Articles by Kevin Hartnett
October 14, 2013
McNair is inventive, original, and has a particular talent for finding language that is surprising without being showy. But his real skill is his deep familiarity with the South as a place, it’s creatures, customs, and yearnings.
July 10, 2013
When you set out to debate “the great American novel,” the stakes are high. We asked nine English scholars to choose one novel as the greatest our country has ever produced.
May 17, 2013
You might think that the people who know Fitzgerald’s novel best would have the most disapproving view of the movie. To test that hypothesis, we asked five English professors who specialize in American literature to take in an early showing and share their thoughts. And to our surprise, they liked it.
January 18, 2013
I realized that my writing at age 28 was a lot like my golf game as a teenager: a single gust of wind and it went to Hell.
August 2, 2012
What was Charles Dickens’s best novel? It depends whom you ask of course. Searching for clarity, I decided to pose the question to a handful of leading Victorianists. I sent out emails to select scholars asking them if they’d be interested in choosing a novel and making their case. Just about everyone I reached out to was game.
July 13, 2012
Why it is that people gravitate to the most tragic or dramatic moments of their lives when given a chance to tell a story? There are, I think, two reasons.
April 23, 2012
All mediocre novelists are alike; every great novelist is great in his own way.
April 11, 2012
I had several reasons for wanting to write by hand. Writing on the computer feels like going to war with myself. In fact, just thinking about a blank Word document makes me sweat.
March 19, 2012
So what does it mean for the country that our cultural common denominator is shrinking? And why, in the midst of these trends is there general agreement on an issue as potentially flammable as contraception?
March 8, 2012
Sure, when I was six I’d peed on my sister, and over the years I’d committed various small-time atrocities against my younger brother. But I’d changed, and no one had seemed to notice!