Herman Melville, The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade

The Confidence-Man by Herman Melville My rating: 4 of 5 stars This 1857 novel, Melville's last, aside from the unfinished and posthumously published Billy Budd, takes place in a single setting—a Mississippi steamboat called the Fidèle—over the course of one day, April 1, All Fools' Day. It begins most mysteriously— At sunrise on a first of … Continue reading Herman Melville, The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade

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 set in the nineteenth century, and a piece of sad semi-realism about a translator of Native American languages living a life of quiet desperation in … Continue reading David Treuer, The Translation of Dr. Apelles

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 I think Letters from an American Farmer is just that. While most people who have taken a course in American literature or history have probably … Continue reading J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer