In her moving, elegiac new novel The Burning Girl, Claire Messud alludes to childhood as a Wordsworthian time when we still trail “clouds of glory.” For adolescence, though, she invokes the Biblical phrase “through a glass darkly,” meaning that what we think we see and know of life and ourselves is imperfect. That the “weight of the world falls upon us” in adolescence, and pain and fear and uncertainty replace the bliss of being young.

Claude Paris / AP

Much of Europe has been enjoying an August heatwave, although not everyone would agree with the word “enjoying.” It was even quite warm in England for a day or two and a few people had to be hospitalized, I suspect not so much from the heat as from sheer surprise. Daytime temperatures in southern France have been hovering around a hundred, which is above average but not unprecedented. It’s a dry heat, coming straight up from Africa with all the subtlety of an open pizza oven.

Courtesy of Tom Clavin

This Saturday evening the East Hampton Library on Long Island will hold its annual fundraising event. It’s called Authors Night and it’s organized by Alec Baldwin.

Matt Dunham / AP

Whatever happened to picture postcards? Once upon a time, as friends and family members traveled around the world, we would receive a steady stream of cards from places they had visited, or had pretended to visit. The cards were annoying for those of us who were stuck at home, but they were reassuring too. If our loved ones in faraway places took the trouble to buy, write, and mail a postcard, it showed that they loved us too, or at least remembered our address.

Courtesy of Holly Danger

This Saturday evening, a group of artists will gather at the Danger Gallery in Stamford to assemble an art piece that will be made up of 100 separate canvases.

It’s called the 1X1 Mural, and it’s the brainchild of visual artist Holly Danger, who owns the gallery that bears her name.