'The Art of History' by Christopher Bram

Bram’s The Art of History, Unlocking the Past in Fiction & Nonfiction is a brisk and entertaining jog through 29 great books and how authors grappled with history in their writing… read more

'The American Isherwood' edited by James J. Berg and Chris Freeman

The basic tenet of the artfully edited The American Isherwood by James J. Berg and Chris Freeman (University of Minnesota Press) is that a writer owns nothing else but his experience. In this sense, Christopher Isherwood was an “existentialist,” not in a murky hopeless way but by firmly clutching the idea that experience counts as… read more

Gore Vidal: Devil with a Soul

In Sympathy for the Devil: Four Decades of Friendship with Gore Vidal (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) author Michael Mewshaw reveals an individual as gorgeous as any of Vidal’s historical or fictional characters. His portrayal of Vidal is not a bouquet, yet it does reflect the love of a friendship lasting four decades. Mewshaw was in awe of… read more

Sean Strub: AIDS, History, and Survival

“I’m not buying into ‘we were all heroes’ and ‘we changed the world’ and all that stuff. That’s just too rah-rah and simplistic; we deserve a more nuanced understanding of those times and how it affected us, what motivated us then and what the outcomes are today.”… read more