The American Left and the Problems of History in Philip Roth’s “American Trilogy”

I wrote this essay in 2004—for an academic conference, if I recall correctly. The plan was to revise and expand it for that dissertation I never managed to finish.

Oct 22, 2016
Category: Words

A Death in the Family (1957)

I just found this intro to an essay I never wrote and thought the quotes were worth posting.

Apr 1, 2009
Category: Words

Book Meme

This year I’m going to reread a few of the books that inspired me to become an English major way back when. I’m curious to see, fifteen years later, how my sense of the novels has evolved. So far, Nabokov is more impressive and Humbert is more disturbing than I remembered. Case in point:

May 12, 2008
Category: Words

Ron Austin’s In a New Light: Spirituality and the Media Arts

This essay was originally published at Sojourners.

Feb 1, 2008
Category: Book Reviews, Words

The Friday Five: DeLillo

In celebration of the release of Falling Man, which I plan to begin reading tonight, and inspired by James Tata’s post, I’m bringing back the long lost “Friday Five”: My Favorite Don DeLillo Novels

May 18, 2007
Category: Words

What Are You Reading?

A few words on a few of the books I’ve been enjoying lately.

Apr 9, 2007
Category: Book Reviews, Words

So Awfully, Irreducibly Real

Tony Kushner is taken to task from time to time for his harsh treatment of Joe Pitts, the closeted, Republican, Mormon lawyer whose self-hatred motivates so much of the plays’ drama (and poisons his marriage to Harper). Those critics must ignore this passage, which is among the most beautiful and heartbreaking Kushner has written. It’s been at the very back of my mind for nearly a week now but came front and center earlier this evening.

Nov 6, 2006
Category: Drama, Words

A Long Way Down (2005)

Kakutani’s reading seems lazy to me. She’s misjudged these folks — not to mention Hornby’s intentions — and is punching herself silly, chasing after her straw men.

Jun 14, 2006
Category: Book Reviews, Words

No Reservations

I read a book last weekend. A 302-page book. I was standing in Borders on Friday night, waiting for Joanna to get a drink, and I picked up a book, read the first few pages, and decided to buy it. Then I went home and finished it in three or four sittings.

May 18, 2006
Category: Words

How ‘Bout That

How’s that for the perfect end to my academic career? I got a good note in The Times Literary Supplement!

Apr 27, 2006
Category: Words