Reading Lolita in Tehran

Reading Lolita in Tehran Azar Nafisi Reading Lolita in Tehran takes you to another place–really–I mean you are “not in Kansas anymore!”  Author, Azar Nafisi envelopes you with the textural content of a post-revolution Tehran and with scenes from her teaching experience there.  She teaches fiction at University of Allameh Tabatabei, where her feminist interpretations of literary…

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Fearlessness and Loathing

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Hunter S. Thompson Hunter, Hunter, Hunter…boy, what the hell was you thinkin’?!?  My question can apply to both the story (which for me was a head scratcher) and the personal choices (tragedy to the comedy for which Hunter S. Thompson is over reaching). Let’s start with the story… I…

The New Journalism

The New Journalism Tom Wolfe Having just read The New Journalism by Tom Wolfe, I’m compelled to say something about it, but not inspired. Nonetheless, you’ve gotta love an anthology and that’s what this is; a slice out of time with Tom Wolfe as an excellent curator. He’s a straight shooter and firsthand participant, which…

Talese Writes His Way Into “College Material”

The Gay Talese Reader Gay Talese I tried to imagine Gay Talese physically positioned within each of his stories. Okay, he’s a journalist—so he is, in effect, interviewing subjects with the express intention of writing about them. I considered the physical closeness—he had to be in their space; their semi-private space in order to capture…

Incoming Fan Mail

Slouching Towards Bethlehem Joan Didion Incoming fan mail: Dear Joan Didion, the only woman presented me in this good ole’ boy’s club called “The New Journalism.” Having read three books into this “genre” I grow anxious straining to find some diversity among the new journalists. Many of you have whispered about social ills in your…

In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood Truman Capote The connection this story from 1959 has with current conundrums is uncanny.  Unfortunately it also proves that everything old is new again—especially when we see disparity with regard to socio-economic status weaved into one of the prevailing themes in this novel: an argument about capital punishment.  Nevertheless, Truman Capote artfully…

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Rebecca Skloot This is the way you want to learn about a dry topic like the history of cell culture. Throw in some human intrigue, race relations, and the evolution of women’s health, along with clinical fact, and you’ve got a book that entertains and informs. The cast of…