Articles by Bill Morris

July 10, 2012

Who Wrote the Great New Jersey Novel? 27

They try to form a band, they do drugs, they light themselves on fire, they fall off roofs. It’s all so New Jersey.

June 26, 2012

At Last, Harley Earl Gets Some Respect 1

We need to talk about Harley Earl. And about how he changed my life and the lives of millions of Americans who have never heard his name.

May 31, 2012

The Mad Music of Kevin Barry’s City of Bohane 9

Thank you, Kevin Barry, for reminding us that the people in the book business are not all idiots simply because they remain locked in slavish pursuit of The Next Hot Young Thing.

May 9, 2012

The Appeals and Perils of the One-Word Book Title 33

At their best, one-word titles distill content to its purest essence, which is what all titles strive to do, and then they stick in the mind. Sometimes, of course, they fall flat, and much of the time they’re just lukewarm and vague or, worse, falsely grand.

April 25, 2012

The Treacherous Journey From Page to Screen 6

The overused word “unfilmable” should be banished from the lexicon.

April 5, 2012

The Riches of White Trash 12

Are poor rural white people really neglected in American literature? Hardly. They might be routinely scorned, marginalized, misunderstood, and reduced to caricature, but they’re not neglected. In fact, the canon is larded with writers who’ve put the riches of white trash culture to wondrous use.

March 29, 2012

The Writer’s Bedroom 1

We recently ran a piece called “Where We Write,” in which our staff writers posted photographs of their work spaces. Apartment Therapy has taken it a step further and revealed where some famous and not-so-well-known writers slept. Turns out a bedroom, like a work space, speaks volumes about a writer. But one question remains: What […]

March 22, 2012

John Leonard Died for Our Sins 6

I’m glad I haven’t read anything Leonard wrote about Nixon after 1975. My guess is it would be like watching someone empty an Uzi into a lifeless Clydesdale.

February 27, 2012

Scott Donaldson on the “Impossible Craft” of Writing Biography 11

“If you fall in love with your subject, you can so identify with your subject that you lose something of your own self to it. The first two biographers of Malcolm Lowry who was a suicide, they both killed themselves. Maybe they had that inclination to begin with. But that can happen.”

February 21, 2012

Blink vs. Think: When a Movie Bewitches A Writer 9

Geoff Dyer, Don DeLillo, and Jonathan Lethem, for all their differences, have one thing in common. Each became bewitched by a movie that spoke so forcefully to him that he watched it again and again until it revealed all of its secrets.