Ann Beattie

Beattie’s stories are a master class in narrative technique. First person or third; present tense or past; one story line or several; intercutting time frames or A-to-Z chronology; single scenes, impressionistic fragments, long unfoldings. The effects are precise, understated. Have you read Ann Beattie? I have not and I am interested in her early – … More Ann Beattie


I had expected to eat clam chowder and drink bad beer in some dive in old Eureka, California, but found that the entire place is now an elegant shopping zone with a gourmet culture. You can have a glass of fine wine while listening to a live singer and surfing the web on wi-fi. On … More Intrepid

Academic advice

“It is impossible to do, but it is what you must do to prove you are a minimally worthy person. It also the best/the worst thing in the world to do, but either way, it is the only way to prove you are worthy to live. “After making tenure at a place like Yale or … More Academic advice

Northern Gaijin

The closest declaration to this section of the NDAA 2012 bill is the German Enabling Act of 1933, the Ermächtigungsgesetz or Gesetz zur Behebung der Not von Volk und Reich and you know where that led. Axé.

That America

These days, it’s hard to recognize that America. The wage stagnation that began in the late ’70s has since bestowed on us the kind of income inequality more typical of a third-world oligarchy. The real minimum wage is less than it was in 1968, and the richest 1 percent of Americans take home nearly 25 … More That America