Critical Essays Archive
Reichl’s new memoir tells the story of a nation’s heyday and financial collapse, tracing the interconnection between food and money.
A secret horror isn’t magically eradicated because its spoken aloud. Rather, its implications spread, deepen, further infiltrating our complex web of relationships, our motivations, our dreams. In fact, some horrors can’t be named; the words fail us.
New novels by Maria Kuznetsova and Elizabeth Strout, written in the form of chapter-length stories, give us the opportunity to see a great span of a life and to focus in on the moments that matter.
For an artist whose career ended with little recognition, the yearly international exhibitions featuring Daumier’s work attest to the staying power of his vision. For James, this embodies the filial connection between the artist and the novelist—with all the love and strife that implies.
Carson’s invocation of the idea of an American pastoral penetrated by a dangerous, toxic presence is, as Lawrence Buell points out, neither new nor confined to ecological writings—or even American writings. Buell does, however, name the publication of Carson’s most famous book as the effective beginning of “toxic discourse.”
Natalia Ginzburg presents a family’s dysfunction as an engrossing emotional rollercoaster, yet manages to make her story both haunting and deeply human.
“Good Night and Good Luck” and “Debts,” by Grace Paley, are kinetic, and suggest more than is on the page: that a good story is one that’s told, and retold, written and read, with the goal of connecting people in different places and across generations, bringing everyone involved some
For Ocean Vuong, Jesmyn Ward, and Jaquira Diaz, reading and writing became necessities early on when their classrooms, families, and streets confined them, left them feeling othered and uncertain of their identities.
Before Lady Macbeth took center stage as Shakespeare’s leading femme fatale, the bard experimented with a number of scheming women, most notably in his first works: the trio of history plays covering the tumultuous reign of Henry VI.
There is a part of King’s iconic novel that has been left out of both of its film chapters (as well as previous adaptations). And while I understand and agree with the filmmakers’ decision to leave it out, I admit I would be awed by anyone who attempted to