A Literary Bloodhound Tracks Eliot

Young Eliot: From St. Louis to The Waste Land by Robert Crawford. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015. Hardcover, 493 + xvi pages, $35. As I finished this prodigious tome about “Tom,” a painful question came to mind. What American could have pulled it off? The ideal...

Learning What We Don’t Know

The Risk of Reading: How Literature Helps Us to Understand Ourselves and the World by Robert P. Waxler. Bloomsbury, 2014. Paper, 191 pages, $30. I begin with a trigger warning. The following review contains references that could evoke strong feelings about the nature...

The Heritage of Ta-Nehisi Coates

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Spiegel & Grau, 2015. Hardcover, 176 pages, $24.Reviewed by Helen AndrewsWhen he set out to interview James Baldwin for his oral history of the civil rights movement, Who Speaks for the Negro? (1965), Robert Penn...

An Old Tale, Retold

Grendel by John Gardner. Vintage, 1971, 1989. Paperback, 192 pages, $14. Reviewed by Pedro Blas González Importance is derived from the immanence of infinitude in the finite. Expression, however—listen closely now—expression is founded on the finite occasion. John...

A Glimpse of Something Lost

America Moved: Booth Tarkington’s Memoirs of Time and Place, 1869–1928 by Booth Tarkington, edited by JeremyBeer. Front Porch Republic Books, 2015. Paperback, 270 pages, $32. Just prior to this book’s arrival, I had acceded to a friend’s impassioned, insistent...

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