Ours is a culture of confession, yet money remains a distinctly taboo subject for most Americans. In this riveting anthology, a host of celebrated writers explore the complicated role money has played in their lives, whether they’re hiding from creditors or hiding a trust fund. This collection will touch a nerve with anyone who’s ever been afraid to reveal their bank balance.
In these wide-ranging personal essays, Daniel Handler, Walter Kirn, Jill McCorkle, Meera Nair, Henry Alford, Susan Choi, and other acclaimed authors write with startling candor about how money has strengthened or undermined their closest relationships. Isabel Rose talks about the trials and tribulations of dating as an heiress. Tony Serra explains what led him to take a forty-year vow of poverty. September 11 widow Marian Fontana illuminates the heartbreak and moral complexities of victim compensation. Jonathan Dee reveals the debt that nearly did him in. And in paired essays, Fred Leebron and his wife Katherine Rhett discuss the way fights over money have shaken their marriage to the core again and again.
We talk openly about our romantic disasters and family dramas, our problems at work and our battles with addiction. But when it comes to what is or is not in our wallets, we remain determinedly mum. Until now, that is. Money Changes Everything is the first anthology of its kind—an unflinching and on-the-record collection of essays filled with entertaining and enlightening insights into why we spend, save, and steal.
The pieces in Money Changes Everything range from the comic to the harrowing, yet they all reveal the complex, emotionally charged role money plays in our lives by shattering the wall of silence that has long surrounded this topic.
Who owns ideas? How clear is the distinction between fiction and nonfiction? Has the velocity of digital culture rendered traditional modes obsolete? Exploring these and related questions, Shields orchestrates a chorus of voices, past and present, to reframe debates about the veracity of memoir and the relevance of the novel. He argues that our culture is obsessed with “reality,” precisely because we experience hardly any, and urgently calls for new forms that embody and convey the fractured nature of contemporary experience.
From his early-seventies dispatches as a fledgling critic for The Village Voice on rock ’n’ roll, comedy, movies, and television to the literary criticism of the eighties and nineties that made him both feared and famous to his must-read reports on the cultural weather for Vanity Fair, James Wolcott has had a career as a freelance critic and a literary intellectual nearly unique in our time. This collection features the best of Wolcott in whatever guise—connoisseur, intrepid reporter, memoirist, and necessary naysayer—he has chosen to take on.
Included in this collection is “O.K. Corral Revisited,” a fresh take on the famed Norman Mailer–Gore Vidal dustup on The Dick Cavett Show that launched Wolcott from his Maryland college to New York City (via bus) to begin his brilliant career. His prescient review of Patti Smith’s legendary first gig at CBGB leads off a suite of eyewitness and insider accounts of the rise of punk rock, while another set of pieces considers the vast cultural influence of the enigmatic Johnny Carson and the scramble of his late-night successors to inherit the “swivel throne.” There are warm tributes to such diverse figures as Michael Mann, Sam Peckinpah, Lester Bangs, and Philip Larkin and masterly summings-up of the departed giants of American literature—John Updike, William Styron, John Cheever, and Mailer and Vidal. Included as well are some legendary takedowns that have entered into the literary lore of our time.
Critical Mass is a treasure trove of sparkling, spiky prose and a fascinating portrait of our lives and cultural times over the past decades. In an age where a great deal of back scratching and softball pitching pass for criticism, James Wolcott’s fearless essays and reviews offer a bracing taste of the real critical thing.
In Colson Whitehead: The Postracial Voice of Contemporary Literature, Kimberly Fain explores the work of this literary trailblazer, discussing how his novels reconstruct the American identity to be inclusive rather than exclusive and thus broaden the scope of who is considered an American. Whitehead attempts this feat by including African Americans among the class of people who may achieve the American Dream, assuming they are educated and economically mobile. While the conflicts faced by his characters are symptoms of the universal human condition, they assimilate at the expense of cultural alienation and emotional emptiness.
In addition to The Intuitionist, Fain also examines John Henry Days, Apex Hides the Hurt, The Colossus of New York, Sag Harbor, and Zone One, demonstrating how they bend genre tropes and approach literary motifs from a postracial perspective. Comparing the author to his African American and American literary forebears, as well as examining his literary ambivalence between post-blackness and postracialism, Colson Whitehead offers readers a unique insight to one of the most important authors of the twenty-first century. As such, this book will be of interest to scholars of African American literature, American literature, African American studies, American studies, multicultural studies, gender studies, and literary theory.
If every outlet for book criticism suddenly disappeared — if all we had were reviews that treated books like any other commodity — could the novel survive? In a gauntlet-throwing essay at the start of this brilliant assemblage, Cynthia Ozick stakes the claim that, just as surely as critics require a steady supply of new fiction, novelists need great critics to build a vibrant community on the foundation of literary history. For decades, Ozick herself has been one of our great critics, as these essays so clearly display. She offers models of critical analysis of writers from the mid-twentieth century to today, from Saul Bellow, Bernard Malamud, and Kafka, to William Gass and Martin Amis, all assembled in provocatively named groups: Fanatics, Monsters, Figures, and others. Uncompromising and brimming with insight, these essays are essential reading for anyone facing the future of literature in the digital age.
Для всіх, хто вважає Миколу Рябчука насамперед блискучим літературним критиком і жалкує за його відходом у публіцистику та політологію, пропонована книжка може стати непоганим інтелектуальним подарунком, а заразом і підтвердженням, що автор покинув свій перший фах не цілком і не остаточно. Літературно-критичні статті та нариси, що увійшли до збірки «Постколоніальний синдром», об’єднує тема самостановлення української літератури й культури, їхнього нелегкого визволення з-під імперського домінування і ще складнішого подолання власних комплексів, засвоєння різнорідної культурної спадщини, реінтепретації літературно-мистецьких цінностей і канонів, та формування діалогічного простору як передумови входження у світовий контекст. Фахова ерудиція, добрий письменницький стиль і знаменитий рябчуківський хист полеміста роблять цю книжку не лише академічно цікавою, а й белетристично захопливою.
Пропоновані тексти писалися впродовж майже двох десятиліть – як реакція, здебільшого полемічна, чи, принаймні, діалогічна, на цілком конкретні події, тексти та явища. Це, зрозуміло, робить книжку дещо мозаїчною, позбавляє її належної монографічної цілісності, але компенсує ці вади конкретикою, наочністю та жвавістю есеїстичного викладу, яких часто бракує суто теоретичним працям.
In his seminal article, Erik Bledsoe distinguishes Rough South writers from such writers as William Faulkner and Erskine Caldwell. Younger writers who followed Harry Crews were born into and write about the Rough South. These writers undercut stereotypes, forcing readers to see the working poor differently.
The next pieces begin with those on Crews and Cormac McCarthy, major influences on an entire generation. Later essays address members of both groups—the self-educated and the college-educated. Both groups share a clear understanding of the value of working-class southerners. Nearly all of the writers hold a reverence for the South’s landscape and its inhabitants as well as an affinity for realistic depictions of setting and characters.