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What remains? What matters? What endures? These are some of the themes that run through the summer reading issue. Three authors are remembered and reconsidered—Gerald Howard looks at the checkered, brutally vivid work of Leonard Michaels, whose works are currently being reissued by FSG; Elizabeth Benedict casts a softer light on the often harshly viewed Elizabeth Hardwick, novelist, public intellectual, founder of the New York Review of Books, and ex-wife of Robert Lowell; while Douglas Bauer fondly recalls the indomitable spirit and curiosity of M.F.K. Fisher. The aftermath of Katrina is the backdrop for Adam Johnson’s fictional search for lasting love in “Hurricanes Anonymous” and in Allan Gurganus’s “Fetch,” an off-season walk on the beach turns life-threatening, stripping the lives of a privileged couple to the core; while Frank Bidart, Mary Jo Bang, and Eileen Myles take poetic turns at capturing the ineffable.
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