A critique of journalism and the complex politics and corruption present in the newspaper industry in Paris at the turn of the last century, this is a review of Guy de Maupassant’s Bel-Ami.
It’s a fast-paced narrative that critics and readers alike agree has literary merit. The debate comes from the author’s proclamation of being perfectly factual. This is a review of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood.
Reading correspondence is not quite the same as reading a novel, obviously, but it can be just as valuable when it comes to understanding a writer, their work, literature of the period, or the general customs of the time period. Writers writing about writing can be a very enlightening read. This is a review of Letters to a Young Poet.
This week I’ve decided to write a double review since both books are by the same authors and both are at least semi-autobiographical. This is a review of two books about the Fitzgeralds: This Side of Paradise and The Beautiful and Damned.
I had read some of Murdoch’s work previously, but I admit that I wanted this set because the book design was gorgeous from the covers to the selection of typeface and the ratio of text to margins. This is a review of Iris Murdoch’s The Sea, The Sea.
These two novels were written in 1942, before their author was arrested by the Nazis and sent to Auschwitz where she died of typhoid. The novels and notes were kept in a suitcase and taken by her daughter when she fled from the Nazis during the war. After that, the suitcase remained unopened until 1998. This is a review of Irène Némirovsky’s Suite Française.
There’s been a lot of analysis on the character of Madame Olenska, but in my opinion it’s in the writing of a character like May Welland that truly shows how masterful writing. This is a review of Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence.
When Greenwood is asked to list her symptoms, she keeps repeating that she can’t read and she can’t sleep. She is studying English for her post-secondary education, and reading as well as words define her life. When she can no longer read, what’s left of her world falls apart, and it drives her to attempt suicide. This is a review of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar.
It’s a short, but compelling novel that is masterfully written for maximum impact. Larsen’s prose is incisive, blunt, and yet at the same time has a poetic flow and keeps the narrative driving forward smoothly but quickly. A perfect one-afternoon read. This is a review of Passing.
Where you live is such an integral part of your everyday existence, and this is a novel about Harlem in the Depression Era — covering social politics, racial politics, as well as the complex interplay of social clubs and both religious and charitable organizations. This is a review of Claude McKay’s Amiable with Big Teeth.