Reviews, reflections, conversations.

Mostly Novels
Jeanette Winterson

Invisible Threads: Winterson's Oranges are Not the Only Fruit

By Emily Burns Morgan
"Winterson does not appear to be suggesting that Bible stories equal fairytales. Instead, she's moving in the margins, figuring out if she can create a new text for her life while still holding on to the old one." more

Renata Adler

Bad Connections: The Novels of Renata Adler

"What if the social details and contexts that lead us to believe we 'know' a character are misleading, and are therefore the first things that should be stripped from a narrative?" Speedboat and Pitch Dark by Renata Adler. Review by Dan DeWeese. more

Book Notes
Matias Viegener

On Books from Matias Viegener, William Gass, & Teddy Wayne

Reviews of Viegener's 2500 Random Things About Me Too, Gass's Middle C, and Wayne's The Love Song of Jonny Valentine. more

Mostly Novels
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe

Trying to Go Further: The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

By Emily Burns Morgan
The story of the Merry Pranksters, at least in Wolfe's telling of it, is less about drugs than you think, and more about the nature of leadership. more

Instructions for My Mother's Funeral

Stories and Memories, But No Easy Solutions

"By telling her own stories through poetry that is both quiet and matter-of-fact, Read manages to capture the convergence of death and life that is ever present for all of us." Instructions for My Mother's Funeral by Laura Read. Review by Sarah Seybold. more

Nick Dybek

The Awful Thing About Life is This

"Dybek seems to suggest that though there might be no bridging the gap between a father and a son, we still try, and we still make choices that attempt to shorten that distance." When Captain Flint was Still a Good Man by Nick Dybek. Review by Doug Cornett. more

A Map of Tulsa: a novel

In a Certain Tradition: A Q&A With Benjamin Lytal

"I think for people like Jim it's like when a hot air balloon lands and a bunch of people run over to wrestle it down and force all the air out and carefully fold it up. Except Jim's trying to do all that by himself." A Q&A with the author of A Map of Tulsa. more

Mostly Novels
Jacob's room

Staking the Territory: Virginia Woolf's Jacob's Room

By Emily Burns Morgan
Jacob's Room is only her third book, and in many ways it seems to be her own coming-of-age story. In a sense, this is where she lays out the questions that will occupy her for the rest of her writing life...more

Mostly Novels
Mostly Novels

Family Tragicomic: Alison Bechdel's Fun Home

By Emily Burns Morgan
As time goes on, the young Bechdel trusts less and less that what she observes is truth. To 'save time,' she invents a symbol to stand in for the phrase 'I think.' It's not long before entire entries are covered over with this symbol...more


Raymond Queneau and the Pleasure of Discovery

By Alan Limnis
There are 99 exercises in the original collection, and ten more that Queneau suggested as substitutions or published elsewhere. The exercises read like flashes of light that illuminate for a moment the linguistic contraptions and conventions under the hood of any number of...more


Slowly Removing the Realism: John Banville's Ancient Light

By Dan DeWeese
Banville's interest is in digging into a moment--an image, a feeling, a posture, a mood, or all of those things fused in a moment of resonant perception--and capturing it so well that we simply hunger for the next moment. His...more


Crafted, designed, choreographed, performed.

Lebbeus Woods

Last Chance at SFMOMA: Lebbeus Woods, Architect of No-Man's Land

By Dan DeWeese
Woods proposed temporary architectural scabs that would become permanent architectural scars. His was an architecture that would neither... more

Europe Endless

Boetti at MAXXI

By Elizabeth Lopeman
The importance of Boetti's work—with its emphasis on playfulness, connections, chance, and the rest—assumes the greatest thrust when considering his complete ouvre. His influence surfaces repeatedly in the work of his contemporaries, and is now evident in a number of current Italian painters and... more


Paper is Light: Durer and Rembrandt at Christopher-Clark

By Dan DeWeese
The culture that produced and is depicted in the images of Durer and Rembrandt is recognizable in a way that two-million-dollar-ironic-painting culture is not... more


Art form of the twentieth century.


Stolen licks and backstage passes.


Investigations and lived experience.


Language, pushed.


Invented worlds, invented selves.


Reports from court and field.