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It's a wild world with Don DeLillo, Eve Ensler and more

February 1, 2010 |  9:08 am


In our pages on Sunday, novelist Matthew Sharpe looked at Don DeLillo's new novel (novella?), "Point Omega." In it, a filmmaker joins a former presidential war advisor at his desert vacation home, hoping to persuade him to be in a documentary.

Critics of "The Body Artist," "Cosmopolis" and especially "Falling Man" seem to want DeLillo to be the Babe Ruth of novelists, to keep writing "Underworld" and "Libra," those long, magisterial books about big American events. Such people will probably not regard his new novel, "Point Omega," which weighs in at not much more than 100 pages, as a literary home run.

Yet "Point Omega" is a splendid, fierce novel by a deep practitioner of the form.

Also in our pages: Essayist Brenda Miller talks to Dinah Lenney. Susan Salter-Reynolds reviews Eve Ensler's "I Am an Emotional Creature," "I Want To Be Left Behind" by Brenda Peterson and "Things We Didn't See Coming" by Steven Amsterdam. Salter-Reynolds also tackles the new collection by Sam Shepherd, "Day Out of Days." Also reviewed were the novel "Don Juan: His Own Version" by Peter Handke and T.C. Boyle's short story collection, "Wild Child." 

The wild world is the subject of two books; Lyanda Lynn Haupt looks at "Rewilding the World: Dispatches from the Conservation Revolution" by Caroline Fraser and "Coyote at the Kitchen Door: Living with Wildlife in Suburbia" by Stephen DeStefano.

Both books invite us to consider, and reconsider, the modern human relationship to other beings in a wild, wonderful and ecologically imperiled world, and to remember that our participation in this world involves not just guilt, worry, science and activism, but also a capacity for imagination.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: California's Saddleback Butte State Park at sunset. Credit: Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times