What fascinates Maraniss about Detroit more than its ruin is how central its story is to the broader course of U.S. history—Motown, the local Mob, the auto industry.
Anahid Nersessian argues that Romanticism dramatizes the “desirability of constraint.” Her book on how British Romantics imagined "utopia" powerfully does the same.
If today the world and the self are devalued, as Walker Percy has suggested, art—particularly the novel— can awaken the reader to their recovery from '4 p.m. blues.'
Judas takes hold of Christ, pressing himself on him: arm, beard, lips. A soldier in gleaming armor goes for Christ’s neck. A young man flees: John the Evangelist.
Paint. Paint the soft lines / of damp cheeks across a canvas. / Paint the deep eyes, the little / hand and the orb. / Splash some color along the curve / of her...
You don’t need to be a thespian to appreciate James Shapiro's "Year of Lear"—a brilliant, meticulously researched history of social tensions that inspired the play.
While Franzen’s natural mode as writer is one of confident high spirits, in "Purity" his view of people is steeped in pessimism, and his characters are miserable.
Spanning almost James Agee's entire lifetime, these letters between author and his priest cover alcohol, God, poetry, childhood, and a “mouthful of sweet potato.”
Narrated by the nameless victim's brother, Kamal Daoud's novel asks: Did Camus intend to use the Algerian murder victim in 'The Stranger' as a disposable prop?
A fiery sun / made a path toward us / on the rippled water / and scattered pink shavings / over the rest...
Claudia Rankine’s 'Citizen' and Jeffery Renard Allen’s 'Song of the Shank' both take up the issue of race in America in jagged and beautiful poetry and prose.
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