Grey’s Anatomy

By Elizabeth Kaye Playboy October 2010 I’m driving on Sunset Boule­vard, heading east, passing thickets of scarlet bougainvillea. I’m on my way to meet Sasha Grey, the 22-year-old star of countless adult films who doesn’t have breast implants, blonde hair or col­lagen...

Chuck Bowden and the Red Cadillac

By Luis Alberto Urrea From Red Caddy 2018 The License Plate Said “Hayduke”: Chuck Bowden and the Red Cadillac “I try to construct a theory of how a moral person should live in these circumstances, and how such a person should love.”   Charles Bowden, Desierto...

The Old Man and the Mule

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader Here is a good story from Second Wind: Memoirs of an Opinonated Man by Bill Russell with the historian Taylor Branch (1979, Random House; currently out-of-print). It’s about Russell’s grandfather and his mule, Kate. Russell’s family was...

Remember the Rhythm

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader Dig this—from Whitney Balliett’s book American Musicians: Fifty-Six Portraits in Jazz: The Cape Cod pianist Marie Marcus came to New York from Boston to do a radio show in 1932, when she was eighteen. Her experience had been...

Down and Out in Fat City

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader “Sometimes you only get to win one championship.”—Leonard Gardner In 1969, Leonard Gardner’s novel Fat City was published. It a story about boxing and drinking in Stockton, California, about losers losing. “I have a strong sense of...

Top of the Heap

By William Nack From Lasting Yankee Stadium Memories 2000 On a balmy afternoon in February, 1999, as old Yankee Stadium was getting her face lifted and nails polished for the spring opener, I visited the grand old yard to peer into the nooks and corners of her...

The Stacks Chat: Steve Oney

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader I love anthologies of magazine journalism but you don’t see them published much these days and that’s a damn shame. Safe to say everyone around these parts is grateful to the university presses for keeping the fine tradition alive. We...

How Pryor Put Cosby Behind Him

By Scott Saul From Becoming Richard Pryor 2014 When Richard Pryor first came on the national scene in the mid ’60s, he was a comic who consciously followed the blueprint established by Bill Cosby. Never mind that Pryor, even when he was doing a clean act, lacked...

The Elmore Leonard Starter Kit

By Alex Belth The Concourse October 6, 2015 One of the coolest things about Elmore Leonard’s crime fiction is that he didn’t get to it until he was close to 50 years old and had been a professional writer for more than 20. His books pared away anything unnecessary...

The Stacks Chat: Gregg Sutter

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader September 16, 2014 Hard to imagine having a cooler job than the one Gregg Sutter had for more than 30 years, when he served as the late Elmore Leonard’s researcher. Sutter is the editor of the Library of America’s Elmore Leonard...

From Pinkerton to Nick and Nora

By Nathan Ward From The Lost Detective 2015 During the winter of 1932, Sid Perelman saw Dashiell Hammett back in New York, at the Sutton Club Hotel on East 55th Street. To land there, Hammett had burned through his remaining movie money at more luxurious...

Eddie and the Gun Girl

By Mark Kram Jr. From Eddie and the Gun Girl November 4, 2013 Excerpted from Eddie and the Gun Girl, a Kindle Single about the shooting of Eddie Waitkus, the real-life event that’s best known as the fictional pivot of Bernard Malamud’s The Natural.  The Edgewater...