Articles by Michael Bourne

July 18, 2016

White Lives Matter: On Nancy Isenberg’s ‘White Trash’ 3

Isenberg appears to have decided to write a history of poor white America and then persuaded herself that poor black America was only tangential to her story.

June 21, 2016

Make the Western Canon Great Again! 11

I’ll ban all books by immigrant writers until we can figure out what the hell is going on with the Western Canon.

June 9, 2016

Ernest Hemingway: Middlebrow Revolutionary 30

Like many men who pride themselves on their toughness and self-reliance, Hemingway was almost comically insecure and prone to betray anyone who had the effrontery to do him a favor.

June 6, 2016

Look at Your Game, Girl: On Emma Cline’s ‘The Girls’ 21

There is so much I wish I could unknow about Emma Cline and her debut novel The Girls.

December 20, 2015

A Year in Reading: Michael Bourne 0

So this is what it would be like to meet one of my favorite authors while on acid.

November 24, 2015

A Visit to Planet North Korea: On Adam Johnson’s ‘The Orphan Master’s Son’ 6

After Adam Johnson’s surprise win of the National Book Award for Fortune Smiles last week, readers new to Johnson’s work may also want to make room on their Christmas wish lists for his 2012 novel, The Orphan Master’s Son.

November 2, 2015

#NaGrafWriMo: Welcome to National Paragraph Writing Month! 8

It can take more talent, determination, and hard work to write one good paragraph than an entire lousy book.

October 19, 2015

Pulp Nonfiction: The Art and Business of Memoir 3

Whether its practitioners like to admit it or not, contemporary memoir, to a far greater degree than contemporary fiction, is an agents’ and editors’ medium.

October 1, 2015

Apocalypse Now: Claire Vaye Watkins’s ‘Gold Fame Citrus’ 1

Gold Fame Citrus takes an important step away from the moral convenience of cataclysm-as-metaphor — or, in lesser novels, cataclysm-as-plot-starter — toward an angrier, more urgent form that insists its reader do more than wallow in free-floating anxiety about the future.

August 24, 2015

Joan Didion, America’s Truth-Teller 2

Joan Didion possessed the luck of serving as a human tuning fork for the anxieties of her age and the dogged curiosity to pursue those anxieties wherever they led.