Monthly Archives: February 2012

R.I.P. for William Gay, Contemporary Southern Gothic Fiction Master: the Day the Banjo Music Died

So a friend sent me this notice this morning, and I’m sorry to hear it: William Gay, author of The Long Home (1999), which my editor, Greg Michalson, edited and published; I Hate To See That Evening Sun Go Down … Continue reading

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On Charles Murray’s “Coming Apart”: It Comes Apart at the End

So I have to say this about Charles Murray’s just-published, semi-controversial look at the state of White America, Coming Apart: The State of White America1960-2010: I read it all the way through to the end, rather quickly, too—in a few days. … Continue reading

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Review of Thomas Mallon’s “Watergate” in the Dallas Morning News

So I’ve reviewed Thomas Mallon’s new novel Watergate in the Dallas Morning News today, and it can be found here: Janet Maslin reviewed the same book this week in the daily NY Times book reviews, and I thought her … Continue reading

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The Year Without a Winter, and Just How Many Republican Voters Does It Take to Pick a Kook?

So as we slide down the (snow-free) hill that is the rest of February 2012—usually the coldest month here in central Pennsylvania, temperatures usually below freezing, and often in the single digits at night—I think we should (un)officially start dubbing … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Education, The West, books | Leave a comment

On Reading Charles Murray’s “Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010″: Changes in College Attendance and the Blue-Collar Work Ethic

So I’m reading Charles Murray’s much-talked-about analysis of the state of our States, Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010, and I have to say that so far it’s fascinating. I’m on the opposite end of the political spectrum … Continue reading

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Facebook Will Make You Sad, and That’s Funny, Kind of

So I love this, in the NY Times today: “A study published last month in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking found that the more time people spent on Facebook, the happier they perceived their friends to be and … Continue reading

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On Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” & Thomas Mallon’s new novel “Watergate”

So I’ve recently reviewed Thomas Mallon’s new novel titled Watergate, due out this week, I believe, and watched Terrence Malick’s acclaimed film The Tree of Life (2011). First off, Malick’s film is gorgeous if at times a bit pretentious and … Continue reading

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On Being a “Tiger Dad,” With a Nod to Amy Chua’s “The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”

So I’m having a little more sympathy for the famous “Tiger Mom” Amy Chua (author of The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother) of late, as I’m now trying to work every day on teaching my daughter to read. She attends … Continue reading

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Death of an MFA Program, an Insider’s View

So as is becoming known throughout the university world and blogosphere, Penn State cut the funding for its MFA program, of which I’m the director, and we’ve chosen to cease admitting new students, rather than expect them to pay many … Continue reading

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