Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Diane Leach

Diane Leach has a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Humboldt State University. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, New Mobility, and The Collagist. She can be reached at


Sunday, November 8 2009

Ayn Rand and the World She Made

Ayn Rand set out to remake reality as if it were an ill-fitting dress: by sheer will, she tried to fashion a Balenciaga gown from a housedress.

Tuesday, July 7 2009


My God, could that man dance. Michael Jackson moved like the love child of Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse.

Thursday, January 29 2009

What It Was Like

In the early '80s Detroit, Motown was as unquestionable as air. Who didn't like air?

Wednesday, October 22 2008

Pink Floyd and the Girl on the Floor

If Roger Waters existed, if Pink Floyd existed, there was a tiny margin of hope, a filament of promise thinner than jeweler’s wire.

Tuesday, June 17 2008


Secondhand bookstores are about more than literary treasures. As Diane Leach explains, they contain personal histories that connect readers through the ages.


Sunday, January 12 2014

2013 Was a Fine Year to Have Your Head In a Book

Five books published in 2013 that stayed with me, that I found myself urging on others, that I now say to you, Hey! Read this!

Sunday, January 22 2012

Riding Into a Nightmare: 'A Train in Winter'

Caroline Moorehead's A Train In Winter, like Daniel Mendelsohn's The Lost, leaves nothing to the imagination, a decision that makes reading it simultaneously engrossing and deeply disturbing.

Tuesday, February 1 2011

Ammon Shea Is Not In the Phone Book, But He Read It, Cover to Cover

I’ve finally met somebody who possibly loves books more than I do, and certainly knows more about them.

Monday, March 1 2010

Raymond Carver: A Writer's Life

We so want our geniuses to be perfect people. Or at least nice people -- and so often they aren’t.


Monday, September 15 2014

Eimear McBride's Debut Novel Is a Polarizing Experience

I found A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing to be the literary equivalent of a shot of blackest espresso: sharp, jolting, and acidic.

Sunday, September 7 2014

Letters of Recommendation Have Never Had It So Good

Composed entirely in correspondence, Dear Committee Members casts some light upon Professor Jason Fitger’s crumbling corner of academia.

Wednesday, August 27 2014

Someone Is Missing in Elizabeth McCracken's 'Thunderstruck'

These stories, to borrow Carrie Fisher’s title, are postcards from the edge, a place McCracken’s creative heart has taken up residence.

Monday, August 25 2014

If You Can't Take the Heat, Get Out of the (Restaurant) Kitchen

Popular Orangette blogger Molly Wizenberg loves to cook, as made clear in Delancey... just not in restaurants.

Wednesday, August 13 2014

In 'The Blazing World', a Lifetime of Smothered Rage Blossoms into an Ingenious Plan

A serious examination of what female artists continue to endure, this is unquestionably one of the year’s finest novels.

The Savior [9.Jul.08]


Monday, June 23 2014

Novella Carpenter's 'Gone Feral' Departs Radically from Her Prior Books

Now a parent herself, Carpenter asks how her father, such a gifted man, became so ruined.

Thursday, June 12 2014

Everything Old Is New Again with Deborah Madison's Updated Cookbook

The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone updates a beloved cookbook. Relax. Your favorites are all still in here.

Wednesday, June 11 2014

'Preserving by the Pint' for Kitchens the Size of Broom Closets

Popular blogger Marisa McClellan's second canning cookbook urges readers to think small.

Wednesday, April 23 2014

One Need Only Bring Gumption and Goodwill to 'The Art of Simple Food II'

Even the most experienced cooks, gardeners or not, stand to learn a great deal from The Art of Simple Food II.

Tuesday, April 1 2014

In Praise of Cookbook Author and Mediterranean Cooking Authority Paula Wolfert

As Alzheimer's pulls Wolfert away from us, we are made doubly aware of the history she brings to the table with every dish. We don't want to lose that history.

Tuesday Night Test Drive: Mussels in Cider (Curious Omnivore) [6.Feb.14]
Trapped in the Kitchen with an Eggplant (Curious Omnivore) [7.Aug.13]
Fuschia (Dunlop) Becomes You (Curious Omnivore) [20.Jun.13]
Around the World In Four Cheeses (Curious Omnivore) [10.Jun.13]
The Joy of Pyrex (Curious Omnivore) [26.Feb.13]
Awash in Squash (Curious Omnivore) [29.Oct.12]
The Tomato in Winter: A Comfort to Anticipate (Curious Omnivore) [30.Aug.12]
Muffins: The Tragically Unhip, Made Hip (Curious Omnivore) [23.Jul.12]
Bite Your Tongue (Curious Omnivore) [1.Jul.12]
Gerry Rafferty: An Appreciation (Sound Affects) [11.Jan.11]
A Procession of Them (Re:Print) [27.Oct.08]
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