This is a collection of essays on Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Flaubert, Stendhal, Genet, Strindberg, Borges, and a dozen other writers. The pieces are short and beautifully, often lyrically written. They were done over the years for such perioddicals as The New York Review of Books, and The New Yorker.
The connecting theme is self-concealment and the healthy secretiveness that permits great authors to speak to us again and again and to do so from the heart. There is a benevolent reticence in these essays that makes the reader want to dig deeper and know more.