Jules Lewis


Jerzy’s many masks: A review of “Oral Pleasure:Kosinski as Storyteller”


Reviewed in this essay: Oral Pleasure: Kosinski as Storyteller. Edited by Kiki Kosinski. Grove Press, 2012. Years ago, when my reading tastes were largely defined by whatever contained the most explicit sex, I devoured the novels of Jerzy Kosinski. I had other sources—Henry Miller, Philip Roth, and Martin Amis—but there was something especially creepy and seductive about Kosinski’s work. His...

The Spirited Letters of Joseph Roth


Reviewed in this essay: Joseph Roth: A Life in Letters, translated and edited by Michael Hoffman. W. W. Norton & Company, 2012. Some writers do their most interesting work in correspondence; only with the right private audience does their voice reach its full potential. The letters of Kingsley Amis, for instance, are more hilarious, caustic, and inventively crude than any of his novels...

On Why Trilling Matters


Reviewed in this essay: Why Trilling Matters, by Adam Kirsch. Yale University Press, 2011. Lionel Trilling was a major figure in his times: revered, loathed, and full of contradictions. He was—with perhaps only the exception of Edmund Wilson—the most well-known and respected American literary critic throughout the nineteen fifties and sixties. He was the first Jewish member of the English faculty...