Articles by Bill Morris

November 25, 2015

The Filmable Miss Highsmith 2

What is it that keeps drawing filmmakers to the fiction of Patricia Highsmith?

November 11, 2015

How the West Was Lost 7

In the end, Ivan Doig & Co. come to very different conclusions about How the West Was Lost, but they share a sense that the loss is as irreversible as it was wrong-headed.

October 27, 2015

Is Experience Overrated? One Writer’s Checkered Résumé 9

If I wanted to become a novelist, according to Flannery O’Connor, I didn’t need to wander the world harvesting experiences. I needed to contemplate experience and then write about it.

October 2, 2015

Love in the Ruins: On Matt Bell’s ‘Scrapper’ 1

Maybe the finest thing about Scrapper is the way in takes us into a deep-pore underworld that’s rarely explored in even the best books about Detroit.

September 3, 2015

How Iceberg Slim Schooled Dr. Dre: On Justin Gifford’s ‘Street Poison’ 0

Iceberg Slim, brutal pimp turned popular author, received a fraction of the royalties due him — which meant, ironically, that he ended up getting pimped by his own publisher.

August 4, 2015

Car Crush: Why American Writers and Artists Can’t Stop Loving the Automobile 3

Is there any more potent metaphor for the American tendency to wind up, broken and bloody, in a ditch?

July 2, 2015

Let Us Now Be Grateful That They’re (Finally!) (Honestly!) (Really Really Really!) Dead 9

The Grateful Dead’s final tour is another reminder that the band long ago became a large corporation with a bottom line to consider. That’s not a knock on their success. It’s just a fact.

June 24, 2015

Dynamite Detroit Debut: On Angela Flournoy’s ‘The Turner House’ 0

There are many sentences in The Turner House that nail a sense of place with a precision long-time Detroiters like Elmore Leonard or Donald Goines would have envied.

June 4, 2015

Four Uneasy Pieces: How Detroit Moved Beyond Ruin Porn 3

The facile visual shorthand of ruin porn has eclipsed nuanced narrative as a way of telling the complex story of Detroit.

May 13, 2015

Down in the Oedipal Mud: On Kent Russell’s ‘I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son’ 13

Kent Russell, like John Jeremiah Sullivan, never adopts the let’s-laugh-at-the-Clampetts pose common to inferior writers of inferior non-fiction.