Book Review: American Pastoral

American Pastoral by Philip Roth

American Pastoral by Philip Roth (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997. 423 pp) Philip Roth is a novelist born in Newark, New Jersey. He attended Bucknell University and earned his M.A. in English literature from the University of Chicago. He taught at the University of Iowa, Princeton University, and the University of Pennsylvania. Roth has earned numerous awards during his career including, the National Book Award, the National Book Circle Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the Franz Kafka Prize. Plot and Structure I’m reading a book on plot and structure. It provides a fascinating look under the hood of narrative and story. One revealing item that now seems self-evident surrounds the differentiation between literary fiction and popular fiction. I… Read More →

Book Review: Gilead

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Gilead: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson (New York: Picador, 2004. 247 pp) Born in Sandpoint, Idaho, Marilynne Robinson earned her B.A. at Pembroke College and her Ph.D. in English from the University of Washington. She currently teaches at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her work has received numerous awards, notably the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Pulitzer Prize, and a National Humanities Medal. Exploring Literary I often struggle to explain the kind of literature I enjoy. On one hand, my tastes vary. I want this variety because it’s some sort of cliché resembling the spice of life. But even more, I believe variety helps me to be a well-rounded… Read More →