John Pistelli

writer

George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders My rating: 4 of 5 stars In one of the few negative reviews of George Saunders’s well-received and Man Booker-winning first novel, Caleb … Continue reading

25 December 2017 · 1 Comment

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates My rating: 4 of 5 stars It is a poor period indeed which must assess its men of letters in terms of … Continue reading

21 December 2017 · Leave a comment

Dante, Paradiso

Paradiso by Dante Alighieri My rating: 4 of 5 stars Here is what you’ve heard about the Divine Comedy: the Inferno, with its poignantly vivid tortures and its cacophony of … Continue reading

19 December 2017 · 1 Comment

Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro My rating: 5 of 5 stars Never Let Me Go is a contemporary realist novel about a friendship and eventual love triangle among … Continue reading

6 December 2017 · 3 Comments

David Treuer, The Translation of Dr. Apelles

The Translation of Dr. Apelles by David Treuer My rating: 4 of 5 stars The Translation of Dr. Apelles (2006) interleaves two stories: a semi-fantastical romance between two Indian youths apparently … Continue reading

4 December 2017 · Leave a comment

Dante, Purgatorio

Purgatorio by Dante Alighieri My rating: 4 of 5 stars Allen Mandelbaum begins his introduction to his wonderful translation thusly:   For the Virgil of Dante’s Purgatorio, “love is the … Continue reading

2 December 2017 · 3 Comments

Claudia Rankine, Citizen

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine My rating: 3 of 5 stars Citizen is a prose-poetry compendium of racial microaggressions aimed at a poetic speaker who nevertheless speaks in … Continue reading

27 November 2017 · 2 Comments

Buy Portraits and Ashes for Small Business Saturday!

There was a debate recently on social media over indie press Tyrant Books’s tweeted proclamation that “they no longer accept agented authors.” The pro-agent side argued that agents were necessary … Continue reading

25 November 2017 · Leave a comment

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

The Annotated Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov My rating: 4 of 5 stars Lolita, if you don’t know, is a novel cast in the form of a murderer’s confession. The self-named … Continue reading

19 November 2017 · Leave a comment

Toni Morrison, Paradise

Paradise by Toni Morrison My rating: 5 of 5 stars Paradise was not well received upon its publication in 1997—influential critics like Michiko Kakutani, James Wood, and Zoë Heller disparaged … Continue reading

10 November 2017 · 5 Comments