Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

Fly me to the moons

Friday, November 4th, 2011

(This review was published in The Washington Independent Review of Books on November 2, 2011) On January 22, 1984, in what has become an iconic moment in advertising history, the first Apple Macintosh computer was introduced to the world. Striking a cinematic blow against an Orwellian Big Brother figure haranguing a grey and faceless army […]

The stereo of fine historical fiction

Friday, September 16th, 2011

David Mitchell, after writing his first historical novel, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet, said that one of the great appeals of the genre is that it “delivers a stereo narrative: from one speaker comes the treble of the novel’s own plot while the other plays the bass of history’s plot.”  Well, I’m here […]

The click of a well-made box…

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Out here in the flatlands, sometimes, you can see for miles and miles.  Approaching weather can be seen far in the distance.  There is time to prepare.  And landscapes are logical.  The vectors line up—lines over straight lines, right angles.  Roads cross in an orderly fashion.  But in Mark Stevens’ wonderful Buried by the Roan, […]

Jane Eyre-ity on WUWM’s Lake Effect

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

This essay was broadcast on Milwaukee Public Radio, WUWM’s Lake Effect program on August 9,2011. Have a listen here!  

Up on critter creek…

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

My digital turntable is spinning.  I have flipped on the magical Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, by Ralph Vaughan Williams.  Rob Young, writing in his marvelous new survey of Britain’s “visionary music” of the last one hundred years, Electric Eden, calls the piece, “magisterial…gliding out of the dock like a gigantic galleon.”  This […]