Diane Leach has a Master's Degree in English Literature from Humboldt State University. When not writing for PopMatters.com, she blogs at Theinsufficientkitchen.com. She can be reached at [email protected]
Ayn Rand and the World She Made | 8 Nov 2009 // 2:59 PM
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.
Moonwalking | 7 Jul 2009 // 4:00 PM
My God, could that man dance. Michael Jackson moved like the love child of Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse.
What It Was Like | 29 Jan 2009 // 2:00 PM
In the early '80s Detroit, Motown was as unquestionable as air. Who didn't like air?
Pink Floyd and the Girl on the Floor | 22 Oct 2008 // 4:59 PM
If Roger Waters existed, if Pink Floyd existed, there was a tiny margin of hope, a filament of promise thinner than jeweler’s wire.
Bibliotherapy | 17 Jun 2008 // 4:59 PM
Secondhand bookstores are about more than literary treasures. As Diane Leach explains, they contain personal histories that connect readers through the ages.
2013 Was a Fine Year to Have Your Head In a Book | 12 Jan 2014 // 8:05 PM
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!
Riding Into a Nightmare: 'A Train in Winter' | 22 Jan 2012 // 3:00 PM
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.
Ammon Shea Is Not In the Phone Book, But He Read It, Cover to Cover | 1 Feb 2011 // 3:00 PM
I’ve finally met somebody who possibly loves books more than I do, and certainly knows more about them.
Raymond Carver: A Writer's Life | 1 Mar 2010 // 3:00 PM
We so want our geniuses to be perfect people. Or at least nice people -- and so often they aren’t.
Time Keeps on Slipping Into the Future: Jane Smiley's 'Golden Age' | 10 Nov 2015 // 2:00 AM
Completing Smiley's final installment of The Last Hundred Years Trilogy, we feel the peculiar sadness of missing people who don’t actually exist, and must resist the impulse to wave goodbye.
What's It Really Like When Women Face the (Professional) Stove? | 4 Nov 2015 // 1:00 AM
Reading Women Chefs of New York at a local diner with a Chinese shrine above the cooktop, I wondered what those chefs would have to say about women’s roles in professional kitchens.
There's Much to Love About '100 Years of the Best American Short Stories' | 27 Oct 2015 // 8:05 PM
Once I stopped being upset over the lack of Amy Hempl stories, I enjoyed 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories immensely.
In 'A House of My Own' Sandra Cisneros Argues That a Woman Writer Needs a Roof of Her Own | 13 Oct 2015 // 3:30 AM
The finest articles in this collection are the most personal.
Joan Didion Bio 'The Last Love Song' Is an Example of What We Tell Ourselves When Our Subject Won't | 29 Sep 2015 // 8:04 PM
Tracy Daugherty's well-meaning but misguided biography of Joan Didion is marred by supposition and stylistic mimicking.
When a Memoir Isn't //11.Aug.15
Consider, If You Will, the Pig //12.Jul.15
A Haint in Detroit //9.Jun.15
'Thirty Girls': What We Learned Later //2.Jun.15
'H Is for Hawk' and for Healing //23.Apr.15
The Heart Says Whatever in 'Hausfrau' //13.Apr.15
'Ravensbrück': The Nonfiction of Nightmares //13.Apr.15
Marge Piercy and the Geography of Home //25.Mar.15
What Some Folks Will Go and Do //15.Mar.15
'Vanessa and Her Sister' Is Enchanting //5.Mar.15
These Protestant Communities Understood Persecution Firsthand, and the Nazi Agenda Horrified Them //29.Jan.15
'The Transcriptionist' Is Immersed in Words //20.Jan.15
'Books That Cook' Is for the Literary Foodie Whose Reading Tastes Are of a Scholarly Bent //22.Oct.14
In 'Proof', Science Writer Adam Rogers Investigates Booze, and Suffers Gladly for His Art //10.Jul.14
'Truthful Fictions' Is Blinded by Theory //2.Jun.14
As Always, the Fuck Is Zipless //15.Jan.14
Are You Gonna Eat That? //10.Dec.13
How We Hurt Each Other: 'Dirty Love' //1.Dec.13
Katrina Onstad Explores the Concept of When A Child Is Not Enough In 'Everybody Has Everything' //28.Jul.13
'Life After Life' Bears Witness to the Future //11.Jun.13
When Sex Doesn't Mitigate Death: 'Wrecked' //22.May.13
'Fear of Food' by Harvey Levenstein //20.May.13
Fiddling While Rome Burns: 'The Perfect Meal' //12.May.13
Brad Tolinski's Comprehensive Look at the Musician: 'Light and Shade: Conversations With Jimmy Page' //24.Jan.13
A Call to Revolution: 'How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick In America' //2.Jan.13
Another Insane Devotion by Peter Trachtenberg //20.Nov.12
From Chopsticks to Sporks, 'Consider the Fork' //13.Nov.12
Zadie Smith Prowls London's Towns in 'NW' //17.Oct.12
On the Road, with Child: 'Nine Months' //15.Oct.12
Rachel Cusk's 'Aftermath' is Maddening //25.Sep.12
Books Like 'Happiness Is a Chemical in the Brain' Reassure Us that Short Fiction Is Alive and Well. //17.Sep.12
Twelve Patients, One Ailing Book: 'Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital' //26.Aug.12
The Impossibility of Orthodoxy: 'I Am Forbidden' //17.Jul.12
How She Left the Russian Forest: 'Enchantments' //23.May.12
The Search for Self: Ellen Ullman's 'By Blood' //10.Apr.12
Joel Salatin's Take on 'Normal' in 'Folks, This Ain't Normal' Isn't 'Normal' for Everyone //27.Feb.12
'Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage': A Well-Known Topic Well Worth a Revisit //17.Jan.12
Things Fall Apart: Joan Didion's 'Blue Nights' //29.Nov.11
'The Marriage Plot': A Tale of Fortunate Naïveté //30.Oct.11
'Vaclav and Lena': His Lovely Assistant //19.Oct.11
'The House on Salt Hay Road' Is a Heartening Find Amid Summer Blockbusters and Beach Reads //17.Aug.11
When the Women Said No: 'The Uncoupling' //18.May.11
The Truth is Out There in 'The Raising', and Like Mulder and Scully Those Seeking It Will Pay Dearly //27.Apr.11
'Scandalous Women': Save Me the Waltz //13.Apr.11
'As Always, Julia': A Friendship Based on Knives //17.Feb.11
'Ape House': Things that Make You Say 'Ouch' //30.Nov.10
Essays from the Nick of Time by Mark Slouka //14.Nov.10
'Stranger Here Below': Beware the Blurbs //17.Oct.10
In 'Vanishing' Willis Shows Her Gift for Creating the Miniature Worlds Short Stories Demand //6.Oct.10
'Salvation City': Loving Thy Enemy //29.Sep.10
'A Geography of Secrets': Self In Place, In Time / Self In a Map, In the Making of a Map //16.Sep.10
'Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House': A Chronic Case of Real Estate Sickness //16.Jun.10
'And the Heart Says Whatever' ... and So Do I //14.Jun.10
So Much For That by Lionel Shriver //26.Apr.10
The Professor and Other Writings by Terry Castle //21.Mar.10
Blacklands by Belinda Bauer //14.Feb.10
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver //3.Feb.10
A Fair Maiden by Joyce Carol Oates //10.Jan.10
Picking Bones from Ash by Marie Mutsuki Mockett //30.Nov.09
Love and Summer by William Trevor //22.Nov.09
To Siberia by Per Petterson //12.Nov.09
The Music Room by William Fiennes //5.Nov.09
The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt //26.Oct.09
The Man from Kinvara by Tess Gallagher //6.Oct.09
The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood //4.Oct.09
Last Night In Montreal by Emily St. John Mandel //13.Sep.09
God's Mercy by Kerstin Ekman //20.Aug.09
The Size of the World by Joan Silber //26.Jul.09
A Brain Wider Than the Sky by Andrew Levy //13.Jul.09
Welcome to Oakland by Eric Miles Williamson //5.Jul.09
A Final Arc of Sky by Jennifer Culkin //16.Jun.09
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters //1.Jun.09
The Servants' Quarters by Lynn Freed //31.May.09
It Will Come to Me by Emily Fox Gordon //27.May.09
A Fortunate Age by Joanna Smith Rakoff //14.May.09
Don't Cry by Mary Gaitskill //7.May.09
Spiced by Dalia Jurgensen //29.Apr.09
How to Cook a Tapir by Joan Fry //8.Apr.09
Somewhere Towards the End by Diana Athill //2.Apr.09
The Florist's Daughter by Patricia Hampl //15.Mar.09
The Music Teacher by Barbara Hall //11.Mar.09
Miles from Nowhere by Nami Mun //5.Feb.09
Eden's Outcasts by John Matteson //2.Feb.09
Once Again to Zelda by Marlene Wagman-Geller //7.Jan.09
Fault Lines by Nancy Huston //7.Dec.08
Mind Over Matter 4: The Images of Pink Floyd //3.Nov.08
When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson //12.Oct.08
The Savior //9.Jul.08
The Disorder of Longing by Natasha Bauman //8.Jul.08
Inglorious by Joanna Kavenna //24.Jun.08
The World Before Her by Deborah Weisgall //18.Jun.08
A Dangerous Age by Ellen Gilchrist //4.May.08
The Sorrows of an American by Siri Hustvedt //4.May.08
Jackalope Dreams by Mary Clearman Blew //8.Apr.08
Beginner's Greek by James Collins //23.Mar.08
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan //9.Mar.08
Christine Falls by Benjamin Black //26.Feb.08
Fair Shares for All by John Haney //12.Feb.08
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks //21.Jan.08
'A Change of Appetite' Is a Cookbook Game-Changer | 10 Nov 2015 // 4:00 AM
When her physician asked her to lose weight, Diana Henry searched for delicious food that was "accidentally healthy". The wonderful A Change of Appetite is the result.
Hachisu's Relentless Curiosity About Japanese Food Is Our Gain | 26 Oct 2015 // 5:30 AM
When Nancy Hachisu wrote, "I could write a whole book about Japanese pickles", she wasn't kidding. Here it is with her second cookbook, Preserving the Japanese Way.
What Can a Book Really Tell You About Whiskey? | 23 Oct 2015 // 1:30 AM
If you're old enough to drink whiskey, you're too old for scratch n' sniff.
When the Past Sits at Your Dinner Table: 'The Vilna Vegetarian Cookbook' | 9 Jul 2015 // 5:00 AM
Fania Lewando wrote the first European vegetarian cookbook in Yiddish. Then the Nazis the came.
The Struggle for Literacy, the Need for Booze, the Bay Area Book Festival | 22 Jun 2015 // 4:53 AM
As the Bay Area Rapid Transit escalator carried me upward, toward the first annual Bay Area Book Festival (6th and 7th, June), I repeated my new mantra. I would buy no books.