books and reading

Sometimes the power goes out and I am forced to read…

Tori Amos and Surrealism

The Surrealism class that I am taking this semester blows my mind on a daily basis. For instance, I have read two novels—Nadja by Andre Breton and Aura by Carlos Fuentes—that left me a mumbling, stammering lump of writer guts. My reactions have mostly been inarticulate and visceral, but the more I learn about surrealistic […]

English major snobbery

The Garrison Keillor column that appeared in this Saturday’s Journal Gazette was funny, as usual, but made a claim of superiority that made me uncomfortable. In his mocking of John McCain, Keillor pointed out that McCain doesn’t write his own books and that Barack Obama does. The Chicagoan, who grew up without a father, wrote […]

On reading Barbara Kingsolver (and, apparently, Joan Didion, as usual)

I am having trouble figuring out how and why Barbara Kingsolver ever wrote another word after The Poisonwood Bible. This is such an epic, important, career-defining novel that she would have been totally justified in resting on her laurels. The Poisonwood Bible took me awhile to get through because I am easily distracted and also […]