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This week: The art of the psychotic, how to fix India's problems, and Beethoven's piano concertos at the NY Phil.
Fiction:Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (Penguin Press): It’s the 1970s and Marilyn, a white Virginian, goes against her mother’s wishes by marrying James, a first-generation Chinese American. Marilyn quickly becomes pregnant and gives up her dreams of pursuing medicine to raise a family. The tensions within the household over careers, money, and extended family come to a head when Lydia, the family’s teenage middle child, is found dead in a nearby lake. As the family investigates the death, they realize how little they truly knew about Lydia, and are forced to confront long-hidden secrets from their past. —BPK
Nonfiction: Rogue Elephant: Harnessing the Power of India’s Unruly Democracy by Simon Denyer (Bloomsbury): As the dust settles after India’s historic elections last month, this timely book outlines the country’s numerous ongoing problems: political corruption, widespread crime, religious strife, crippling poverty, terrible schools, and more. Denyer, the former Washington Post India bureau chief, offers prescriptions for correctingthese issues, focusing on the power of India’s huge electorate. —BPK
Poetry: William Logan on the letters of Robert Frost in The New York Times: “Randall Jarrell long ago recognized the terrifying landscape in which Frost set his poems and the uncompromising bleakness of his imagination, at least before age and self-satisfaction settled in. Even his drollery had a cold edge: Of New Hampshire, he once wrote, ‘I mean to get back there in time to freeze to death this winter.’” —DY
Poetry on View: Readings from the Carter Burden Collection at the Morgan Library & Museum (Thursday): Charles Simic, Elaine Equi, and J. D. McClatchy team up to read and comment on selected works by authors featured in the exhibition “Gatsby to Garp: Modern Masterpieces from the Carter Burden Collection,” currently on view at the Morgan. —BPK
Art: Summer invitationals at Sideshow and Life on Mars: Great summer invitationals keep rolling along, with two more to consider this week. At Sideshow gallery’s “To Leo, A Tribute from the American Abstract Artists” (through July 13), the group American Abstract Artists honors Leo Rabkin, the artist and former president of the organization, with a show featuring works from almost eighty artists. Life on Mars’ invitational opens this Friday and runs through August 10, with work from dozens of artists including familiar names such as Paul Behnke, Deborah Brown, Paul D’Agostino, and others. —JP
Music:The Beethoven Piano Concertos: A Philharmonic Festival (Wednesday–Sunday): Yefim Bronfman will close his cycle of Beethoven’s piano concerti this week, playing the “Emperor” concerto with the New York Philharmonic. He will also perform the “triple” concerto, joined by the Philharmonic’s principal cellist Carter Brey and its Concertmaster Glenn Dicterow. These will be Dicterow's last concerts with the Philharmonic, after sitting in the first chair for thirty-four years. —ECS
Other:Night at the Museums (Tuesday): Museums and historic site across Lower Manhattan will open their doors for free on Tuesday evening. Participating institutions include the African Burial Ground National Monument, the Anne Frank Center USA, the Federal Hall National Memorial, the Fraunces Tavern Museum, the Museum of American Finance, the Museum of Jewish Heritage, the National Archives at New York City, the National Museum of the American Indian, the National September 11 Memorial Museum, the 9/11 Tribute Center, the Skyscraper Museum, the South Street Seaport Museum, Wall Street Walks, and the NYC Municipal Archives Visitor Center. —BPK
From the archive:Robert Hughes's Amerika by Michael J. Lewis, June 1997: On Robert Hughes’s book and PBS series, American Visions.
From our latest issue:Beauty out of madness by Theodore Dalrymple: Looking at the Prinzhorn Collection, a collection of artwork by psychotic patients.