Literature

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.

The Chamber of Secrets: J.K. Rowling's Second Act
October 03, 2012

The Casual Vacancy is a loose, baggy novel, but once a central narrative starts to emerge, the result is penetrating and pleasantly acerbic.

Memory Babe: Kerouac’s Girlfriend Remembers
September 25, 2012

Johnson’s closeness to Kerouac is invaluable for Johnson the memoirist, it is limiting for Johnson the disinterested biographer.

Sentimental Education: How Junot Díaz Learned to Love
September 17, 2012

This book most fully represents the collision of male and female that is central to Díaz’s particular voice.

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