Nonfiction Archive

NOTES ON THE STATE OF VIRGINIA: Journey to the Center of an American Document, Queries II and III

  This is the second installment of a year-long journey through Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia. Here’s the first installment. ** Query II: A notice of its rivers, rivulets, and how far they are navigable Query III: A notice of the best Seaports of the State,

Review: SUBLIME PHYSICK by Patrick Madden

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When reading Sublime Physick, the yin-yang symbol comes to mind, as Madden cites academic thinkers and essayists from generations past, alongside contemporary popular icons, usually of the musical variety, specifically his personal favorites like John Lennon and Geddy Lee.

Review: TRACE: MEMORY, HISTORY, RACE, & THE AMERICAN LANDSCAPE by Lauret Edith Savoy

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Reading nature writing is second in transformative joy only to being in nature. That joy is slippery in Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape by Lauret Edith Savoy, where moments of sublimity are often punctuated by cruelty and alienation.

Review: MONSTER TREK: THE OBSESSIVE SEARCH FOR BIGFOOT by Joe Gisondi

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Monster Trek: The Obsessive Search for Bigfoot Joe Gisondi University of Nebraska Press, February 1 2016 306 pp, $18.95 Buy: paperback | nook | Kindle  “Bigfoot are reported across all social, educational, and economic classes,” writes journalist and professor Joe Gisondi in his new book Monster Trek: The Obsessive

NOTES ON THE STATE OF VIRGINIA: Journey to the Center of an American Document

This is the start of a monthly journey through Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia. I’ve loved this book for many years. It’s scholarly and luminous, unfolding a rich lexicon. Open its pages and whole rivers, chunks of amethyst, living birds, and secret mammoth skeletons tumble forth.

Review: THE PITTSBURGH ANTHOLOGY Edited by Eric Boyd

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The Pittsburgh Anthology Ed. Eric Boyd Belt Books, September 2015 236 pp; $20 Buy paperback “Pittsburgh has always been a scrappy city, characterized by unflapping tenacity, even as outsourcing and the ills of globalization threatened its survival,” writes Kevin Tasker in “Rebirth of the Hollywood Lanes,” one of the

Review: THE CITY AT THREE PM: WRITING, READING, AND TRAVELING by Peter LaSalle

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The City at Three PM: Writing, Reading, and Traveling Peter LaSalle Dzanc Books, December 15 2015 280 pp; $15.95 Buy paperback We read travel writers for a variety of reasons, but often it is for the vicarious thrill of the journey, somewhat akin to schadenfreude in that we can

Review: WHAT’S THE STORY by Sydney Lea

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WHAT’S THE STORY Sydney Lea, Essays Green Writer’s Press, Nov 2015 224 pp; $19.95 Buy: paperback Now in his 70s, Vermont Poet Laureate and founder of New England Review Sydney Lea presents in this collection nearly seventy lyrical meditations in prose on what he calls the biggest surprise of his

Discovering Milton Resnick

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Milton Resnick (1917—2004), was one of the most articulate and interesting of the abstract expressionists. I knew his work, but this past summer I discovered his personal history through a recently completed manuscript, Milton Resnick: Painter in the Age of Painting, by Geoffrey Dorfman, author of the well-received, Out

Review: Circus Maximus by Andrew Zimbalist

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Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup Andrew Zimbalist Brookings Institution Press, 2015 175 pages Buy: book | ebook In a way, everything about Andrew Zimbalist’s Circus Maximus is great. The book is thoroughly researched, thoroughly argued—hard to find a hole in its logic. And