Adam Begley was books editor of The New York Observer from 1996 to 2009. His biography of John Updike will be published by HarperCollins in April.

In Memoriam

Famed New York Observer editor Peter Kaplan died Friday. Adam Begley, who was books editor of the newspaper for twelve years, remembers their lunches.

The Biographer’s Song

Adam Begley on a sloppy and insipid biography that doesn’t do justice to Norman Mailer’s life.

Book of the Dead

The English novelist Julian Barnes lost his wife several years ago, and in Levels of Life he writes his way through grief. Adam Begley on an unconventional memoir/story/essay.