Category Archives: Literary criticism

Definitely Not a Review of Mary McCarthy’s The Group

One of the things (OK, the many things) I can be persnickety about is what to call whatever it is that I write here when I write about books. I call the results “posts,” not “reviews,” not because I consider a book … Continue reading

Posted in Literary criticism, McCarthy, Mary | 1 Comment

A New (and Final) Open Letters Monthly

I have often but not always marked the occasion of a new issue of Open Letters Monthly here. The thing about publishing on the first of every month, regular as clockwork, is that it seemed predictable enough that people who cared shouldn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Literary criticism, Open Letters Monthly, Personal | Leave a comment

Summer Plans: The Risks and Rewards of Reviews

The jet lag has lifted and I’m settling back into my routines after my trip to Vancouver–my first real vacation away since July 2015. And even so, it was hard to keep work obligations entirely at bay: a very late paper … Continue reading

Posted in Book reviewing, Literary criticism, This Week In My Classes | 4 Comments

The Price We Pay: Brian McCrea, Addison and Steele Are Dead

From the Novel Readings Archives: I still find myself thinking a lot about the questions raised by Brian McCrea’s book Addison and Steele Are Dead, which I wrote about during my first year of blogging. Apparently I’m in something of a minority, … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, From the Archives, Literary criticism, McCrea, Brian | Leave a comment

This Week In My Classes: Poetry and Prose

That was a busy week! Not only was it the first full week of term, with both classes and committee meetings, but I was involved in a Ph.D. comprehensive exam, which is something we usually do when classes aren’t in session. … Continue reading

Posted in Literary criticism | 1 Comment

Innovation and the Eye of the Beholder

On university campuses we hear a lot about innovation these days, from hype about the latest ed-tech fad to proclamations by institutions like my own about fostering a “culture of innovation.” This has got me reflecting on how we define … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Feminism, Literary criticism | Leave a comment

What Price Genius? Helen DeWitt, The Last Samurai

Great news: New Directions is putting out a new edition of Helen DeWitt’s The Last Samurai, which is without a doubt one of the best, most surprising, and most moving novels I’ve read in the last decade or more. I’m excited … Continue reading

Posted in Literary criticism | 1 Comment