with greater perspicacity.