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By Laura Lippman and Laura Lippman,SUN STAFF | June 1, 1997
"Raymond Chandler," by Tom Hiney. Atlantic Monthly Press. 320 pages. $26."Two things stabilized him," British journalist Tom Hiney writes of Raymond Chandler in the preface to his new biography on the great detective writer. "Being drunk, which he often was, and Philip Marlowe."And of those two, only Marlowe is interesting. Luckily, Hiney appears to understand this and after 75 or so dutiful pages on Chandler's pre-Marlowe life, he finally gets down to cases.Hiney's book claims much new material, but it's the familiar material that makes Chandler's career worth reviewing.
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NEWS
By Victoria A. Brownworth and Victoria A. Brownworth,[ Special to The Sun] | August 26, 2007
Always By Nicola Griffith Riverhead (Penguin) / 480 pages / $26.95 The debate springs up every so often: Can writing that is also mystery, science fiction, gothic or romance still be literary and address serious issues? Or is it all just glorified beach reading? The argument has been raging anew for months, fueled by comments and commentary by the likes of such award-winning writers as Michael Chabon, Ursula K. LeGuin, Doris Lessing, Margaret Atwood, Michael Cunningham and Stephen King.
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NEWS
By Victoria A. Brownworth and Victoria A. Brownworth,[ Special to The Sun] | August 26, 2007
Always By Nicola Griffith Riverhead (Penguin) / 480 pages / $26.95 The debate springs up every so often: Can writing that is also mystery, science fiction, gothic or romance still be literary and address serious issues? Or is it all just glorified beach reading? The argument has been raging anew for months, fueled by comments and commentary by the likes of such award-winning writers as Michael Chabon, Ursula K. LeGuin, Doris Lessing, Margaret Atwood, Michael Cunningham and Stephen King.
NEWS
By Douglas Birch and Douglas Birch,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | August 8, 2004
MOSCOW - He is the scholarly bad boy of Russian crime novelists. And he seems proud of the mischief that he has made. Russian writers have long been honored as wise men and secular prophets, but by pioneering literary detective fiction here, Grigory Chkhartishvili has overturned some traditions of Russia's literary world. "The whole project has a touch of anarchism in it, definitely," says the author, whose playful, teasing manner hides some very serious views. Chkhartishvili - who writes under the pen name Boris Akunin - is best known for a series of 11 thrillers set in late 19th-century Russia, each featuring the aristocratic detective Erast Fandorin.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Staff Writer | June 23, 1995
Monsters inhabit the visual world created by R. (he never signed his work "Robert") Crumb, the subject of Terry Zwigoff's superb documentary "Crumb." It's about the misanthrope whose randy, drug-crazed Fritz the Cat, Mr. Natural and Angelfood McSpade once lived on the pages of Zap Comix and are now found on the walls of such places as the Museum of Modern Art in New York.Crumb's world is peopled by grotesques -- demonic women (as often without heads as with those of animals), Charles Manson-like murderers and nerds strained past breaking by unbelievable anxieties.
NEWS
By LAURA LIPPMAN and LAURA LIPPMAN,SUN STAFF | July 13, 1997
"Unpunished," by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the Feminist Press. 192 pages.$18.95."Unpunished" is a cautionary tale, although not the one Charlotte Perkins Gilman intended. The feminist writer ("The Yellow Wall-Paper") wanted to make a point about domestic violence and psychological abuse in a patriarchal system. Instead, "Unpunished" points up the risks in publishing old manuscripts "as is." The novel is a triumph as a historical artifact of early feminist thought, a bust as a detective story.
NEWS
By Douglas Birch and Douglas Birch,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | August 8, 2004
MOSCOW - He is the scholarly bad boy of Russian crime novelists. And he seems proud of the mischief that he has made. Russian writers have long been honored as wise men and secular prophets, but by pioneering literary detective fiction here, Grigory Chkhartishvili has overturned some traditions of Russia's literary world. "The whole project has a touch of anarchism in it, definitely," says the author, whose playful, teasing manner hides some very serious views. Chkhartishvili - who writes under the pen name Boris Akunin - is best known for a series of 11 thrillers set in late 19th-century Russia, each featuring the aristocratic detective Erast Fandorin.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Jody Jaffe and Jody Jaffe,Special to the Sun | September 30, 2001
All stories, like all lives, are mysteries, writes Michael Malone. We listen to them, he says, to meet strangers and learn their plots. "We are private eyes searching for clues to our connections. Safe in fiction, we are testing our hearts." This month's mysteries give our hearts an exhilarating workout beginning with Malone's latest, First Lady, (Sourcebooks, 430 pages, $24). Malone's 1983 Uncivil Seasons is the best mystery I've ever read. It had everything: beautiful writing, complex characters who beckon you to their world, social commentary and a page-turning plot.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck | August 6, 1998
Three one-act comedies, opening at the Spotlighters Theatre tomorrow, are the latest offerings in this summer's Baltimore Playwrights Festival.Mark Scharf's "Like White on Rice," one of two plays by Scharf in this year's festival, is a 10-minute comedy written entirely in cliches. Paul Sambol's "One for the Road" is about a quirky fortune teller and an insurance underwriter who's facing downsizing. And Robert Leland Taylor's "Sex without Pliers" is a satire of detective fiction. Miriam Bazensky directs the first two playlets, and Bob Bardoff directs the third, with three cast members - Dan Bursi, Jerry Gietka and Cindy Spearman - taking on multiple roles.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler | July 28, 1991
While women have always excelled at the gentlemanly British variety of detective fiction, the hard-boiled American detective thriller once seemed about as appropriate a place for a female writer as the defensive backfield of the Los Angeles Raiders.But V. I. (the initials stand for Victoria Iphigenia) Warshawski is an equal opportunity private dick -- and a tough one at that.And for V. I.'s creator -- crime novelist Sara Paretsky -- getting a strong woman character in a major motion picture outweighs the disappointment she feels with "V. I. Warshawski," which opened in theaters Friday.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Jody Jaffe and Jody Jaffe,Special to the Sun | September 30, 2001
All stories, like all lives, are mysteries, writes Michael Malone. We listen to them, he says, to meet strangers and learn their plots. "We are private eyes searching for clues to our connections. Safe in fiction, we are testing our hearts." This month's mysteries give our hearts an exhilarating workout beginning with Malone's latest, First Lady, (Sourcebooks, 430 pages, $24). Malone's 1983 Uncivil Seasons is the best mystery I've ever read. It had everything: beautiful writing, complex characters who beckon you to their world, social commentary and a page-turning plot.
NEWS
By LAURA LIPPMAN and LAURA LIPPMAN,SUN STAFF | July 13, 1997
"Unpunished," by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the Feminist Press. 192 pages.$18.95."Unpunished" is a cautionary tale, although not the one Charlotte Perkins Gilman intended. The feminist writer ("The Yellow Wall-Paper") wanted to make a point about domestic violence and psychological abuse in a patriarchal system. Instead, "Unpunished" points up the risks in publishing old manuscripts "as is." The novel is a triumph as a historical artifact of early feminist thought, a bust as a detective story.
NEWS
By Laura Lippman and Laura Lippman,SUN STAFF | June 1, 1997
"Raymond Chandler," by Tom Hiney. Atlantic Monthly Press. 320 pages. $26."Two things stabilized him," British journalist Tom Hiney writes of Raymond Chandler in the preface to his new biography on the great detective writer. "Being drunk, which he often was, and Philip Marlowe."And of those two, only Marlowe is interesting. Luckily, Hiney appears to understand this and after 75 or so dutiful pages on Chandler's pre-Marlowe life, he finally gets down to cases.Hiney's book claims much new material, but it's the familiar material that makes Chandler's career worth reviewing.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Staff Writer | June 23, 1995
Monsters inhabit the visual world created by R. (he never signed his work "Robert") Crumb, the subject of Terry Zwigoff's superb documentary "Crumb." It's about the misanthrope whose randy, drug-crazed Fritz the Cat, Mr. Natural and Angelfood McSpade once lived on the pages of Zap Comix and are now found on the walls of such places as the Museum of Modern Art in New York.Crumb's world is peopled by grotesques -- demonic women (as often without heads as with those of animals), Charles Manson-like murderers and nerds strained past breaking by unbelievable anxieties.
NEWS
January 20, 2010
ROBERT B. PARKER, 77 Crime novelist created 'Spenser' series Robert B. Parker, the blunt and beloved crime novelist who helped revive and modernize the hard-boiled genre and branded a tough guy of his own through his "Spenser" series, died Monday of unknown causes at his Cambridge, Mass., home. Prolific to the end, Mr. Parker wrote more than 50 novels, including 37 featuring Boston private eye Spenser. The character's first name was a mystery, with his last name emphatically spelled with an "s" in the middle, not a "c."
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Sun reporter | October 14, 2011
Gerald "Jerry" Smith, a retired Baltimore County social studies teacher whose career spanned 25 years, died Oct. 4 of renal failure at St. Agnes Hospital. The Charlestown Retirement Community resident was 81. The son of a Hecht Co. painter and a homemaker, Mr. Smith was born in Baltimore and raised on Stricker Street. After graduating from Calvert Hall College High School in 1947, he served in the Navy. He earned a bachelor's degree in education from what is now Towson University and a master's degree in 1967 from what is now Loyola University Maryland.
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