Articles by Michael Bourne

April 29, 2011

Pitons in the Monolith: Jonathan Franzen’s Despair and the Millennials’ Dream 19

The crisis Franzen described 15 years ago this month would seem doubly urgent for today’s young writers, yet twentysomethings are entering the literary arena in droves. The question’s not “Why Bother?” but “What gives?”

April 13, 2011

The Stories We Tell Ourselves: Téa Obreht’s The Tiger’s Wife 2

Let’s just get this out of the way up front: Téa Obreht is the real deal.

March 21, 2011

The Great Read Shark: Fear and Loathing at 40 27

When the Flower Children finished sitting in and singing mean songs about the president, most cut their hair and found jobs. But not Raoul Duke.

March 10, 2011

Why Isn’t Our Children Learning? 11

Reading the “campus in crisis” study Academically Adrift is like being harangued over Thanksgiving dinner by your grumpy Uncle Fred. But just because he’s a long-winded old fogey doesn’t mean Uncle Fred is wrong.

February 11, 2011

Battle Shrug of the Democracy Dad 6

Amy Chua has produced a treatise on authoritarian vs. democratic political systems cleverly disguised as a parenting memoir.