When I first read The New York Times write-up “Fiona Apple Faces Outwards”, I am struck by how deeply her transformation over the past seven years from big-eyed girl-woman to gaunt and isolated artist has affected me. Apple was always talented, but this write-up of The Idler Wheel encapsulates how Apple has transcended the fleeting pop stardom that is often offered to young, attractive female artists and has instead become a full-fledged musical auteur.

(based on The New York Times feature)

Sundays start early for Aristotle von Buckingham, the 32-year-old venture capitalist and professional yo-yo master.  He and his girlfriend, Madonna Luxembourg, live in the penthouse of an Upper West Side brownstone with their pet elephant, two and a half children, and a life-size statue of Zach Galifianakis.

I had dinner this weekend at the house of a writer friend whose articles appear frequently on a well known website and in several prestigious print outlets.  He had a non-fiction book out last year that got noticed in some circles but was ignored by The New York Times, where a certain reviewer recently commented privately, upon seeing the paperback: “I wish I’d reviewed this in hardcover.”

I think it was Michiko Kakutani, though I can’t be sure.

Like the review itself, lost in the frustrating nebulousness of a dream, the name was nothing more than an ominous smudge. The critic a cipher, a shadow stubbornly lurking in the boiler room of my fears. I stared hard, brought the review of my book within inches of my face, tried to make sense of the barely but sufficiently out-of-focus print.Opening my eyes in the darkness, I rolled over with queasy certainty: I dreamt a review in the New York Times, and it wasn’t good.