The Stacks Chat: Mary Gabriel

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader November 14, 2019 If Mary Gabriel’s irresistible book about the mid-century New York art scene, Ninth Street Women, feels a little like a Robert Altman movie—with favorite characters weaving in and out of the story—it’s because she has...

People Aren’t Tidy

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader November 11, 2019 “When I was twenty-two, I read Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, and it completely changed my understanding of what nonfiction can do.”—Rachel Aviv. Seven years ago, Kaylen Ralph and Joanna Demkiewicz, seniors at...

The Man Behind the Curtain

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader His reputation as the guru of magazine writing preceded him so it came as a surprise that Jay Lovinger not only lived a couple of blocks from me in Riverdale but that he was indistinguishable from the other guys lolling around Johnson...

Shadow Boxing

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader July 6, 2019 With a nod to the great Joseph Cornell, here are a few shadow box paintings by our man Robert Weaver.

This Gun for Hire

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader July 2, 2019 Julian Allen is one of our favorite magazine illustrators. He made a splash in England in the late ’60s and then arrived in New York during the Watergate era. For the next twenty plus years his work was a fixture in the...

Shakepeare’s Badass Quartet

By Ron Rosenbaum The Chronicle of Higher Learning February 7, 2016 Have you noticed that every few years a controversy arises over a claim that an old portrait found in someone’s attic is the true face of William Shakespeare? Most recently the British...

Dream Weaver

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader Robert Weaver is one of my favorite illustrators. He worked in magazines from the mid-’50s through the ’80s and taught drawing at SVA for years. He had a beautifully direct, strong style—he could draw his ass off. There is a rough,...

Farewell to a Gamer

By John Schulian The Stacks Reader 2019 Bill Buckner came to the big leagues as a headstrong kid who could outrun everything except self-doubt and hobbled out of the game under the longest shadow a simple ground ball ever cast. But it was between the poles of his...

The Write Stuff

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader A couple of our pals have new stellar new book anthologies out and both are well worth your time. From the intrepid Wright Thompson, ESPN’s maestro of longform, comes his first anthology, The Cost Of These Dreams: Sports Stories and...

E. Jean’s Hoop Dreams

By Alex Belth Esquire Classic 2016 This week marked the anniversary of Magic Johnson’s 1992 return to the NBA after having retired the previous fall, when he announced he was HIV positive. He turned in a triumphant, dramatic performance at the All-Star Game, scoring...

The Stacks Chat: Edward Sorel

By Alex Belth Esquire November 2016 Edward Sorel is one of the finest—and funniest—caricaturists this country has ever produced. Although he works in a variety of styles, you’ll likely recognize his work right away—you’ve seen it in Esquire, Harper’s, The New Yorker,...

Novelist Edna O’Brien Explores the True Nature of Evil

By Ron Rosenbaum Smithsonian Magazine July 2016 Love and Evil. Two great mysteries that have obsessed the greatest writers and thinkers for as long as people have thought and written. For a long time Edna O’Brien, the celebrated Irish-born, London-dwelling writer, has...