Marjorie Celona’s Y and Leah Stewart’s The History of Us
are more than just novels by writers who happen to be female; they’re
sensitive, psychologically complex works that deal the nature of
identity in ways both singular and incisive.
It’s a frigid weekday afternoon in early February, less
than three weeks after the publication of Leah Stewart’s fourth novel, The History of Us,
a Cincinnati-set coming-of-age tale marked by psychological insight, a
sneakily addictive narrative thrust and a deft use of dialogue.
The four English and one American gentlemen who came
together at the end of the turbulent 1960s to form the comedy troupe
known as Monty Python’s Flying Circus were highly intelligent,
well-educated, profoundly funny, incredibly creative, incessantly silly,
politically satirical, highly neurotic and explosively successful.
A deadly firefight between U.S. forces and Iraqi
insurgents is caught on video by a Fox News crew and before the eight
surviving members of Bravo Company can get back to their barracks, the
video has gone viral on the Internet.
What first started as a community forum to
reach neighborhood children resulted in a nonprofit organization called
WordPlay, which offers a place outside the home where kids can get
tutoring and work on creative projects that aim to create confidence and
allow for positive social engagement.
Less than a year ago, word began
circulating of a new “definitive” biography of Rock and Roll icon Bruce
Springsteen. These rumors were like manna from heaven for frustrated
Springsteen fans, who have been waiting for decades for this kind of
biography. And who could blame them?
Pity poor Harold Silver, the loveable protagonist in A.M. Homes’ latest and perhaps finest novel, May We Be Forgiven.
Set over the course of one nightmarish year, from one disastrous family
Thanksgiving to the next year’s “remains of the day,” Homes has cooked
up the blackest of comedies.
Long an incisive cultural critic, a
dedicated teacher and a nimble-minded writer, Camille Paglia is known
for her polarizing opinions on everything from politics (she’s voting
Green Party this year) to pop culture (she recently confessed her love
for Real Housewives of New Jersey, which she says is a more accurate depiction of the state’s residents than The Sopranos, which she hated).