Dubravka Ugresic, Who Wrote of Dislocation and Exile, Dies at 73

Dubravka Ugresic, a novelist and essayist who, after her native Yugoslavia broke apart in the early 1990s, found herself ostracized in the new country of Croatia for refusing to embrace its aggressive nationalism and spent the rest of her life abroad, died on March 17 in Amsterdam. She was 73. Petar Milat, her principal editor … Read more

Bill Zehme, Author With a Knack for Humanizing the Famous, Dies at 64

Bill Zehme, whose biographies and magazine profiles humanized the celebrities he described as “intimate strangers” — the “shy, succinct” Johnny Carson; the “blank” Warren Beatty; Frank Sinatra, whose “battle cry” was “fun with everything, and I mean fun!” — died on Sunday in Chicago. He was 64. His partner, Jennifer Engstrom, said the cause was … Read more

Book Review: ‘How Not to Kill Yourself,’ by Clancy Martin

HOW NOT TO KILL YOURSELF: A Portrait of the Suicidal Mind, by Clancy Martin Some titles are blunt instruments, and “How Not to Kill Yourself” is the bluntest I’ve encountered yet in this job. The book it describes, by Clancy Martin, is a doozy: messy, confessional but ultimately beneficent. Casting a harsh high beam on … Read more

The Lonely Librarian, the Color of Melancholy, and Tangerines

Molly Young is on leave for the next several months. In her absence, colleagues from the Book Review will pick up the recommendation torch and appear in your inbox every two Saturdays. Dear readers, Recommending can be tricky. The right suggestion can make people feel seen and understood and maybe even help them to understand … Read more

John Woods, Masterly Translator of Thomas Mann, Dies at 80

John E. Woods, an award-winning translator of the works of Thomas Mann, one of Germany’s greatest novelists, and of the lesser-known Arno Schmidt, whose complex fiction has been compared to James Joyce’s, died on Feb. 15 in Berlin, where he had lived since 2005. He was 80. Francesco Campitelli, his husband and only immediate survivor, … Read more