Quantcast

slide

Cormac McCarthy: Blood Meridian, Or the Evening Redness in the West

Like the eminent scholar who introduces the Modern Library edition of Blood Meridian (1985), on previous attempts I failed to read this book through due to the violence.  It’s on every page.  While I recognized the quality of what I was reading, I just wasn’t in the mood for it at the time. …

slide

Janet Frame: “Gavin Highly”

Click here to read the story in its entirety on The New Yorker webpage. Janet Frame’s “Gavin Highly” was originally published in the April 5, 2010 issue of The New Yorker. Since Janet Frame died in 2004 we’ve been seeing a few of her works published posthumously. I am not…

slide

Evelyn Waugh: A Handful of Dust

I have several Waugh novels sitting on my shelf due to my sudden infatuation with his writing in late 2008.  Just those two books made me start boasting that Waugh was one of my favorite authors.  After over a year of neglect, I decided it was time to visit Waugh again and…

slide

The Lost Man Booker Prize Shortlist

The names familiar to me from the longlist were the ones that made it to the shortlist of six.  But I haven’t read any of these books: Nina Bawden: The Birds on the Trees J.G. Farrell: Troubles Shirley Hazzard: The Bay of Noon Patrick White: The Vivisector Mary Renault: Fire…

slide

PEN/Faulkner Winner Announced

Sherman Alexie has won this year’s PEN/Faulkner Award for War Dances.  I haven’t read it, but I have enjoyed Alexie’s work before.  Click here for the full press release.

slide

Joyce Carol Oates: “I.D.”

Click here to read the story in its entirety on The New Yorker webpage. Joyce Carol Oates’ “I.D.” was originally published in the March 29, 2010 issue of The New Yorker. It’s been over a year since Oates showed up in these pages, though she often has several published in…

slide

John Cheever: Falconer

I love John Cheever’s short fiction.  Over the years I’ve made my way through quite a bit of The Stories of John Cheever, that massive collection of his short stories that won the Pulitzer, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award in the various years surrounding its publication in 1978. …

slide

The Clock at the Biltmore — J. F. Powers: “Death of a Favorite”

J.F. Powers is one author who frequently is called “criminally neglected.”  I am definitely guilty of that neglect, but here is the beginning of my repentance process — and what a bizarre story to repent with!  I didn’t know this, but J.F. Powers wrote many stories about priests.  It was when…

slide

Orange Prize Longlist

Today the Orange Prize longlist was announced, along with some criticism from the chair about the abundance of miserable novels offered up for consideration this year.  The shortlist will be announced April 20.  Here is the list — I have read not a one, but some look very good: Clare…

slide

Tobias Wolff: In Pharaoh’s Army: Memories of the Lost War

I had wanted to wait to read Wolff’s In Pharaoh’s Army (1994), a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction in 1994.  I wanted to wait because besides his short stories, most of which I’ve now read, this was it until Wolff’s next novel is published.  But I couldn’t, because…