literary criticism

Alice Munro’s Men

Alice Munro’s Men

The late author Alice Munro’s work is criticized for its portrayal of men. But radically, not all her rejected male characters are mediocrities.

Christopher Hitchens and Fights Worth Having

Christopher Hitchens and Fights Worth Having

You can smell the cigarette ash and Johnnie Walker Black Label on the pages of A Hitch in Time, a gleefully pugilistic posthumous Christopher Hitchens anthology.

Personal Canons: Peter Coviello on Prince, Pavement, and Parenthood

Personal Canons: Peter Coviello on Prince, Pavement, and Parenthood

Blending personal experience with popular culture, Peter Coviello seeks to democratize how criticism is understood and practiced in Is There God after Prince?

Who Is the Monster in Claire Dederer’s ‘Monsters’?

Who Is the Monster in Claire Dederer’s ‘Monsters’?

In Monsters, Claire Dederer explores how fans’ “dumb love” of art can exist with “heartbreak” and unresolved feelings about monstrous artists.

‘The Wordhord’ Collects Fragments of the Oldest English

‘The Wordhord’ Collects Fragments of the Oldest English

Medievalist Hana Videen’s The Wordhord relies on remaining fragments of documented Old English to conjure the daily life of Anglo-Saxons.

Hypochondria Sets the Rules for ‘Here Is a Game We Could Play’

Hypochondria Sets the Rules for ‘Here Is a Game We Could Play’

Hypochondria, obsession, and confusion set the rules for a love affair in Jenny Bitner’s excellent debut novel, Here Is a Game We Could Play.

Dare You Enter Jennifer Egan’s Mind Palace ‘The Candy House’?

Dare You Enter Jennifer Egan’s Mind Palace ‘The Candy House’?

Jennifer Egan’s The Candy House is an EDM concert, a prestige drama, a mind palace – and a warning.

The Missing Chapter in Terry Eagleton’s Critical Revolutionaries

The Missing Chapter in Terry Eagleton’s Critical Revolutionaries

Terry Eagleton’s richly informed writing is enhanced by perspicacity, wit, and discrimination. Yet his focus on five writers in ‘Critical Revolutionaries’ is missing something.

How Can One Capture the Life and Mind of Elizabeth Hardwick?

How Can One Capture the Life and Mind of Elizabeth Hardwick?

Cathy Curtis has published four biographies in six years but her recent work on Elizabeth Hardwick is missing a strong point of view.

For Don DeLillo, ‘The Silence’ Is Deafening

For Don DeLillo, ‘The Silence’ Is Deafening

In Don DeLillo’s The Silence, it is much like our post-pandemic life – everything changed but nothing happened. Are we listening?

Literary Scholar Andrew H. Miller On Solitude As a Common Bond

Literary Scholar Andrew H. Miller On Solitude As a Common Bond

Andrew H. Miller’s On Not Being Someone Else considers how contemplating other possibilities for one’s life creates meaning in the life one leads.

Harold Bloom’s ‘The American Literary Canon’

Harold Bloom’s ‘The American Literary Canon’

The authors included in Harold Bloom's The American Literary Canon conform to a singular American aesthetic that, in Bloom's world, makes them superior to the spectrum of the American experience.