Author Archives: Teresa

Kristin Lavransdatter 1: The Wreath

Sigrid Undset’s trio of novels set in 14th-century Norway tells the story of a young woman named Kristin, daughter of the prosperous farmer, Lavrans (hence the name Lavaransdatter). The first novel, The Wreath, translated by Tina Nunnally, was published in … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Historical Fiction | Leave a comment

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Harriet Jacobs was born into slavery in North Carolina and escaped to the North in 1842. In 1861, this book, recounting her experiences in slavery and eventual escape was published under the pseudonym Linda Brent (and, as Linda is the … Continue reading

Posted in History, Memoir | 4 Comments

Tam Lin

Pamela Dean’s retelling of the Scottish ballad Tam Lin is set at a Minnesota college in the 1970s. Janet, whose father teachers at the college, is beginning her studies there when she and her roommates, Tina and Molly, become involved … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 8 Comments


The opioid crisis has made many headlines, but I hadn’t wrapped my head around how serious the problem is until reading this excellent book by Beth Macy. Macy has been a reporter in Roanoke, Virginia, for decades. (In fact, I … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | 2 Comments

The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe

This 1974 novel by D.G. Compton is set in a near-future time period, when death by disease has been pretty much eradicated, leaving people to die of accident or old age. When a person does develop a terminal disease, they … Continue reading

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Broken Harbor

I continue to love Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series, and Broken Harbor, the fourth book, may be my favorite yet. It felt a little leaner than previous books, and the murder at its heart is particularly disturbing. Plus, it explores … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries/Crime | 3 Comments

Woman at Point Zero

Firdaus, the central character in this 1975 novella by Egyptian Nawal El Saadawi (and translated from Arabic by Sherif Hetata) is in prison, waiting to die. When newspapers are brought to her, she spits on the photos of the men … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 2 Comments

The Italian Teacher

Pinch Bavinsky, the title character in Tom Rachman’s latest novel, is the son of artist Bear Bavinsky. Born in 1950s Italy, Pinch remembers Bear as a big personality when he moved in with Pinch and his mother, Natalie, a fledgling … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 4 Comments

Twelve Years a Slave

Solomon Northup was a free black man who lived his whole life in New York until, in 1841, he took a job as a traveling musician. This job landed him in Washington, DC, where, despite possessing papers showing he was … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Memoir, Nonfiction | 4 Comments

There There

One of the characters in Tommy Orange’s debut novel, There There, is a filmmaker named Dene Ozendene who is taking over a project started by his uncle Lucas before his death. In an interview for a grant, he describes the work this … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 8 Comments