Heller McAlpin

Heller McAlpin appears in the following:

Tom Hanks Lays Out A Kinder, Gentler World In 'Uncommon Type'

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tom Hanks' well-documented obsession with typewriters is on display in his new story collection, tales linked not just by typewriters but by a benign, humane view of people and their many foibles.

Comment

There's Good Stuff In 'Hirschfeld,' Despite Style Stumbles

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Like a hidden NINA, there are great moments in Ellen Stern's hefty new biography of cartoonist Al Hirschfeld — but they're obscured by her off-puttingly glib tone and perpetual present tense.

Comment

'Seventh Function' Is A Postmodern Mashup Of Fact, Fiction And Philosophy

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Laurent Binet's new novel starts with the death of French literary critic Roland Barthes and spins out a postmodern mystery packed with philosophical heavy hitters — and one bemused detective.

Comment

'Arbitrary Stupid Goal' Is Neither Arbitrary Nor Stupid

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Tamara Shopsin's quirky, lively memoir of her unconventional Greenwich Village childhood is packed with vivid details about the cast of characters who populated her parents' corner store-turned-diner.

Comment

'Goodbye, Vitamin' Is Sweet — But Not Sugarcoated

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Rachel Khong's first novel is a heartwarming account of family devotion and dementia — which sounds sickly, but her offbeat sensibility and flair for wordplay keep the story from becoming saccharine.

Comment

'South Pole Station' Takes A Cool Look At A Hot Topic

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Ashley Shelby's debut novel — set among an appealing mix of nerds and oddballs at Antarctica's Amundsen-Scott research station — is a refreshing diversion from summer's heat.

Comment

In 'The Chalk Artist,' A Plea For Real-World Connection

Thursday, June 15, 2017

While the love story in Allegra Goodman's latest novel can seem formulaic, she captures the allure of video gaming and the tension between real-world art and literature and the fantasy worlds online.

Comment

'Would Everybody Please Stop' Is Serious, Funny And Seriously Funny

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Jenny Allen's new essay collection is sarcastic, funny and astute, finding humor in everything from her battle with cancer to the indignities of aging to her many, many linguistic pet peeves.

Comment

Second Thoughts About A Second Marriage In 'Standard Deviation'

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Katherine Heiny's first novel for adults is a warmhearted and funny — if overly long — portrait of a man who begins to doubt his chaotic, talkative second wife after 12 years of marriage.

Comment

In 'Bad Dreams,' Tessa Hadley Serves Up Satisfying Short Stories

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

There are plenty of story collections out now to start your summer with, but Tessa Hadley tops the pile with Bad Dreams, ten richly complex tales of characters pushing the boundaries of their lives.

Comment

'House Of Names' Is A Violent Page-Turner, And A Surprising Departure

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Colm Tóibín ventures far afield — in time and place — for this heart-stopping take on the tragedy of Clytemnestra and her family, reanimated with suffering the ancient Greeks never imagined.

Comment

At 'The Dinner Party,' Stories That Walk The Line Between Tragedy And Comedy

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

The 11 stories in Joshua Ferris' new collection have all been published before, but they provide a fine showcase for his sly wit, proceeding from the ordinary to the uncomfortable and even bizarre.

Comment

'I'd Die For You' Gives A Glimpse Into F. Scott Fitzgerald's Writing Life

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Fitzgerald wrote most of his best work in his 20s, and the stories in this new collection — all unpublished or uncollected — demonstrate how hard it was for him to deliver what readers wanted.

Comment

'Anything Is Possible' Is Unafraid To Be Gentle

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Elizabeth Strout's new novel-in-stories is a welcome salve for troubled times. A companion volume to last year's My Name is Lucy Barton, Anything is Possible looks at the people Lucy grew up with.

Comment

In 'Exes,' The Losses Pile Up Like New England Snowdrifts

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Max Winter's bleak, powerful debut novel is haunted by missing people — and those who feel their absence. It centers around a man trying to piece together his estranged brother's last years.

Comment

Celebrating A Glorious Life Of Excess In 'A Really Big Lunch'

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Jim Harrison lived as he wrote — vividly. One year after his death, a new collection of his essays on food, wine, writing and aging brings him roaring back in all his immoderate brilliance.

Comment

Hunger, Boredom And Disappointment Are A Literary Feast In 'Bleaker House'

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Nell Stevens retreated to a remote corner of the Falkland Islands in an attempt to write a novel. She came away with something better: This oddly winning memoir of deprivation, rain and penguins.

Comment

Rebuilding A Father's Life — But Tearing Down His Myths — In 'Dadland'

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Keggie Carew's father was a genuine war hero, but he was on shakier ground close to home. And after he began to suffer from dementia, Carew set out to reconstruct — and demythologize — his life.

Comment

This Trip Through 'The Alps' Is A Little Bit Bumpy

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Stephen O'Shea's quirky travelogue is packed with facts and history, but it's marred by a few odd choices — for example, why visit the famed skiing town of Val d'Isère at the height of summer?

Comment

'Insomniac City' Is A Valentine To New York, Oliver Sacks And Life Itself

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Bill Hayes was Sacks' partner during the renowned author and neurologist's last years, and Insomniac City is a charming, intimate portrait of their relationship, full of sweet, unguarded moments.

Comment