John Pistelli


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 · 7 Comments

Edgar Allan Poe, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe My rating: 3 of 5 stars Calm block fallen down here from some dark disaster —Stéphane Mallarmé, “The … Continue reading

22 October 2016 · 1 Comment

Toni Morrison, Sula

Sula by Toni Morrison My rating: 5 of 5 stars Sula is an anarchic novel and a conservative one. Toni Morrison, because she is a sort of multicultural figurehead, passes … Continue reading

30 October 2015 · 3 Comments

Franzen and His Enemies

[I wrote this almost two years ago, in September of 2013, and posted it to Tumblr in response to the waves of Franzenfreude then breaking over the Internet, occasioned by … Continue reading

30 August 2015 · Leave a comment

Toni Morrison, God Help the Child

God Help the Child by Toni Morrison My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is a fine novel. Not perfect, not even really complete in a writing-workshop “craft” sense, but … Continue reading

24 April 2015 · Leave a comment

Gayl Jones, Corregidora

Corregidora by Gayl Jones My rating: 4 of 5 stars The cover of this edition makes it look like a horror movie—and that’s not at all wrong. An intense novel, … Continue reading

6 August 2014 · 1 Comment