John Pistelli

writer

Category Archives: biography

Morten Høi Jensen, A Difficult Death: The Life and Work of Jens Peter Jacobsen

A Difficult Death: The Life and Work of Jens Peter Jacobsen by Morten Høi Jensen My rating: 4 of 5 stars I decided to pick up this appealing brief recent … Continue reading

18 September 2018 · Leave a comment

Maggie Nelson, The Argonauts

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson My rating: 2 of 5 stars This theory-inflected memoir of “(queer) family making,” to quote the jacket copy, so assiduously defends itself that there is … Continue reading

17 April 2018 · 1 Comment

Jean Giono, Melville

Melville: A Novel by Jean Giono My rating: 4 of 5 stars Twentieth-century French novelist Jean Giono is currently being introduced (or re-introduced by NYRB Classics) to American readers, and … Continue reading

30 December 2017 · Leave a comment

Elizabeth Hardwick, Herman Melville

Herman Melville by Elizabeth Hardwick My rating: 4 of 5 stars A review with, or in, digressions: Elizabeth Hardwick, who died a decade ago at 91, is having a literary … Continue reading

24 September 2017 · Leave a comment

A Personal Canon

A number of book bloggers are posting their personal canons. They are very fun: see here, here, and here, for instance. (It reminds me of the “literary pillars” exercise inspired … Continue reading

30 April 2017 · 8 Comments

John Marsh, In Walt We Trust: How a Queer Socialist Poet Can Save America from Itself

In Walt We Trust: How a Queer Socialist Poet Can Save America from Itself by John Marsh My rating: 4 of 5 stars In Walt We Trust is blessedly less … Continue reading

17 April 2017 · 1 Comment

Henry James, Hawthorne

Hawthorne by Henry James My rating: 5 of 5 stars This short 1879 book is Henry James’s critical biography of the man who would at the time have been considered … Continue reading

8 April 2017 · 2 Comments

J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer

Letters from an American Farmer by J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur My rating: 5 of 5 stars It might sound odd to call such a ubiquitous text underrated, but … Continue reading

14 February 2017 · Leave a comment

Greg Carpenter, The British Invasion: Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, and the Invention of the Modern Comic Book Writer

The British Invasion: Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, and the Invention of the Modern Comic Book Writer by Greg Carpenter My rating: 4 of 5 stars Sometimes, not often, … Continue reading

19 September 2016 · 4 Comments

David Attwell, J. M. Coetzee and the Life of Writing: Face-to-Face with Time

J. M. Coetzee and the Life of Writing: Face-to-Face with Time by David Attwell My rating: 4 of 5 stars David Attwell’s book is billed as a “literary biography,” presumably … Continue reading

9 November 2015 · 1 Comment