David Foster Wallace's unfinished novel, The Pale King, was recently published. But to truly enjoy his work, says critic John Powers, you must read his earlier pieces, which were filled with "a staggering eye for detail" from "a mind that was never predictable."
Fresh Air's critic-at-large tells us about the wartime aviation novels of British writer Derek Robinson, who served in the Royal Air Force. His books include Goshawk Squadron, Damned Good Show, A Good, Clean Fight, and Piece of Cake.
Alan Furst's best-selling spy thrillers (Kingdom of Shadows, Night Shadows, The Polish Officer) play out in the brooding, tumultuous Europe of the pre-World War II years, offering an intimate, insider portrait of an escalating crisis in which the players can't always see the implications of the game. Critic-at-large John Powers explains why he's a fan.
Book critic John Leonard remarks on the fourth anniversary of the death-sentence that sent writer Salman Rushdie into hiding. He says that, despite support from the literary community, Rushdie has been unfairly mocked by critics and journalists.