All stories by Roberta Silman on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Book Review: “Prague Spring” — The Fragility of Freedom by Roberta Silman

This consistently interesting novel adds an unforgettable dimension to an historical event about which we thought we knew all there was to know. The post Book Review: “Prague Spring” —…

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Friday, February 8, 2019

Book Review: Anthony Powell — Among the Most Modern of 20th Century English Writers by Roberta Silman

Although Anthony Powell’s stock has gone down since he died in 2000, I hope that this new biography will spark interest in A Dance to the Music of Time. The post Book Review: Anthony Powel…

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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Book Review: Edith Wharton and Michelle Obama — Breaking New Ground for Women by Roberta Silman

What impressed me most about these two different women is they were both products of an America which values determination and wit and intelligence, as well as opportunity.

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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Book Review: “Washington Black” — Grappling with the Meanings of Liberty by Roberta Silman

In Washington Black novelist Esi Edugyan has defied the cliché of the escaped slave discovering freedom.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Book Review: “Your Duck Is My Duck’ — Not Enough Tingles by Roberta Silman

Deborah Eisenberg's stories pull you in and imitate life in an uncanny way.

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Monday, June 25, 2018

Theater Review: “Morning After Grace” — A Cause for Celebration by Roberta Silman

It is heart-warming that, in these “worst of times," playwrights like Carey Crim are working quietly to give us a look at new beginnings with humor and tenderness and hope.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Book Commentary: Philip Roth — American Warnings by Roberta Silman

In the end, Philip Roth produced the greatest body of work in the 20th century since William Faulkner and Saul Bellow and I.B. Singer.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Book Review: Tale of Two Short Story Collections, Schutt and Ortese by Roberta Silman

Schutt's is an example of the kind of fiction that is being taken seriously in too many quarters in this new century, but that is not nearly good enough.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Theater Review: “Anna Christie” — A Memorable Look at Life on the Margins by Roberta Silman

The Lyric Stage production of Anna Christie does right by Eugene O'Neill's brilliance.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Theater Review: “Orlando” — Asking What Gender Really Means by Roberta Silman

There is much to love in this Lyric Stage Company production and I recommend it highly.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Book Review: Charlotte Salomon — A Magnificent Act of Faith by Roberta Silman

For the hundredth birthday of Charlotte Salomon, who is emerging as one of the 20th century’s great artists, two fabulous volumes dedicated to her work.

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Monday, January 22, 2018

Book Review: “Surviving Jersey” — Chronicling Wild Times by Roberta Silman

This superb volume is much more than a group of essays; it is a tale with a trajectory fashioned by a writer who is determined to be achingly honest.

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Friday, November 3, 2017

Theater Review: “Souvenir” — An Intimate Gem by Roberta Silman

Spiro Veloudos and his talented cast has given us an evening in the theater when all that makes us human comes to the fore.

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Book Review: “Love, Madness & Scandal” — Among the Metaphysicals by Roberta Silman

The biography offers a fascinating look at Frances Coke Villiers’s unique tale of rebellion, examining the plight of one memorable woman during a tumultuous time.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Book Review: “Birdcage Walk” — Helen Dunmore’s Exhilarating Farewell by Roberta Silman

Helen Dunmore's astounding final novel is a fascinating take on a family of radicals living in Bristol, England during the French Revolution.

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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Book Review: “The Songs We Know Best” — The Youth of Poet John Ashbery by Roberta Silman

This book captures — beautifully — poet John Ashbery’s youth and dreams and struggles.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Classical Music Review: A Bleak “Black Monk” at Tanglewood by Roberta Silman

It is my sad duty to report that an evening which looked so promising was hardly a worthy homage to an important musical figure of the 20th century.

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Book Review: “Women in the World of Frederick Douglass” — Crucial Partners by Roberta Silman

Focusing on these indomitable and sometimes troubling women, Fought has written an engaging book that is compelling, sometimes even fierce.

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Book Review: Gershom Scholem — A Rich and Complicated Jewish Life by Roberta Silman

George Prochnik's biography of Gershom Scholem is flawed, but well worth reading, especially for those struggling with their Jewish and Israeli identities.

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Book Review: “Shooting Creek and Other Stories” — The Presence of Evil by Roberta Silman

These well-crafted stories are not for the faint-hearted.

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Book Review: The “Inexhaustibility” of Angela Carter by Roberta Silman

May this superb biography, The Invention of Angela Carter, spark more interest in this amazing writer, especially in the United States.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Book Review: “The Year of the Comet” — Surviving History by Roberta Silman

This is the work of an extremely talented writer whose prose is spare and exact and has an authenticity that marks him as the real thing.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Appreciation: The Fiction of William Trevor — A Mixture of Compassion and Horror by Roberta Silman

Reading William Trevor will enrich you in ways you cannot imagine.

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Book Review: “The Menorah” and “The Book of Aron” by Roberta Silman

Two books -- one nonfiction, the other fiction -- that deal with Jewish history.

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Book Review: “His Only Son” — A Delightful Discovery from Turn-of-the-Century Spain by Roberta Silman

A splendid, absorbing read in which you feel as if you’ve been dropped onto the set of a Mozart opera.

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Fuse Book Review: Thomas De Quincey — A Memorably “Guilty Thing” by Roberta Silman

Frances Wilson's biography of Thomas De Quincey is superb, written with enormous empathy and insight.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Book Review: Rabih Alameddine’s “Angel of History” — Knocked Askew by Roberta Silman

This is a book about “survivor’s guilt,” and also about the terrible loneliness that comes of losing so many whom you love.

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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Fuse Music Commentary: The 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute by Roberta Silman

If any of you are harboring a budding young musician either at home or school or in the extended family, investigate the possibility of he or she attending BUTI.

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Friday, August 5, 2016

Fuse Book Appreciation: The Fiction of Kent Haruf — Surviving Ordinary Life with Grace by Roberta Silman

Kent Haruf's novels remind us that even in the hardest lives, there is joy, often delicate and evanescent, but joy, nevertheless.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Fuse Book Review: A. B. Yehoshua’s “The Extra” — A Genius for Dissecting Family Matters by Roberta Silman

This canny writer is concerned with the kind of complicated family relationships that engaged his Jewish literary forebears.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Fuse Book Review: “The Last Painting of Sara De Vos” — On Art and Forgery by Roberta Silman

You may have read similar earlier works, but Dominic Smith’s novel is in a class of its own.

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