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American Reader #12: On the Winding Stair by Joanna Howard
Joanna Howard's lapidary debut On the Winding Stair is an escalier spiraling with brocaded lyricism, alternately swathed in darkness and bathed in phosphorescence. Metaphysical spaces coexist with vivid corporeality in a place where words aren't so much modified as they are baroquely embellished...
A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster by Rebecca Solnit
Rebecca Solnit agrees with one aspect of commonplace thinking about disasters: once a hurricane's winds subside, an earthquake's upheavals abate, or an explosion's concussive force dissipates, the trouble is far from over. But the premise of Solnit's forceful new book, A Paradise Built in Hell: The ...
Poems 1959-2009 by Frederick Seidel
Frederick Seidel is a master builder. Using metaphor and concrete imagery he erects majestic properties of opulent proportion. But what he builds he also destroys, making him a closed system: an architect who contracts with both the muse and the devil. So many of his poetic cathedrals are built...
Rebirth of a Nation: The Making of Modern America, 1877-1920 (American History) by Jackson Lears
Instead of finishing the business of giving African Americans equal opportunity and full citizenship during the post-Civil War years, the United States went corporate. This period -- a focal point of our current popular imagination for reasons stretching from the steampunk craze to similarities...
Advanced Elvis Course by C. A. Conrad
It has been thirty-two years since Elvis Presley died at age 42, a bloated victim of prescription pills and Nutter Butters, and over fifty when a thinner Elvis burst onto the American scene, singing and twitching his way into the hearts of millions. Although it seemed he reigned as The King for as...
Gods and Soldiers: The Penguin Anthology of Contemporary African Writing by Rob Spillman
Gods and Soldiers: The Penguin Anthology of Contemporary African Writing, edited by Rob Spillman of Tin House, is a keenly collected and expertly packaged anthology of urgent and vital writing. One would do well to read this book because: a) Africa is larger than the United States, Europe, and...