Articles tagged essays

On Tony Judt’s Endless Train

Be suspicious of romantic narratives, Judt reminds us, for they will only derail our understanding, and take us nowhere.

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The Best American Non-Required Reading 2009 ed. Dave Eggers

In this collection, the tirelessly unconventional Dave Eggers collects a year's worth of American writing that ostensibly is a far cry from what we deem "the classics".

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The Devil Gets His Due: The Uncollected Essays of Leslie Fiedler. Ed. Samuele F.S. Pardini

Whatever the subject at hand, nearly every page of this collection evinces Fiedler’s intelligence, erudition, panache, and combativeness.

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The Story About the Story: Great Writers Explore Great Literature edited by J.C. Hallman

J.C. Hallman writes about what he calls a “kind of personal literary analysis, criticism that contemplates rather than analyzes” that inspired him to compile these works by writers from Virginia Woolf and D.H. Lawrence to Susan Sontag and Milan Kundera.

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I Drink for a Reason by David Cross

What's unfortunate is that Cross' thoughtful, considered standup routines do not prepare you for the wildly uneven, remarkably slapdash effort that is this book, a hit-or-miss collection of jokes from someone whom we expect better.

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Beg, Borrow, Steal: A Writer’s Life by Michael Greenberg

Greenberg's New York lives and breathes (and sometimes stinks) like a larger than life hero.

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25 May 2009 // 10:00 PM

Hella Nation by Evan Wright

Wright’s gift is his ability to trace a story through time and weave together a piece that is chilling in both subtlety and revelation.

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19 May 2009 // 9:59 PM

Reality TV by Susan Murray, Laurie Ouellette

Those who fail to meet the American dream or moral code, whether it’s remodeling the house, winning the contest, or getting the man, are authors of their own demise.

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Dispatches from the Religious Left by Frederick Clarkson (ed)

Losing the religious element in the discussions limits the power of this practical introduction to the affairs of the Religious Left.

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Eat, Memory by Amanda Hesser

When Heidi Julavits shares her longing for "a trashy American sweet" while teaching English in Japan, I recall how my teeth literally ached for crusty bread during six rice-ridden months in China.

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18 Nov 2008 // 9:59 PM

The Way We Will Be 50 Years from Today, by Mike Wallace

As it becomes clear, 'we' means middle class and broadly conservative Americans; and by 'the world' Wallace evidently means the United World of America.

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Growing Up Asian in Australia by Alice Pung

Anyone who has been bullied or excluded or felt that their family is weird will identify with many of these stories.

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20 Apr 2008 // 11:00 PM

Rightward Bound by Bruce J. Schulman, Julian E. Zelizer (Editors)

Jacobs writes that the [1973-74 energy] crisis ultimately taught “conservative reformers a valuable lesson: fighting liberalism is hard”.

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25 Nov 2007 // 10:00 PM

Living Blue in the Red States by David Starkey

The best of these essays acknowledge the false dichotomy of red and blue, confront personal biases, and outline the disillusionment of the left at both the right and itself.

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Cultural Amnesia: Necessary Memories from History and the Arts by Clive James

At times his assumption of equal intelligence with the reader is flattering and laughable.

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(Not That You Asked) by Steve Almond

Steve Almond is a typical American guy (well, perhaps aside from caring about books and the fate of the human race, anyway).

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Confronting the New Conservatism by Michael J. Thompson [Editor]

It makes for worthy if sometimes scary reading as the United States slouches toward the 2008 election.

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1 Aug 2007 // 11:00 PM

American Food Writing by Molly ONeill [Editor]

Any food lover will tell you that to learn about a culture, one can do no better than to pull up a chair and pick up a fork.

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The Gangster Film Reader by Alain Silver and James Ursini [Eds]

In an age when gangsters have given way to gangstas, it's refreshing to find a book that takes the older breed seriously.

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28 Jun 2007 // 10:59 PM

At Large and At Small: Familiar Essays by Anne Fadiman

Fadiman's essays may start out as handshakes, but they quickly distill into murmurs floating across the table during a long afternoon squandered over Earl Grey and blueberry scones.

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//Mixed media
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The Eye of Lenzi: "Gang War in Milan" and "Spasmo"

// Short Ends and Leader

"Two wide and handsome Italian thrillers of the 1970s.

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