Book Review: Arcadia

Arcadia: A Novel by Lauren Groff (New York: Voice, 2012. 304 pp) Born in Cooperstown, New York, Lauren Groff graduated from Amherst College and later earned an MFA in fiction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was awarded the Axton Fellowship in Fiction at the University of Louisville, and has had residencies and fellowships at Yaddo, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Vermont Studio Center, and Ragdale. Groff’s first book, The Monsters of Templeton, was a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers. She lives in Gainesville, Florida with her husband and two sons. Utopia  “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and… Read More →

Book Review: Genesis

Genesis: A Novel by Bernard Beckett (New York: First Mariner Books, 2010. 150pp) Bernard Beckett (b. 1967) is a high school teacher in Wellington, New Zealand. He teaches math, drama, and English. He wrote Genesis while researching DNA mutations. A Doctoral Thesis  I entered a vacant room. A projector glowed, brightly illuminating the tension of the space. In the next fifteen minutes, I watched academics, some of whom I knew, fill the room in quiet anxiety. Then, my friend, a hopeful doctor, entered the room, connected his computer to the projector and nervously waited for three influential professors to ascend their thrones of power. As they entered the room, the one in the middle addressed the crowd, announcing, “Welcome to… Read More →

Book Review: A Paradise Built in Hell

A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster by Rebecca Solnit (New York: Viking Press, 2009. 368 pp) Based in San Francisco, Rebecca Solnit has authored thirteen books on art, landscape, public and collective life, ecology, politics, hope, meandering, reverie, and memory. A product of the California education system, Solnit attended San Francisco State University as an undergraduate and the University of California, Berkeley where she received a Masters in Journalism. She is a contributing editor to Harper’s and often contributes articles to Tomdispatch.com. During her career, Solnit has earned a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, and a 2004 Wired Rave Award. Solitary, Poor, Nasty, Brutish, and Short… Read More →