Lit Review(ish): WHO IS MAUD DIXON?

In which I do a rough courtroom sketch This won’t be a full review, as I’ve written for other, similar novels like Bunny and The Girls; I’m saving that for an Actual Publication I’ve spent some months trying to battering-ram my way into. (If I succeed, you’ll know.) But I can’t not comment here onContinue reading “Lit Review(ish): WHO IS MAUD DIXON?”

Never Write a Hasty Review or You Will Live to Regret It

In which I CANNOT let it be (naked) Last week I read Juliet, Naked, a novel by the illustrious Nick Hornby. It’s the third novel of his I’ve read (if you don’t count State of the Union as a novel), the first two being High Fidelity and About a Boy. Given that Hornby has madeContinue reading “Never Write a Hasty Review or You Will Live to Regret It”

Clemens > Dickens

In which I match, or mismatch, wits I just reread The Adventures of Tom Sawyer after quite a number of years, possibly predating the last time I read Huck Finn. Not only is the prose as precise and entertaining as ever, this time around has elucidated something I’ve long struggled with concerning certain contemporaries ofContinue reading “Clemens > Dickens”

Lit Review: ONE LAST STOP

Or, won’t you come see me, Queen Jane? *WARNING: SPOILERS* I’d heard quite a bit about Casey McQuiston’s new novel, including an interview with McQuiston herself, by the time a college friend cosplayed on Instagram as pragmatic heroine (or heroic pragmatist) August Landry. Her personal endorsement tipped the scales from Hopeful Read into Must Read.Continue reading “Lit Review: ONE LAST STOP”

BRAVE NEW WORLD is Not a Dystopia

In which I take arms against a sea of troubles and wind up drowning MIRANDA How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, That has such people in’t! PROSPERO ‘Tis new to thee. : The Tempest, Act V Scene 1 *WARNING: SPOILERS* Friends, Americans, countrymen! We have enteredContinue reading “BRAVE NEW WORLD is Not a Dystopia”

Lit Review: THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT

In which I play the Cecilian Defense *WARNING: SPOILERS* I suspect I was always one nudge away from playing chess. Growing up I might have had the makings of an enthusiast if I hadn’t devoted almost all my energies to literary pursuits. Or if I hadn’t been so troublesome at board games, a jealous playerContinue reading “Lit Review: THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT”

Write What You Know?

In which I question the sagacity of some so-called sage advice We writers have long had the adage “write what you know” lobbed at us, supposedly an encouragement to use our lives as fodder for crafting powerful stories. I started hearing it soon after expressing any sort of long-term interest in creative writing. It’s beenContinue reading “Write What You Know?”

Lit Review: THE GIRLS

In which I defect to the dark side *WARNING: SPOILERS* *CW: violence* Social distancing has inspired me to make considerable room for pleasure reading. And I find myself branching out, an instinct which was enabled but not precipitated by our isolated conditions. While to some extent I’ve been drawn to beautiful dark twisted tales sinceContinue reading “Lit Review: THE GIRLS”