Welcome to 2012! What better way could there be to usher it in than to pore over the lovingly-edited pieces in the brand new issue of Open Letters Monthly?
I think we’ve started the year off well, with four members of our core editorial team contributing pieces: John Cotter reviews a risky new novel about Mohamed Atta, one of the hijackers of American Airlines Flight 111; Greg Waldmann takes us on an exhilarating trip not only through Charles Rosen’s book on Music and Sentiment but also through some wonderful examples and analysis of that underappreciated form, classical music; the inimitable (and apparently indefatigable) Steve Donoghue writes a wonderful appreciation of a 5-volume 19th-century biography of Prince Albert (yes, really–you may have to read the piece to believe me, but it’s terrific); and I go back to the Victorians with a ‘Second Glance’ feature on Anne Bronte’s wonderfully smart and provocative The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
Of the other wide-ranging and interesting pieces we are running this month, I’ll highlight two in particular, as I’m pleased to have had a hand in bringing them to Open Letters. Amardeep Singh offers up a knowledgeable perspective on Rabindranath Tagore, about whom I knew little but would now like to know more, and Dorian Stuber reviews Steve Sem-Sandberg’s ambitious novel The Emperor of Lies, taking the opportunity to consider broader issues about the difficulty of representing the Holocaust–not just in fiction, but at all.
There’s also new poetry and new cover art (and an interview with the artist, Bill Amundson); our regular mystery columnist writes up P. D. James’s Death at Pemberly; we introduce our new poetry editor … and that’s not all, so I hope you’ll come over and take a look.