Elizabeth Kiem

The Art of Disaster

The Art of Disaster The Catastrophist By Lawrence Douglas* * *|Other Press, 276 pages, $24.95.When we first meet Daniel Wellington, the protagonist of Lawrence Douglas’s debut novel, he is lying awake, waiting for the 3:30 a.m. passage of Amtrak’s Montreal to Washington express. He gets out of bed, witnesses the diesel engine as

The Boy From Baku

The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life By Tom Reiss Random House, 464 pages, $25.95. * * *|The arid, windswept capital of Azerbaijan is not a tourist mecca. Most travelers to Baku come in search of oil, not romance. But for many Azeris and not a few foreigners, a trip to this desert metropolis of dust,