Book Review: LaRose

LaRose by Louise Erdrich

LaRose: A Novel by Louise Erdrich (New York: Harper, 2016. 384 pp) Louise Erdrich lives with her family in Minnesota and is the owner of Birchbark Books, an independent bookstore. She is also the bestselling author of many critically acclaimed novels for adults, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Plague of Doves and the National Book Award finalist The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse. She is also the author of the picture book Grandmother’s Pigeon, illustrated by Jim LaMarche. Woke Context plays an important role in the consumption of art. Outside of one-off art installations or performances, a reaction to any specific art form may transform over the years. NeverEnding Story played differently in my childhood… Read More →

Book Review: The Report

The Report by Jessica Francis Kane

The Report: A Novel by Jessica Francis Kane (Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2010. 240 pp) Born in Berkeley, CA, Jessica Francis Kane graduate from Yale University. Her work has earned her the Lawrence Foundation Prize and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and special mention in the Puschart Prize Anthology. She lives in New York with her husband and their two children. Unite and Divide National tragedies have a tendency to unite and divide. It whittles down to use against them. On the one hand, the “us” becomes extremely pronounced. The importance of neighbor increases when shared experience pushes a community toward teamwork and generosity. On the other hand, “them” becomes a nebulous evil…. Read More →

Book Review: The Fabric of Faithfulness

The Fabric of Faithfulness: Weaving Together Belief and Behavior by Steven Garber (Downers Grove: IVP Books, 1996. 222 pp) Dr. Steven Garber is the Founder and Principal of the Washington Institute. For many years, he taught on Capitol Hill in the American Studies Program, and then became a Scholar-in-Residence for the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He is a board member for the Ransom Fellowship, the Blood:Water Mission, A Rocha, and the Telos Project. He is also a consultant for the Wedgwood Circle, the Murdock Trust, the Demdaco Corporation, and the Mars Corporation. A Purpose-Driven Life We’ve all heard about the mission statement. Every business conjures one to varying degrees of success. But why? Everyone talks about mission but… Read More →

Book Review: What Matters?

What Matters? Economics for a Renewed Commonwealth by Wendell Berry

What Matters? Economics for a Renewed Commonwealth by Wendell Berry (Berkeley: Counterpoint, 2010. 256 pp) Born in rural Kentucky, Wendell Berry is a farmer, critic, and prolific author. He has published many novels, essays, poems, and short stories. Berry received his B.A. and M.A. in English from the University of Kentucky before attending Stanford University’s Creative Writing Program. He obtained a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and taught English at New York University before taking a position on faculty at the University of Kentucky.  After a decade of teaching, Berry purchased a farm in the Kentucky countryside where he currently works and writes about the virtues of connecting with the land. Berry has won numerous awards including the T.S. Eliot Award, the Thomas Merton Award, and the… Read More →

Book Review: NW

NW by Zadie Smith

NW: A Novel by Zadie Smith (New York: The Penguin Press, 2012. 416 pp) Zadie Smith was born in London. She went to King’s College, Cambridge University. Smith has written four novels and earned multiple awards including, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, the Commonwealth Writers’ Best Book Award, and the Orange Prize for Fiction. She is a tenured professor in the Creative Writing Program at New York University. The Power of Place The power of place reverberates much further than any of us dare to admit. While we all hold unique personalities, the broad regions and specific communities around which we orbit influence us profoundly. This reality causes people to offer broad stereotypes for different regions. For… Read More →