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Grosz Anatomy

October 1, 2014
Grosz Anatomy

In his latest collection of essays, Theater of Cruelty, Ian Buruma launches a series of expert investigations into the springs of cruelty and the perils of victomhood.

John Domini’s Transformations

October 1, 2014
John Domini’s Transformations

With literary criticism disappearing as a popular artform, we increasingly look to the book reviewer to do the critic’s work. A new collection by John Domini offers an example of reviews that transcend their form to provide analysis alongside mere evaluation.

An Ignorant Highbrow

August 1, 2014
An Ignorant Highbrow

If you think distinctions between ‘high’ and ‘low’ art are stuffy Victorian relics, our beleagured Stephen Akey says, you’re just not paying enough attention. So are you a highbrow? And should you be? And should everybody be?

Absent Friends: Lean Years of Plenty

June 1, 2014
Absent Friends: Lean Years of Plenty

For a little over two years, shortly before she died, short story master Katherine Mansfield wrote a weekly book review column. Those pieces not only shed light on Mansfield’s particular slant of genius, but have much to say about the embattled art of reviewing.

Desperately Seeking Solzhenitsyn

December 1, 2013
Desperately Seeking Solzhenitsyn

Every correspondent in Moscow wanted to be the first to find Solzhenitsyn after he won the Nobel Prize in 1970. Michael Johson had that honor – but the great Russian writer wasn’t altogether pleased so see him.

Wine and Bellow: An Interview with Charles Blackstone

December 1, 2013
blackstonec

Charles Blackstone, author of the novel Vintage Attraction and managing editor at Bookslut, speaks with Kevin Frazier about Chicago literature, online publishing, and being the spouse of a sommelier

Second Glance: No Lesser Crime

November 1, 2013
Second Glance: No Lesser Crime

“The Moonstone will have its vengeance on you and yours!” Those fateful words propel us into one of the first and best of modern English detective novels — still sensational after all these years.

The Heavy Blanks: The Journals of Elizabeth Smart

September 1, 2013
The Heavy Blanks: The Journals of Elizabeth Smart

An aspiring young writer encounters the journals of legendary Canadian novelist Elizabeth Smart, whose virtuoso novella By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept gives no hint of her struggles with her own writing

Reading Eric Blair

September 1, 2013
Reading Eric Blair

Today George Orwell is a buzzword; what can his collected letters tell us about the man himself? G. Robert Ogilvy looks for the human being beneath the persona.

Nothing Like Being Scared

July 1, 2013
Nothing Like Being Scared

Shirley Jackson is best known – infamous, even – for her chilling story “The Lottery.” But it’s her novel We Have Always Lived in the Castle, where battle rages between evil within and without, that’s her masterpiece.

From the Archives: Summer Reading 2012

July 1, 2013
From the Archives: Summer Reading 2012

As the haze and heat of summer kick into full swing, the folk of Open Letters break out their annual Summer Reading recommendations!

From the Archives: Summer Reading 2012 Continues

July 1, 2013
From the Archives: Summer Reading 2012 Continues

Our feature continues, as more Open Letters folk share their annual Summer Reading recommendations!

Ink a Dinka Don’t

June 1, 2013
Ink a Dinka Don’t

Is close reading disappearing? And is that the most pressing problem facing universities? Terry Eagleton’s latest, How to Read Literature is a plea for a return to what made the humanities worth knowing.

June 2013 Issue

June 1, 2013
June 2013 Issue

Olivia Manning: A Woman at War
By Deirdre David
Oxford University Press, 2013
When is a woman writer not a “woman writer”? What does it mean to claim or resist that identity — for a woman who writes, …

It Might Have Been

May 1, 2013
It Might Have Been

In life there are no second chances, no do-overs. But what if we could keep trying until we got it right? Kate Atkinson explores the possibilities in a novel that just might win her a coveted literary prize or two.

The Madwoman and the Critic

May 1, 2013
The Madwoman and the Critic

On Kate Zambreno’s Heroines and the crime of dismissive criticism in both Bookforum and The LA Review of Books

In the Shadow of a Hero: Anne Morrow Lindbergh

April 1, 2013
In the Shadow of a Hero: Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Traumatized by her baby’s kidnapping and murder, disappointed in her marriage to a fallen hero, Anne Morrow Lindbergh found hope in the beautiful, fragile shells she found on the beach. The result was her gentle masterpiece Gifts from the Sea.

I Groan In Silence

April 1, 2013
I Groan In Silence

The media just won’t leave old man Voltaire alone! We run a transcript of the latest interview.

Troppo Sottile

March 1, 2013
Loving Venice

Venice has traded flinty commercial acumen and world-weary merchant princes for an ennui worthy of M. John Harrison’s science fiction; her profession has now become the art of insubstantiality. For centuries authors have tried and failed to capture her. Steve Donoghue surveys the glorious wreckage.

Her Hands Full of Sugar-Plums

March 1, 2013
Her Hands Full of Sugar-Plums

George Eliot’s Middlemarch is beloved for its wit and wisdom. But behind its many beauties lurks a disquieting possibility: that misery is the price we must pay for morality.

Queen of the Gypsies

February 1, 2013
10

Spoiler alert! It’s a familiar warning — but isn’t it also a silly one? There’s so much more to novels than their plots. And yet what if we’re better readers for not knowing? Consider The Mill on the Floss, for example.

A Little Cryptic, A Little Proud, A Little Mad

February 1, 2013
storm of wings

In M. John Harrison’s lyrical Viriconium trilogy, the high science of quantum physics meets the low art of fighting giant locusts. Justin Hickey finds a quiet spot to watch the chitin fly.

Absent Friends: “Warm, funny, sad, true … It is Perfect”

February 1, 2013
conflict of interest – brattle – oct 2012

“The proper function of a critic is to save a tale from the artist who created it” wrote D. H. Lawrence, but sometimes – most of the time – despite the best efforts of the best critics, both tale and artist disappear. What do we do with the criti-cal darlings of yesteryear, now filling the library bargain sale? And what of the critics, who called them imperishable?

Back, Back, Down the Old Ways of Time: D. H. Lawrence in Italy

February 1, 2013
Back, Back, Down the Old Ways of Time: D. H. Lawrence in Italy

Year after year, D. H.Lawrence found love, lust, and gainful employment in Italy – and through the strange alchemy of the place, he also found the inspirations for some of his most enduring works of art.

Fiona’s Gambit

February 1, 2013
Fiona’s Gambit

John le Carré is still as popular as he’s ever been, but what about Len Deighton? Our correspondent has gone back to Deighton’s novels and found their Cold War intrigue and human dramas as rewarding as ever.

Tom and Em

January 1, 2013
Tom and Em

It is said that Thomas Hardy fell deeply in love with his wife, Emma, only after she died. Stephen Akey revisits the stunning, elegiac poetry he wrote in her memory.

Tea with the Pushkins in Brussels

January 1, 2013
Tea with the Pushkins in Brussels

Say “Evgeny Onegin” to any educated Russian and you will trigger the first stanza or two of Pushkin’s great novel in verse. Now Russia’s national poet is finally coming into his own in the West as well.

Thinking God Knows What: James Joyce and Trieste

January 1, 2013
Thinking God Knows What: James Joyce and Trieste

Unsettled and penniless, James Joyce’s exile was initially more imrpovised than cunning. Luciano Mangiafico tells the story of his early years on the continent.

Ou-Boum

December 1, 2012
Ou-Boum

“I knew my trip would mean an encounter with Adela Quested”: Victoria Olsen reflects on what she found, and what was lost in translation, when she travelled to India with E. M. Forster on her mind.

Borges and You

November 1, 2012
Borges and You

Although I would rather do almost anything than attend a literary reading (like, for instance, stay home and read), I made an exception for Jorge Luis Borges when he lectured to a packed house at …

This Light is Enough

November 1, 2012
This Light is Enough

Renowned reviewer and cultural critic Daniel Mendelsohn has a scintillating new collection of his recent work; John Cotter and Steve Donoghue compare notes on “Waiting for the Barbarians”

First Person Singular

October 1, 2012
First Person Singular

Can a famously cold and impersonal writer like Paul Auster make a memoir of aging that works against his strengths? And are they strengths after all?

Nine Ways of Looking at D’Annunzio

October 1, 2012
Nine Ways of Looking at D’Annunzio

Madman, lothario, despot, drug fiend, friend and enemy of Mussolini – and immortal poet. Gabriele D’Annunzio was all of these things and many more in his whirlwind of a life.

Attainted: The Life and Afterlife of Ezra Pound in Italy

September 1, 2012
ep

Pound wrote The Pisan Cantos on toilet paper while prisoner in an open-air metal cage during WWII, and he spent many of the following years in mental hospitals. “I can get along with crazy people,” he quipped. “It’s only the fools I can’t stand.”

Therapeutic Wordsworth

September 1, 2012
Prelude

There are warring schools of fad and interpretation, there are critical readings of an hour or a season – and then there’s Wordsworth’s verse itself, annotating and amplifying the personal reading experience.

From the Archives: A Voyeur in the Archives

September 1, 2012
wallacedelillo

“Ellis, Leyner, Leavitt, Franzen, Powers…their fictions reduce to complaints and self-pity. Dostoevski has balls.” This and other gleanings from a trip to the David Foster Wallace archives.

Good in the Good Sense: Antonio Machado

August 1, 2012
camposdecastilla

The great Antonio Machado loved his native Spain and was disgusted by its descent into fascism; that fusion of enchantment and grief vivifies his unforgettable poetry.

‘Glory, Maiden, Glory!’: The Uncomfortable Chivalry of Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe

August 1, 2012
8

You think you know Ivanhoe: it’s the original swash-buckling adventure story, full of fights, escapes, ambushes, and then, of course, a happy ending. But what you see if you look more closely may make you think twice about its chivalric ideals.

Humane to Hornets: The Poetry of James Schuyler

July 1, 2012
afewdays

The verses of the neglected poet James Schuyler seem to ramble, but they don’t really ramble; they seem dishevelled, but they aren’t; they seem miniaturist, but they contain whole worlds. Stephen Akey makes the case for your renewed attention.

A Measure of the Master: Georges Simenon’s romans durs

July 1, 2012
GSimenon

The inventor of the beloved Inspector Maigret was gigantically prolific – hundreds of novels, churned out at lightning speed (80 pages a day, according to the author himself) – and in this as in many other things, Georges Simenon was a world unto himself.

Peer Review: Home

June 1, 2012
USA – Television – Oprah

Book reviewers are split on whether Toni Morrison’s new novel is a further triumph or a falling off. Or have these critics only found what they anticipated? We review the reviews, then we review the book.

Macaroni and Cheese

June 1, 2012
16

“You come as opportunely as cheese on macaroni” is a terrible line, a symptom of all the reasons George Eliot’s Romola is a failure. But is failure really such a bad thing? Maybe a novelist’s reach should exceed her grasp.

All the World to Nothing

May 1, 2012
9

The real mystery of Richard III is not the fate of his nephews, the Princes in the Tower, but why we never tire of telling and re-telling his story. What do we really see when we stare at his enigmatic portrait?

Facts, And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them

May 1, 2012
JD’AgataJFingal

Art, Truth, Data, Sex, and Facebook–rabble-roused by John D’Agata and Jim Fingal’s The Lifespan of a Fact, Max Ross connects them in a key to all nonfiction aesthetics

Bad for You

May 1, 2012
collossus

Known as much for how she exited her life as for the poetry she wrote during it, Sylvia Plath remains a polarizing figure in the world of verse. What are we reading, when we subject ourselves to her poems?

Aid in the Labyrinth

May 1, 2012
RJ1914-1965

Randall Jarrell was suspicious of attempts to turn criticism into a science: he wrote as a reader, for other readers, with the work itself foremost in his mind.

Downright Rude: Reading Catullus

April 1, 2012
poemsofcatullus-green

The raw sexuality of the Catullus’ love poems keeps them alive even today, and the things he implied about Julius Caesar STILL can’t be repeated in polite conversation – how do we deal with this young man who’s always making us feel just a bit uncomfortable?

American Aristocracy – Harvard Pulpit: Boston Brahmin Liberalism

April 1, 2012
MIT postcard

To the quintessential virtues the Puritans lent to a fledgling republic – globality, philantropy, and autonomy – the ‘speaking aristocracy’ of the Boston Brahmins added one more: the love of learning

Cato of the Antipodes

March 1, 2012
1321632

Of his 60+ books, one in particular, The United States, is best representative of his work as a whole and, by readers, best loved. On the Collected Essays of Gore Vidal.

Seer Blest

March 1, 2012
FormsofAttentionKermode

Frank Kermode consumed all of the tumultuous 20th century’s literary theories without being consumed by them. A look at the work of this wisest of secular clerics.

Shore to Shore

March 1, 2012
ewilson

For two generations, the great American critic and man of letters Edmund Wilson has been instructing and delighting his readers – and inspiring some of them to become critics themselves.

Queen Elizabeth the First

March 1, 2012
HardwickAmericanFictions

Elizabeth Hardwick joined the literary world of mid-20th century Manhattan with every intention of making her mark upon it – which she did, in review after inimitable review, taking American book-discourse to levels and places it had never reached before

The Tigers of Wrath

March 1, 2012
WhyTrillingMatters

Where would Lionel Trilling, godfather of the liberal imagination, fit into our contemporary culture of ideas? And how much of that culture is of his making?

The Knower and the Sayer

March 1, 2012
leaves_of_grass

Most criticism is reactive, but in his essay “The Poet,” Ralph Waldo Emerson proved prophetic. He set a challenge and Walt Whitman took him up on it.

Acts of Rendition

March 1, 2012
PoetryPragmatism

Richard Poirier was one of the great bridge-builders–his sorely neglected classic A World Elsewhere drew upon the writing of Emerson but presciently anticipated the postmodernist ideas that would soon enter the mainstream.

How Pleasant to Know Mr. Lane

March 1, 2012
LaneCurrentCinema

The best of Anthony Lane’s many New Yorker reviews and essays were collected in Nobody’s Perfect, a big volume that amply displays this writer’s wit and subtlety.

Wallace Stevens: A Spirit Storming

February 1, 2012
Harmonium

Wallace Stevens, so long considered the driest and most cerebral of poets, can in fact touch the soul. It all hangs on the nature of poetry itself, what it is.

Recognizably Human: Larkin and the Sentimental

February 1, 2012
Philip-Larkin-Postcard-2-290×290

Nobody would accuse the mature Larkin of being a greeting card poet, and yet a warm and even vulnerable sentimentality bubbles up in his verse, often when it’s least expected.

“The Desire for Motion”: Tagore’s Three Voices

January 1, 2012
tagoreb

Prince of the Bengali renaissance, internationally feted poet, composer, painter, educator — why don’t we know Rabindranath Tagore today? And will a new book open our eyes?

Between the Devil and Aunt Edna

December 1, 2011
Rattigan

His own life was the great tragedy he was never quite able to write. Michael Adams assesses the career of playwright Terence Rattigan.

Over Grinton Bridge: Riding into the Heart of Reformation

December 1, 2011
2

A rich, beautiful, but sadly neglected historical masterpiece: Hilda Prescott’s The Man on a Donkey is the War and Peace of the English Reformation

In Lieu of a Drink

November 1, 2011
hitchenshat

Provocative public intellectual/muckraker Christopher Hitchens offers an enormous volume of collected essays and articles, probably his last.

‘What a Brain must Mine be!’: The Strange Historical Romances of William Harrison Ainsworth

August 1, 2011
2

Once considered a credible rival to Dickens and Thackeray, W. H. Ainsworth is nearly forgotten today. It’s our loss: his historical novels – full of sensuous detail – run the gamut of romance and horror, tragedy and comedy.

Oh, the futility! Adapting Jane Eyre

July 1, 2011
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Its early readers found the novel shocking, unfeminine, un-Christian, revolutionary. So why are film adaptations of Jane Eyre so studiously inoffensive?

Everything United In Her

July 1, 2011
9781594202889

It’s a comfortable truism that the novels of Jane Austen are all things to all readers. But … a life-instruction manual? From the OLM Archives, a review of A Jane Austen Education

Memo to a Colleague

May 1, 2011
marjoriegarber

Is Marjorie Garber’s defense of literary studies balm to the beleaguered English professor’s soul? Not yet, anyway.

“He had become my Tarzan”

March 1, 2011
Tarzan Triumphs (movie poster)

Tarzan is one of the most popular fictional creations in modern times. Does the Ape Man define something essential in the human experience – or do we keep redefining Tarzan to suit our ever-changing needs?

The Muse of Trouville

February 1, 2011
durasseawall

‘She’s a drug; I’m her main focus, the focus of all her attention. No one has ever loved me like that.’ Victoria Best explores the fraught relationship between Marguerite Duras and the young man whose love inspired and tormented her.

One Common Reader

February 1, 2011
Fernalds1928

Virginia Woolf imagined the Almighty seeing us coming towards Paradise, books in hand: “We have nothing to give them, they have loved reading.” But does reading always bring salvation?

Of Form, E-Readers, and Thwarted Genius: End of a Year with Short Novels

January 1, 2011
NovellaSpines

In our Internet-fueled new century, can the in-between genre of the short novel survive? Or have novellas – with their speed and feral intensity – finally come into their own? Our Year with Short Novels concludes.

Literature is Dead, Long Live Literature

January 1, 2011
dictionaryofreceivedieas

Is the death of literature finally dead? If not, it’s been dealt a healthy blow by Gregory Jusdanis’ Fiction Agonistes, even it art does have to “justify itself in a way not necessary before.”

The Prodigal Brothers

December 1, 2010
gustavmahler

Ever since Cain and Abel, literature has reserved a prominent place for sterling heroes — and the flawed, grasping, and entirely more interesting brothers who live in their shadow.

Temporarily Miracle-Sodden

December 1, 2010
bellow

The most Bellovian figure of all may have been the man who lent us the term. A new collection of Saul Bellow’s letters present the man in all his exuberant passion and thorny short-temper.

Misfiring the Canon

December 1, 2010
charleshill

Of the charismatic Yale lecturer one adoring student wrote, “Charles Hill is God,” and in his new book, Hill moves in mysterious ways. He claims that statecraft and the Western canon are inextricably linked — but there are doubters in the temple.

The Platypus

December 1, 2010
AVoiceFromOldNewYork

For more than fifty years and more than fifty novels, Louis Auchincloss chronicled the lives of New York’s upper class. His last book is a memoir of his life among that upper class — but is truth stranger than fiction?

The Purposes of Creation

November 1, 2010
0118_cloned_embryo

As reproductive technology has become more advanced, the value of those engineered lives has become more complicated. Two recent novels provide a striking perspective on this growing conflict.

George Eliot for Dummies

November 1, 2010
2

Free thinker, strong-minded woman, scholar, lover, novelist: George Eliot lived a courageous life that should be known and celebrated. But does Brenda Maddox’s new biography do it justice?

Encountering Kundera

September 1, 2010
kundera

“Art is dying,” Milan Kundera writes in his essay collection “Encounter,” “because the need for art is dying”; John G. Rodwan, Jr. assesses his attempt to re-stoke that need

The Original Wasn’t Better

August 1, 2010
vanityfair

Amardeep Singh rebuts the oldest of film-goer complaints with a defense of adaptations of classic literature, the more inventive the better

Illuminations

August 1, 2010
manguelpic

Alberto Manguel’s library of 30,000 books is his Holy of Holies, and his new essay collection is a spiritual (and at times gnomic) journey through its most sacred texts

Midlife Magic

August 1, 2010
emmanuel_carrere

Emmanuel Carrere’s memoir is an uneasy blend of sexual fantasy and archival records, of a future with a beautiful young woman and a past haunted by a possible Nazi collaborator

On the Bunny Slopes of Helicon

June 1, 2010
atph

Steven Moore’s big new book seeks to give an ‘alternative history’ to that most familiar of literary forms, the novel. But at what point does history become wishful thinking?

Write, Repeat Redux

June 1, 2010
h f a

In his new memoir, Christopher Hitchens regales his readers with one good story after another. But as John Rodwan shows, we’ve heard most of them before – lots of times.

The Nautilus

May 1, 2010
south side of st marks from the loggia of the ducal palace, john ruskin, 1850

When John Ruskin, the foremost architectural critic of the Victorian era, discovered Venice, he fell in love. An elaborate new work paints the picture in great detail.

Adeste Fideles

April 1, 2010
PD*2334451

Woe to the critic who calls Edith Grossman’s translations “seamless.” In her combative new treatise she argues for a greater recognition of the artistry of translation–but how many liberties can a translator take while staying true to the original?

Uncertainty Principles

December 1, 2009
changing

In Changing My Mind novelist Zadie Smith, long a literary essayist, gathers together her burgeoning belles-lettres. Is it just a chance collection or does a common theme run through them? Sam Sacks reviews her views.

On Finding That My Novel Can Be Bought on Amazon.com for $0.01

March 1, 2009
lustfulturk

Here today, gone tomorrow – remaindered on Amazon.com the day after that! Martha Moffett turns in a cautionary tale of the tangled fate of one novel.

Going Off Course with Melville and Liebling

February 1, 2009
melville

Two seemingly dissimilar figures in the American literary landscape – Herman Melville and A. J. Liebling – shared at least one thing aside from a way with words: they weren’t afraid of a little digression now and then. John G. Rodwan Jr. follows along for the stories.

The Same Indifference

November 1, 2008
sameman

In The Same Man, David Lebedoff maintains that Evelyn Waugh and George Orwell were Doppelgängers, both in their art and their ethics; John G. Rodwan Jr. begs to differ.

All the Sad Old Men

November 1, 2008
menmylife

In Vivian Gornick’s The Men in My Life, a committed feminist writes a collection of essays about literary men; Laura Tanenbaum monitors these latest dispatches from the gender conflict.

Write, Repeat

October 1, 2008
otr-christopherhitchens1v

Notorious critic and essayist Christopher Hitchens has commented that certain writers are not shy of repeating themselves, and his critics have fired it right back at him. John G. Rodwan, Jr. enters the echo chamber.

The Homeless Moon

September 12, 2008
moon-2

The Homeless Moon
by Andrews, Deluca, Hoffman, Howe, & Ridler
Creative Commons Chapbook, 2008
The Homeless Moon is a chapbook collection of five short stories, all of which could be called science fiction but might also be called …

Dharma Bums: 50th Anniversary Edition

June 26, 2008
50

Dharma Bums: 50th Anniversary Edition
by Jack Kerouac
Viking, 2008
Louis Menand wrote an excellent piece in the New Yorker last year about On the Road, reminding us of the huge loneliness and nostalgia in and around the …

Destruction Manual

April 1, 2008
hownottowrite

Plotlessness, gimmickry, tin-eared dialogue, navel-gazing, heavy-handed symbolism: Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman lovingly abuse these and other writerly sins in How Not to Write a Novel, and Steve Donoghue joins in their Bronx cheer

Second Glance: A Compilation Too Far?

April 1, 2008
ebwhitebook

In his lifetime, E.B. White oversaw nearly a dozen collections of his essays; Karen Vanuska appraises a posthumous ingathering edited by Rebecca M. Dale and lets us know whether it adds to White’s legacy or merely overlaps it

Catalog Reading

January 1, 2008
dirda

Sam Sacks reviews Michael Dirda’s Classics for Pleasure, an old-fashioned reading guide that wants desperately to believe it hasn’t been made altogether anachronistic by the Internet, that elephant in the corner of the library.

Second Glance: Marilynne Robinson’s Psalms and Prophecy

December 1, 2007
rembrandtt

This month our regular feature is devoted to a study of the small but potent canon of Marilynne Robinson. Sam Sacks dives back into her famous fiction and formidable essays.

Whispers Through the Curtain

December 1, 2007
aidova

For fifteen years a British and a Soviet family built a friendship by slipping letters past KGB censors. Karen Vanuska celebrates From Newbury with Love, a collection of their rich correspondence.

Proper Read Stuff

December 1, 2007
gailpool

Fed up with the abuses of book reviewers, Gail Pool in her book Faint Praise advises editors to supply freelancers with a list of writing guidelines they would have to sign and abide by. Steve Donoghue isn’t quite ready to put his name on the dotted line.

Absent Friends: I Could Wake Up in Nirvana and Laugh

October 1, 2007
chapman

In this regular feature, Steve Donoghue celebrates the life and letters of John Jay Chapman, an eloquent American wit now forgotten, whose writings once provoked and delighted an enthusiastic public.

To Wider, Stranger Worlds

September 1, 2007
diary

Virginia Woolf buried the late John Evelyn with a single review. Now Leah Lambrusco lets us know whether Gillian Darley’s resurrected the diarist in John Evelyn, Living for Ingenuity. (Yes, he’s the other restoration diarist).

Absent Friends: Himself

July 1, 2007
ocasey

The only trouble with Sean O’Casey’s brilliant plays is that they overshadow
his magnificent memoirs. In our monthly feature, Steve Donoghue
tries to even the scales.

Mount Wharton

June 1, 2007
hermione

Steve Donoghue converses with the critics in his review of Hermione Lee’s page-turning but harrowingly huge biography of Edith Wharton

Christploitation

May 1, 2007
heartbook

Sam Sacks laments the great divorce of Christianity from literature

Shall We in That Great Night Rejoice?

March 1, 2007
The-Picnic

Steve Donoghue assesses all of twentieth century literature. That’s correct: all of twentieth century literature. Don’t believe it…?

Childe Harold’s Children

March 1, 2007
fitzgerald

Sam Sacks looks into the breakout debuts of young novelists to determine how youth, ambition, and general cluelessness affect the writing of these early works.