Articles by Michael Bourne

May 16, 2013

Up Shit Creek, Sans Paddle: On David Waltner-Toews’s The Origin of Feces 2

The Origins of Feces is a genial book, and often a kick to read, but I put it down thinking two things: 1. I will never look at shit the same way again; and 2. We are in deep shit.

April 29, 2013

Say Goodbye to the Play-by-Play Book Review 9

In an increasingly digital world, literary critics need to become less like play-by-play announcer Joe Buck and more like color commentator Tim McCarver.

April 1, 2013

Amazon Announces Purchase of English™ 25

Plans are also in the works to acquire German, Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese, Bezos said, as well as several nonstandard dialects of English™, including African-American Vernacular English, popular among the highly desirable 18-25 upscale suburban demographic.

March 12, 2013

Who Are We Without Our Stories? Jonathan Dee’s A Thousand Pardons 3

The first twenty pages has the feel of a cable TV pilot, not the opening chapter of a literary novel. I even cast it in my mind, and became half-convinced that if I could just get Alison Janney to commit to play Helen, I could have it on HBO in time for the fall season.

February 20, 2013

‘God, Let Me Be Loved’: The Tragedy of Truman Capote 11

If Capote the writer has been eclipsed in the public mind by Capote the Hollywood movie character, no one is more to blame than Capote himself. Capote, in his way, was a reality TV star before there was reality TV, always on stage, gossiping and backstabbing, forever plotting to push other people off the island.

February 1, 2013

Peeling Back the Oprah Seal: Ayana Mathis’s Twelve Tribes of Hattie 8

It is high time defenders of American literary fiction cut Oprah Winfrey a break.

January 3, 2013

My New Year’s Resolution: Read Fewer Books 51

I’m a genius, I’ve been quietly telling myself for the past 13 years, and nobody even knows it.

December 16, 2012

A Year in Reading: Michael Bourne 0

Flynn is especially good at creating damaged, dangerous women whose deeply imagined inner lives break your heart even as the characters create havoc in the lives of the people around them.

November 30, 2012

The Art of Being The Boss: On Peter Ames Carlin’s Bruce 1

While Bruce is too often a workmanlike affair, one comes away from this new Springsteen biography happy that its author had the good sense to get out of the way and just let Bruce be Bruce.

November 28, 2012

A Backward Glance at the ‘Brooklyn Renaissance’ 16

Mock all you want, but for the moment, if you want to write literary fiction or poetry, Brooklyn is still the place to be.