Irony and Complexity

The Orphan Master’s Son, by Adam Johnson As is my case with most books, I warmed up to this one slowly. My warming, however, became only tepid with The Orphan Master’s Son. I like stories, you see, and defined characters within such stories. That makes me an odd fit for postmodern literature, something I’ve posted […]

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Through the Looking Glass

Creative Nonfiction, Fall 2013/Winter 2014 Issue  This is the fiftieth issue put out by CNF editor Lee Gutkind, and the essays and interview here speak more about the magazine and its struggles, about publishing and writing than about any external thing. It’s as if (and retrospection can be and is a good thing occasionally) the […]

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Atlantic Ascendant

The Atlantic, January/February, 2014 Perhaps Editor-in-Chief James Bennet has developed the complex touch of a successful pro sports team coach. Or maybe the world is handing him better and better stories. Whatever the reason, this issue of The Atlantic is one of the best balanced, most newsworthy, and downright interesting issues yet. And that’s with […]

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Poetry and a Little More

  The Writer’s Chronicle, February 2014   I’ve known for a long time that academia has been a refuge for writers. Now I suspect most of them are poets. Writer’s Chronicle is read largely, I think, by such academicians, and a lesser number of writers such as myself. The poetic good tidings spread here range […]

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The Rages of Poverty in the Provinces

Harper’s Magazine, January 2014 Thomas Frank’s essay here is one every self-styled liberal or progressive should read. It’s a screed, not against the Red State folks, Republicans, Tea Partiers, et al; instead he’s raging against the Democrats, liberals, and progressives for not taking advantage politically of the ever-shrinking white, male, etc. conservative base. And he’s […]

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