Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Solitude Stands in the Window: Thoreau's 'Walden'

Henry David Thoreau's Walden as a 19th century model for 21st century COVID-19 quarantine.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Marc Maron's Private Grief on a Public Stage

The risky healing power of Marc Maron's WTF podcast eulogy to Lynn Shelton.


Some of One World's Comfort Songs Are Off-Key

One World: Together at Home and what our choice of anthems says about how we cope with a crisis.


Bob Dylan's "Murder Most Foul" Is His First New Song Since the Nobel Laureate

Bob Dylan's "Murder Most Foul" is a 17-minute story song about JFK's assassination and a suitable audio dispatch from and for the end times.


Joan Didion's Crystal-Clear Vision Only Got Better with Age

Reading the Library of America's comprehensive anthology, Joan Didion: The 1960s & 70s, is like walking out of the rain and into a time warp.


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.


On the Socially Conscious Filmmaker, Sidney Lumet

Maura Spiegel's biography provides a thorough and compelling look at the life and films of the progressive New York icon filmmaker, Sidney Lumet.


Do We Already Know the Answer to the Question, 'Are Men Animals?'

Matthew Gutmann's Are Men Animals is and interesting but flawed, rushed look at masculinity that suffers from digressions and an unwillingness to be as political as it could have been.


'Adults and Other Children': The Bitter and the Sweet

The similes in Miriam Cohen's impressive debut short story collection, Adults and Other Children, are perfectly attuned to the essence of her characters.


The Incendiary Life and Times of James Baldwin

Bill V. Mullen's James Baldwin: Living in Fire is an important addition to the ongoing assessment and examination of a writer whose legacy remains vital to this day.


Short Story Author Larry Brown's Big Love for His Small Characters

Although his works evoke Charles Bukowski, Flannery O'Connor, Carson McCullers, and William Faulkner, Larry Brown's unapologetic characters were always his own.


John Hodgman Is Flying High in Memoir, 'Medallion Status'

TV star/writer/podcast host -- just don't call him a standup comic -- John Hodgman tackles class aspiration and other inconveniences in his memoir, Medallion Status.


Ian McEwan's Brexit Satire, 'The Cockroach', Leaves Little to the Imagination

With his latest, The Cockroach, the otherwise masterful British novelist Ian McEwan proves that too much cleverness can kill satire.


Dave Eggers' 'The Captain and the Glory' Barely Stays Afloat

Dave Eggers' latest is a slim satire about the sinking ship of Donald Trump and the potential sinking of the glorious ship of State.


Sam Wasson's 'The Big Goodbye' Puts Roman Polanski's 'Chinatown' in Its Place

Social historian Sam Wasson's The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood, is a graceful and compelling elegy to both Roman Polanski's landmark film, and the end times of old Hollywood.


'Mister Rogers and Philosophy', for the Children Now Grown

Mister Rogers and Philosophy considers reality, fantasy, and our philosophical role in both worlds of the long-running PBS children's program, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.


What's So Great About Dennis Hopper's 'Easy Rider'?

Steven Bingen's Easy Rider: 50 Years Looking for America makes clear that he thinks Dennis Hopper's Easy Rider is a great film and it's not for the critics to decide.


'Masked and Anonymous' and Today's Dispossessed and Disoriented

Larry Charles' misunderstood dystopic arthouse movie from 2003, Masked and Anonymous, becomes real in Trump's 2019 Impeachment America.


Old Kings Yelling at Clouds: Art vs. Commerce in the Battle for Box-Office Relevance

Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, and other members of the old guard might be battling with the MCU about the quality of superhero movies, but the business of how we consume film is changing, like it or not.


Bruce Springsteen's 'The Ghost of Tom Joad' Calls Out to Us

Bruce Springsteen's 1995 album, The Ghost of Tom Joad, inherited and built upon some powerful 20th century American literary, political, and pop culture themes. Can we hear its haunting call in these times?


'In the Dream House' Nothing Will Change -- Until Something Erupts

Folk tales, fantasy, pop culture and family weave gracefully throughout Carmen Maria Machado's harrowing yet graceful memoir of domestic abuse, In the Dream House.


Debut Essay Collection 'Some of Us Are Very Hungry Now' Takes a Slice from the Americana Songbook

Although Andre Perry's essays in his debut, Some of Us Are Very Hungry Now, traverse various geographical journeys, they are, overall, ballads, images from the self, the man isolated and marginalized in other countries and in his own land.


On Arundhati Roy's 'My Seditious Heart'

While her novels evoke romance, longing, forbidden love, and class struggle, Arundhati Roy's nonfiction proves more incendiary, more seditious.


'The Poetry of Pop', Stretches the Definition of Pop Generously

Adam Bradley's The Poetry of Pop works for what it obviously wants to be, a primer on American popular music.

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