Juan Vidal

Juan Vidal appears in the following:

A Diamond As Big As The Fitz: 75 Years Later, F. Scott Fitzgerald Shines On

Monday, December 21, 2015

The bard of America's Jazz Age died 75 years ago today, but his work is as popular as ever. Critic Juan Vidal remembers discovering Fitzgerald's work in a dusty secondhand bookshop.


A Motley Crew On A Wild Pilgrimage In 'Sophia'

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Michael Bible's slim new novel follows a jaded, drunken priest and his chess-master sidekick on a cross country journey, along with a crowd of misfits and outliers who help give the book its charm.


Happy (?) Birthday, Gregor Samsa: 'The Metamorphosis' Turns 100

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Critic Juan Vidal says Kafka's classic tale of alienation — published 100 years ago this month — helped bring about a metamorphosis in his own life (though rather more positive than Gregor Samsa's).


These 3 'Judges' Are On The Hunt For Justice

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Three novellas by some of Italy's best crime writers make up Judges. Andrea Camilleri, Carlo Lucarelli and Giancarlo De Cataldo weave tales of idealistic judges fighting crime and corruption.


See The Pope On A Slice Of Toast? It's Perfectly Normal, Really

Saturday, September 26, 2015

From Jesus on a fish stick to the Virgin Mary on a grilled cheese, lots of people report seeing the faces of religious figures in their food. It turns out, our brains may be wired to work this way.


A Master Class In Journalism From A 1930s-Era Workaholic

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Joseph Roth was an Austrian reporter whose writing provided a vivid portrait of pre-WWII Europe. Critic Juan Vidal says this newly translated collection of his work shows his intelligence and humor.


The Blazing World Of Clarice Lispector, In 'Complete Stories'

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Readers everywhere are rediscovering the work of Brazil's Clarice Lispector. Critic Juan Vidal calls Lispector a singular artist, whose newly collected stories linger in the mind like poetry.


Savor The Quiet Sweetness Of 'The Blue Girl'

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Laurie Foos' gently surreal new novel is set in a small lakeside town where the local mothers bake their secret confessions into moon pies, which they feed to a silent, mysterious blue-skinned girl.


Baldwin And Bridges: Two Artists, Two Debuts, One Fire

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Reviewer Juan Vidal has had the debut album by Texas soul crooner Leon Bridges on heavy rotation, and it's making him think of parallels with James Baldwin's first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain.


Words Made Flesh: Literature And The Language Of Prayer

Sunday, June 21, 2015

No American writer has been able to pin down the intersection of faith, prayer and art like Flannery O'Connor. Critic Juan Vidal reflects on her Prayer Journal, and the faith that words can live.


In 'History,' Money Makes The World Go 'Round

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Argentinian novelist Alan Pauls' latest kicks off as so many good stories do: With a dead body and a disappearing briefcase full of cash. Critic Juan Vidal calls Pauls a "master builder" of fiction.


William Faulkner Makes Us Wonder: What's So Great About Poetry, Anyhow?

Thursday, April 30, 2015

William Faulkner — one of the great American novelists — thought of himself as a failed poet. Which made our critic Juan Vidal wonder: What is it about poetry that makes us hold it above other arts?


Renata Adler, Taking A Buzz Saw To The 'Tall Timber'

Thursday, April 09, 2015

This new volume collects some of the uncompromising writer's greatest hits, from her coverage of the march on Selma to Monica Lewinsky, and of course her famous takedown of film critic Pauline Kael.


A Filmmaker's Surreal Vision On The Page In 'Where The Bird Sings Best'

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

The multitalented Alejandro Jodorowsky turns to fiction (sort of) with a semi-autobiographical novel. Critic Juan Vidal calls it "brilliant, mad, unpredictable."


'Mountaineer' Is A Must-Read Of Soviet Sci-Fi

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Brothers Arkady and Boris Strugatsky were at the heart of Soviet science fiction; reviewer Juan Vidal says The Dead Mountaineer's Inn is less edgy than some of their work, but still a must-read.


Reading On The Roof? Now That's Punk Rock

Sunday, March 08, 2015

In The Savage Detectives, Roberto Bolaño invented the "visceral realists," a group of wild writers who read anywhere and everywhere — causing critic Juan Vidal to ponder the weird places we read.


Spic-O-Rama: Where 'Spic' Comes From, And Where It's Going

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

From the Panama Canal to 90s Latino pride movements, "spic" has a complicated past.


In Winter, Keeping Warm With Beloved Books

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Critic Juan Vidal says winter is a time for turning inward and warding off the chill with your favorite books, the ones you return to over and over again when the days get shorter and snow closes in.


Mojito Diplomacy: Chefs Plan Culinary Tours To Cuba

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Several Miami-area chefs are leading tours for Americans to experience the tastes — and farm scene — of the communist island nation. They hope to foster cross-cultural dialogue through food and drink.


The Enduring Life Of Lit Mags: We'll Always Have (The) Paris (Review)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Magazines of all stripes are struggling to negotiate the digital age — but writer Juan Vidal finds hope for the future of reading in the pages of his favorite new literary magazines.