Two Blends of Memoir and Contemporary Analysis: Body Work and Trapped in the Present Tense

Melissa Febos' Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative is both memoir and guidebook, and a meditation on what life writing does for us and the importance of it to women and underrepresented groups. Febos is the author of several works of memoir and autobiographical fiction, and although I haven't read her before, she's... Continue Reading →

Ideas of Memory From a Family in Russia

In Memory of Memory, by Maria Stepanova, translated from Russian by Sasha Dugdale The subjectivity and selectiveness of the memory means we can fix on a historical “excerpt“ that has nothing in common with history itself – there will be people out there for whom the 1930s were a lost paradise of innocence and permanence. Especially during... Continue Reading →

Lawrence Wright’s Look at the Satanic Panic

Book review: Remembering Satan, by Lawrence Wright (Amazon / Book Depository) Journalist Lawrence Wright is one of my favorite nonsense-busters. It just doesn't get past him. And his books are so well-written that even when they're dealing with the eye-rolling (but also very sad) "Satanic Panic" of the late 80s/90s, they're meticulous and brilliantly laid... Continue Reading →

Joan Didion and the Blues

Book review: Blue Nights, by Joan Didion (Amazon / Book Depository) ...there comes a span of time approaching and following the summer solstice, some weeks in all, when the twilights turn long and blue...suddenly summer seems near, a possibility, even a promise... you find yourself swimming in the color blue: the actual light is blue, and over... Continue Reading →

Elegies for the Departed

Book review: The Glen Rock Book of the Dead, by Marion Winik (Amazon) After a creative writing assignment led her to thinking about dead people she'd known, poet and author Marion Winik explains that it was "as if tickets to a show had just gone on sale and all my ghosts were screeching up at the... Continue Reading →

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