Hillary Kelly
Digital Media Editor

Praise the Heavy Lift
March 30, 2011

It seemed for a time that the long novel had hit a lull. In a society that prefers to snack on information rather than dine on knowledge, the long nov

Failure to Adapt
March 22, 2011

For a certain type of woman, having read Jane Eyre—more specifically, having consumed it several times in feverish bursts, having carried a battered paperback from high school to college to a first apartment, having memorized certain lines (“Do you think because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong!”)—is the functional equivalent of a top-secret handshake.

Whitewashing
January 10, 2011

I like to think that my bookshelves hold a staggering variety of fiction, that I have the reading tastes of a true eclectic. The truth is, perhaps, a bit less exciting. A wander through my (freakishly organized) shelves will turn up a large amount of nineteenth-century literature, a smattering of modernism, and a hearty amount of “contemporary classics” (a term I despise but can find no substitute for). Some of these pages have yet to be turned, and others look like they have been through a war.

The Missing Subject
December 21, 2010

Susan Cheever's Louisa May Alcott takes no viewpoint and proves no hypothesis. Even more damningly, one cannot read Cheever’s work for the bare facts

Bad Expectations
December 14, 2010

On December 2, as Oprah Winfrey stood on the stage of her TV show, tightly clutching her newest Book Club selection to her chest so that no one could see its title, she proclaimed in her singular, scale-climbing voice, “Dickeeeens for the hooolidaaaays!” Oprah declared that she has “always wanted to read Dickens over the holidays,” and “now [she] can.” Never mind that she could have read Dickens whenever she wanted, seeing as his books have been popular for more than a century. Never mind that Oprah hadn’t chosen A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, or any of Dickens’s other Christmas tales.

The Complete Christine O'Donnell
September 23, 2010

You've heard about her run-ins with witchcraft and masturbation. You've heard about her financial troubles. But there's so much more—a treasure trove of quotations that are worth reading in the original. Below, you'll find a comprehensive guide to the craziest statements Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell has made in public. The (Self-) Pleasure Principle "The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery.

Dangling Man
August 18, 2010

If ever a writer fully embraced Baudelaire’s ideal of flaneurie, it is Per Petterson. His characters perch on windy beaches, lean out over the rails o

Keeping Austen Weird
May 28, 2010

By the end of the prologue to Jane Smiley’s Private Life, a novel set in San Francisco during World War II, we know already that Andrew Early is someh

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