Photography and Language in John McPhee’s “Under the Cloth”

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
The view camera creates a particular kind of image through extreme pause and meticulous composition; by writing about a view camera, McPhee creates a particular kind of essay, one that uses the techniques of both view camera photography and narrative.

Writing in the In-Between

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Writers squeeze writing in between their full-time work, even if they don’t talk about it. Journalist and TV anchor Jake Tapper did just that in writing his political thriller, which he wrote sometimes in intervals of only fifteen minutes at a time.

Reading Roughly

Author: | Categories: Personal Essays No comments
It doesn’t take much formal study to read a novel in another language, if you don’t mind being unable to understand the occasional sentence or paragraph. It depends more on guessing and sympathy with a particular language or culture than it does on a knowledge of grammar or vocabulary.

Good Trouble by Joseph O’Neill

Author: | Categories: Book Reviews, Fiction No comments
The eleven stories in O'Neill's collection read like a string of understated poems that progress, implode, and digress. They are compelling not only because of his memorable characters but also because of his density and diction.

The Enduring Allure of Literary Provence

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Provence is one of these regions, like Bordeaux and the Atlantic seaboard, that have always had a strong connection to Anglophone cultures, starting in the seventeenth century when the court of the House of Stuart went into exile in Avignon.

Under His Eye: On The Little Clan by Iris Martin Cohen

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
The world of Ava Gallanter, the protagonist of Iris Martin Cohen’s debut novel, is very small. It consists of the library, hallways, and apartments of the Lazarus Club, a prestigious private members club where she works as a librarian. It is the world of Dead White Men.

Robert F. Kennedy and the Ancient Greeks of Edith Hamilton

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Hamilton’s reconstruction of Athenian tragedy, Americanized to focus on individual “poetically transmuted pain,” appealed to Robert F. Kennedy.

Trauma and Humanity in Lion Cross Point

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Girding Masatsugu Ono’s novel is what seems to be a single question: Does family (or community) exist without trauma? 

Searching for Truth Under Stalin

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
For a silent era, the most repressive years of the Soviet Union produced an explosion of memoir. Of them all, Nadezhda Mandelstam’s, from the 1960s, is one of the most morally striking. Several decades later, Mandelstam’s former friend Emma Gerstein published her own set of memoirs, challenging Nadezhda’s work.

Kudos by Rachel Cusk

Author: | Categories: Book Reviews, Fiction No comments
Cusk's latest novel, the last installment of her much-talked about trilogy, has a deceptively celebratory title.