On Nonfiction

Built of Voices: Kiese Laymon and Leigh Stein

Kiese Laymon and Leigh Stein do not appear to share much in the way of common experience. Laymon is a black man from Mississippi; Stein is a white half-Jewish woman…

The Spectre of Gender Equality

In End of Equality, Beatrix Campbell, a British writer and activist, draws upon a career of feminist analysis and agitation to present a brief treatise on gender-based inequality. This book…

The Bully, the Buddy, and the Populist Press

Doris Kearns Goodwin is America’s most popular active historian. Winner of a Pulitzer Prize for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II (1995),…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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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