Emily Cooke on The Lonely Ones

Cooke reflects on the relationship between solitude and women writers @ The New Inquiry. By all accounts, Susan Sontag found being alone intolerable. In Sigrid Nunez’s 2011 memoir, Sempre Susan, Sontag didn’t even want to drink her morning coffee or read the newspaper without someone else around. When she was alone and unoccupied by books,… Read more »

Rewriting the Lives of Girls

Carley Moore considers Girl Land by Caitlin Flanagan, and the false dreams we continue to tell about girlhood. As a first-time and often fumbling mother of a three-and-a-half-year-old girl, I’ve learned to recognize the waves of child-rearing fear mongering that often accompany the publication of a new parenting memoir. Last year’s Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by… Read more »

American Gothic

Lauren Elkin wonders what American kitsch can tell us about ourselves in her review of Pulphead: Essays by John Jeremiah Sullivan. Ordinarily, I take a pass when it comes to American kitsch. Christian rock festivals, aging Southern gentlemen with grabby hands, former contestants of The Real World, Michael Jackson, obscure bluesmen— these subjects are not… Read more »

Pieces of You

Melissa Haley inhabits the wandering mind of Lia Pupura in her newest collection Rough Likeness: Essays. To read Lia Purpura’s essays is to be drawn into her geography. As I make my way through her latest collection, Rough Likeness, small details in my daily world begin to impress themselves on me more. The murmur of the radio coming… Read more »

Our Winter Ourselves

Andrew Taggart explores the meanings a season can give us in his review of Winter: Five Windows on the Season by Adam Gopnik. Last winter in New York City, Mayor Bloomberg forgot his shovels. The subways stopped, the children reveled, and the grownups got especially good at kvetching in unison. This was winter, we thought. But the… Read more »