Articles by Michael Bourne

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.

October 29, 2012

Staff Pick: The New Jim Crow 4

Thanks in large part to the drug war, more than 2 million people, disproportionate numbers of them black and Hispanic, are locked up in America’s prisons, giving us an incarceration rate of 750 per 100,000 people, higher than in Russia, China or Iran.

September 25, 2012

The ‘You’ In Yunior: Junot Diaz’s This Is How You Lose Her 3

Yunior is not a bad guy, but he is growing up, and as Diaz is honest enough to admit in this collection, getting older isn’t necessarily all mellowing out and seeing the error in your youthful ways.

September 12, 2012

Golden Oldie: Michael Chabon’s Telegraph Avenue 9

Until the final pages, when the meshugas that is the plot of Chabon’s novel finally falls of its own weight, Telegraph Avenue is a sparkling, mesmerizing read.

August 30, 2012

Keeping the Faith: Ten Days at Bread Loaf 13

The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the oldest and most prestigious of its kind in the country, is a curious mix of summer camp, trade convention, and religious retreat.

August 15, 2012

“A Right Fit”: Navigating the World of Literary Agents 100

If it sounds like I’m saying, “It’s all about who you know,” that’s because that is exactly what I’m saying. You can rail about how unfair that is, and how it makes publishing into an incestuous little club, and to a degree you would be right. But that’s the way the machine is built, people.