On Nonfiction

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404: Identity Not Found

In March 2008, a month shy of his forty-fifth birthday, the critic and poet Reginald Shepherd was battling an aggressive form of colon cancer. The disease had already metastisized to…

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In Which The Critical Flame Dedicates One Year to Women Writers and Writers of Color

Women writers and writers of color are underserved and undervalued by the contemporary literary community. The phenomenon has been well documented by critics such as Roxane Gay and Ruth Franklin, and by…

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His Blues to Be Somebody: Charlie Parker’s Early Years

Every superhero needs a suitable origin story, and great jazz musicians are no exception. In Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker, the acclaimed cultural critic Stanley…

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Mailer Versus Mailer

The evolution of Norman Mailer’s legacy has reached a pivotal moment. Simon & Schuster has recently published Norman Mailer: A Double Life, J. Michael Lennon’s authorized biography of the controversial…

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Remembering Roger Ebert

“We know more, much more, about Marilyn Monroe and Jack Nicholson than we know about Julius Caesar and Thomas Jefferson. We know what they looked like when they stood up…

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The Greatest: Facing Ted Williams

View image | gettyimages.com In his very funny Foreword to this book, Baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs states that his fellow Red Sox idol Ted Williams “is who John…

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Another Zone of Consciousness

“At times I have the feeling that I am writing about three or four different men, each one distinct, each one a contradiction of all the others. Fragments. Or the…

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Getting Off and Getting Even

Vagina. It announces itself, a magnum opus on female sexuality. We start, ironically, with the ending. Naomi Wolf’s orgasms, once reliable, have mysteriously gone astray. The cause? A late diagnosis…

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Letters in Flight: The Peripatetics of Joseph Roth

Do not read these letters if you admire the novels of Joseph Roth. Do not read these letters if you hope to learn more about the novels you admire. The…

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The Collected Letters of Robinson Jeffers

The recently published multi-volume Collected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers, with easy to read large font in generous layout, is lavish in its design, and the ongoing multi-volume Collected Letters of…

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