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On the last bright cold day before spring came to Brooklyn, Greta Gerwig was having her picture taken underneath the BQE, bare-legged in a sleeveless dress. Above her the photographer’s assistant fixed his bounce board and his thousand-yard stare with equal determination, zoning out as he tried to wrangle the best natural light for the 32-year-old actor, writer, and filmmaker. Below her were stairs leading into Battery Harris, the Caribbean restaurant on Frost Street,...
In a 2007 defense of Don DeLillo’s Underworld published in The Quarterly Conversation, the young critic Garth Risk Hallberg argued that in DeLillo’s masterwork, “Here was a major novel that drew equally on the realist legacy--its ironies, historical depth, and strong point of view--and on the absurdism, historical holography, and fragmentation of the postwar fiction of social critique,” in doing so becoming the best book of its age (and one of the few to...

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