Articles by Michael Bourne

June 19, 2012

Our First Jadak President: David Maraniss’ Barack Obama 3

Barack Obama is a wholly new kind of American president, part white, part African, who wears sarongs and is fluent in Hawaiian pidgin.

May 23, 2012

Across the Border: Richard Ford’s Canada 8

One comes away from Canada feeling as though a less gifted author was trying to write a knock-off of a Richard Ford novel, and has made a hash of it.

May 8, 2012

Appearing Elsewhere 0

The spiffy new Los Angeles Review of Books website has posted my review of Ben Fountain’s new novel, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.  

May 3, 2012

America’s Jug-Eared Achilles: Robert Caro’s The Passage of Power 2

In this five-volume biography, Caro is trying to write the epic poem of The American Century, with tall, jug-eared, foul-mouthed LBJ as his flawed tragic hero.

April 30, 2012

The Bathrobe Era: What the Death of Print Newspapers Means for Writers 22

We are creating a generation of riff artists, who see their job not as creating wholly new original projects but as commenting upon cultural artifacts that already exist.

April 20, 2012

Appearing Elsewhere 0

Ever wonder what writing contests do with the money they earn from entrance fees? Poets & Writers has posted detailed 2011 budgets from three of the country’s most prestigious book prizes, collected as part of my piece in the May/June issue of the magazine on the economics of writing contests.

April 10, 2012

The Activity That Dare Not Speak Its Name: My Mother’s Secret Literary Life 14

Tin House? Glimmer Train? What kind of secret life was my 72-year-old mother leading?

March 26, 2012

Staff Pick: E.L. Doctorow’s The Book of Daniel 0

The Book of Daniel is metafiction done right, by an author who cares as much about telling stories as he does about talking about telling stories.

March 23, 2012

I Am Not A Character: On Thomas Mallon’s Watergate 4

One cannot read Watergate without thinking that, in key elements of structure and characterization, Mallon the partisan got the better of Mallon the novelist.

March 13, 2012

Letter from Scott Turow 1

Anyone who cares about the financial viability of the book business should read Author’s Guild President Scott Turow’s open letter on the implications of the government’s threatened anti-trust suit against major publishers and Apple over alleged collusion in e-book pricing.