Category Archives: Reviews

How then must we live, reader, and who do you love?

You may begin because someone says you’ve got to read this. Or because it’s assigned. Or because everyone or a few people or even one person you respect seems to think you should. Or maybe you’ve run across an intriguing … Continue reading

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Ethan Canin, A Doubter’s Almanac

A Doubter’s Almanac by Ethan Canin (who’s very good, and, as Elaine May, doing her nagging mother routine, would say, that man is a DOCTOR), which I reviewed for the Minneapolis Star Tribune prompted a few further thoughts about what privileged knowledge means … Continue reading

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Jane Smiley’s The Hundred Year Trilogy, concluded

Golden Age completes Jane Smiley’s Last Hundred Years trilogy (though it won’t really be the last 100 years until 2020, when things promise to be pretty bleak). I reviewed this last volume for the Minneapolis Star Tribune–as I did the 1st 2 volumes … Continue reading

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“We are risen apes, not fallen angels”: On being human, humane, & at home in the world.

Here’s a review of another odd & lovely, allegory-inflected novel from (whose Beatrice & Virgil I also reviewed for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “The High Mountains of Portugal” is Ron Charles’s pick of the month at the Washington Post.

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Women & Other Animals, Including Mothers & Daughters, Bonnie Jo Campbell

When I was doing a visiting semester (too many years ago to count) at Western Michigan University, Jaimy Gordon (who teaches at WMU) asked me to review Bonnie Jo Campbell’s first book of short stories, Women and Other Animals, for … Continue reading

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