Literature

Household Words—The Complicated Domestic Life of Charles Dickens
December 07, 2012

The case of Charles Dickens is an extreme example of our desire to know all the darkest details about the lives of our great heroes

Do Epigraphs Matter?
December 06, 2012

The epigraph's most basic function is to remind us that literature is a social act.

L.A. Story—A Rising Star of West Coast Lit Shines Dimly
November 20, 2012

Wilson’s devotion to voice above all other narrative elements is even less effective in Panorama City than it was in The Interloper.

Green Piece—Barbara Kingsolver’s Eco Obsessions
November 16, 2012

In this novel Kingsolver abandons the spirited determination of her memoir in favor of transparent literary activism.

Not Quite Stories—Alice Munro’s Almost Autobiography
November 14, 2012

If Dear Life is part of a kind of coda on her career, what message does it dispatch?

The Professor: Jill Lepore's Fatal Flaw
November 04, 2012

The virtues of this collection are overshadowed by Lepore’s campaign against popular historians.

Room for Improvement—Emma Donoghue’s Limp Short Stories
October 29, 2012

Emma Donoghue's stories are all explication, a series of novels in miniature.

The Poet Politician—Chinua Achebe’s Civil War
October 22, 2012

There Was a Country, a personal memoir, is a literal explanation of what happens when “the center cannot hold.”

One Whale Too Many: Arthur Conan Doyle’s Arctic Adventure
October 18, 2012

Now published for the first time, Conan Doyle's Arctic adventures offer a pre-Holmes glimpse of the writer.

Portishead: The Literary Genius of Charles Portis
October 08, 2012

Despite the intense devotion Portis inspires, he has remained a very shadowy literary figure.

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