Category Archives: Nonfiction

Five Days at Memorial

Early on in Sheri Fink’s account of events at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina, we see a doctor helping a hospital employee euthanize a cat. The doctors and nurses and other staff members had … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | 15 Comments

Fun Home and Are You My Mother?

In these two graphic memoirs, Alison Bechdel chronicles her ambivalent love for each of her parents. The first, Fun Home, deals with her father, who died, possibly by suicide, when Bechdel was in college, not long after she came out … Continue reading

Posted in Graphic Novels / Comics, Memoir, Nonfiction | 8 Comments

A Jesuit Off-Broadway

Those who know me well will probably know right away why this book appealed to me. It’s Jesuits. It’s theatre. How could I not want to read it? What’s more, it’s by James Martin, whose work I’ve previously enjoyed. So … Continue reading

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Louisa May Alcott

I’ve posted here before that the book I’ve re-read most in my life is probably Little Women. I started reading it when I was about ten or eleven, and I’ve read it over and over since then, understanding it differently … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, History, Nonfiction | 20 Comments

Necessary Dreams

I was about to say that I’ve been quiet around here lately, but that just isn’t the case — I’ve been totally silent for over a month. I can’t remember a busier time at school. And it’s meant not only … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | 4 Comments

The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes

At age 30, the poet Sylvia Plath committed suicide, leaving behind two children, a husband from whom she’d separated, and a body of work that he would be left to guard, along with both their reputations. Plath’s husband, the poet … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Nonfiction | 19 Comments

My Anthology Problem and The Art of the Personal Essay

For the last several months, I’ve been slowly reading through the essays in The Art of the Personal Essay, edited by Phillip Lopate. It’s an excellent collection, containing many of my favorite essays, all arranged in a rough chronological order … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction, Short Stories/Essays | 25 Comments

How to Live: Or, A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve posted! I’ve been teaching January Term at my university, and it’s an intense class: three hours a day every day, plus all the concomitant prepping and grading, plus I’m still department … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Nonfiction | 10 Comments

The Revolution Was Televised

I’ve believed for a while now that television can be as exciting and artful as a good novel. Like a novel, television draws you in to a place and time and a set of characters that you want to keep … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | 10 Comments

Among the Janeites

I love Jane Austen’s books, but I don’t know that I’d consider myself a Janeite. I’ve not read any of her books more than twice, and the only piece of Austen paraphernalia I own is a Pride and Prejudice T-shirt. I … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | 10 Comments