Yet Doctorow often saved his most daring and charged prose for his non-fiction, especially his numerous essays published over four decades in The Nation, a journal of which he was a longtime supporter. Collected here for the first time, Doctorow’s Nation essays show a brilliant writer probing through the detritus of American politics and culture for glimpses of intact American ideals. Often he finds them; sometimes, painfully, he does not.
Whether paying homage to a literary ancestor, F. Scott Fitzgerald, or celebrating art as "a natural resource as critical to us and our identity and our survival as are our oil, our coal, our timber," the essays collected in Citizen Doctorow are an unforgettable account of the American scene as understood by one of its most penetrating observers. Together, they offer a conclusive proof that, as Faulkner, one of Doctorow’s greatest influences, once put it, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
E.L. Doctorow is the author of Ragtime and City of God, among others. His new book, Andrew's Brain, is now available.
'Mitchell is an exceptionally clever, eloquent and spot-on commentator . . . We should be grateful for him.' Daily Mail
David Mitchell's 2014 bestseller Thinking About It Only Makes It Worse must really have made people think - because everything's got worse. We've gone from UKIP surge to Brexit shambles, from horsemeat in lasagne to Donald Trump in the White House, from Woolworths going under to all the other shops going under. It's probably socially irresponsible even to attempt to cheer up.
But if you're determined to give it a go, you might enjoy this eclectic collection (or eclection) of David Mitchell's attempts to make light of all that darkness. Scampi, politics, the Olympics, terrorism, exercise, rude street names, inheritance tax, salad cream, proportional representation and farts are all touched upon by Mitchell's unremitting laser of chit-chat, as he negotiates a path between the commercialisation of Christmas and the true spirit of Halloween. Read this book and slightly change your life!