American Writers (One Hundred Pages at a Time)

Episode 360: Shirley Jackson: We Have Always Lived in the Castle

I close out my series on Shirley Jackson with a review of WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVE IN THE CASTLE. This novel is a masterpiece of gothic fiction with the ultimate deception of isolation and agoraphobia. Next up, Zora Neale Hurston.

Episode 359: Shirley Jackson: The Haunting of Hill House (2)

Part two of my review of THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by Shirley Jackson.

Episode 358: Shirley Jackson: The Haunting of Hill House (1)

Part one of my review of THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by Shirley Jackson. This is an important novel in the history of American horror. Hill House is the original EVIL (not haunted) house, which would inspire King's Martsen House and the Overlook.

EPisode 357: Shirley Jackson: The Lottery and Other Stories (2)

In this episode, I take a look at the rest of Shirley Jackson's short story collected THE LOTTERY. So many good stories on race, alienation, women's role in society, family, and the meaning of home. (Lots of other themes too.) This rich collection is a must read.

Episode 356: Shirley Jackson: The Lottery and Other Stories (1)

In this episode, I begin a new series in which I examine some of the major works by the brilliant Shirley Jackson. First up will be half of THE LOTTERY AND OTHER STORIES. These are some of America's greatest short stories. Read them!

Episode 355: Jane Bowles: Stories

The finale of my series on Jane Bowles. (I know I said there may be one more.) In this episode I look at some of her stories.

Episode 354: Jane Bowles: Two Serious Ladies (2)

In the second half of Jane Bowles' TWO SERIOUS LADIES we get a closer look at the adventures of Christina Goering as we looks for freedom in seedy working class bars. Class and sexuality are explored in fascinating ways in this odd and brilliant novel.

Episode 353: Jane Bowles, Two Serious Ladies (1)

Another "Twentieth-Century Girl". In this episode I look at the only novel by Jane Bowels, TWO SERIOUS LADIES. This is really one you need to read just for the experience. It is unlike anything else.

Episode 352: Mary McCarthy: Cannibals and Missionaries (3)

It has been a long series but we have come to the end of the study of Mary McCarthy with my final look at CANNIBALS AND MISSIONARIES. Next up: Three quick episodes on Jane Bowles.

Episode 351: Mary McCarthy: Cannibals and Missionaries (2)

Part two of my review of CANNIBALS AND MISSIONARIES by Mary McCarthy. Uploading two in one day because of internet troubles in China causing delays. 

Episode 350: Mary McCarthy: Cannibals and Missionaries (1)

Terrorism, liberalism, art, and class are all explored in depth in Mary McCarthy's last novel CANNIBALS AND MISSIONARIES. I am not sure it is worth a visit, but it certainly is worth knowing about.

Episode 349: Mary McCarthy: Birds of America (2)

The finale of my review of Mary McCarthy's BIRDS OF AMERICA.

Episode 348: Mary McCarthy: Birds of America-1

While I cannot say I am a very fond of Mary McCarthy's final two novels, BIRDS OF AMERICA does have some interesting discussions about art, revolution, the expat life, and family. Check it out, or not.

Episode 347: Mary McCarthy: The Group (3)

The finale of my review of Mary McCarthy's THE GROUP. This is a must read novel if you want to know the philosophy behind second wave feminism and an overall great novel.

Episode 346: Mary McCarthy: The Group (2)

Part 2 of my review of Mary McCarthy's THE GROUP. A great novel of second-wave feminism and perhaps McCarthy's most well-known work. It is a profound look at the struggles professional women faced in the 1930s with spoke directly to the 1960s, when it was written.

Episode 345: Mary McCarthy, The Group (1)

Part one of my review of Mary McCarthy's THE GROUP. THE GROUP is a classic text of second-wave feminism in which a group of educated women deal with various social inequalities. In this first part we meet the "Group" and talk about class, birth control, and sexual freedom.

Episode 344: Mary McCarthy: A Charmed Life (2)

In A CHARMED LIFE, Mary McCarthy explores intellectual bohemians and their quite odd lives. At the center of this story is an affair between a married woman and her domineering ex-husband. The tragedy comes when she finds she might be pregnant, but who is the father?

Episode 343: Mary McCarthy: A Charmed Life (1)

Mary McCarthy's A CHARMED LIFE is a pretty interesting story about suburbia, adultery, and in-typical McCarthy fashion-intellectuals and artists acting bizarrely. Worth a read.

Episode 342: Mary McCarthy: The Groves of Academe (Part 2)

The conclusion of my review of Mary McCarthy's THE GROVES OF ACADEME. Overall, a really fun novel about the delusional and petty world of academia that still has a contemporary feel. 

Episode 341: Mary McCarthy, The Groves of Academe (1): Professors are Nuts

In THE GROVES OF ACADEME Mary McCarthy studies the insane world at a small liberal college. Like all of the other groups McCarthy studies, the whole is certainly less than the sum of its parts.

Episode 340: Mary McCarthy, The Oasis

Onto the second Mary McCarthy novel in this episode. THE OASIS is about an intentional community of crazy intellectuals doing crazy, petty, and stupid stuff. Sounds like a university.

Episode 339: Mary McCarthy, The Company She Keeps, Chapters 5-6

What a great novel! I finish my thoughts on Mary McCarthy's debut novel THE COMPANY SHE KEEPS in this episode. These chapters look at American Trotskyism and the psychological confessional.

Episode 338: Mary McCarthy, The Company She Keeps, Chapters 1-4

We begin a new series looking into the early works of the brilliant Mary McCarthy. In this episode we begin with THE COMPANY SHE KEEPS, a novel of interconnected stories dealing with the contradictions in the life of a modern American woman.

Episode 337: The Future is Female, Part 5

This is the finale episode covering the stories in THE FUTURE IS FEMALE written since 1963. One of the highlights of this section is Ursula K Le Guin's "Nine Lives" about cloning and individualism. Overall a nice anthology. Next up, Mary McCarthy.

Episode 336: The Future is Female, Part 4

This episode continues my review of the THE FUTURE IS FEMALE anthology. I look at stories from the 1960s. Women writers in during the "New Wave" era looked at themes of gender, population, family, and sexuality with a bit more intensity.

Episode 335: The Future is Female, Part 3

A few more stories from THE FUTURE IS FEMALE anthology. These are stories from the mid-1950s, including Zenna Henderson's "Ararat" and Alice Jones' "Created He Them" (a forerunner of A HANDMAID'S TALE)

Episode 334: The Future is Female, 1945-1951

This episode looks at three stories from THE FUTURE IS FEMALE edited by Lisa Yaszek. These stories cover the years 1945 to 1951 and include Wilmar Shiras' "In Hiding".

Episode 333: The Future is Female, Part 1

In this episode I look at five stories collected in THE FUTURE IS FEMALE edited by Lisa Yaszek.
Clare Winger Harris, "The Miracle of the Lily"
Leslie F. Stone, "The Conquest of Gola"
C. L. Moore, "The Black God's Kiss"
Lesli Perri, "Space Episode"
Judith Merril, "That Only a Mother"

Episode 332: Willa Cather: Sapphira and the Slave Girl

Willa Cather wrote SAPPHIRA AND THE SLAVE GIRL in 1940. This novel takes us back to pre-Civil War Virginia and looks at the sexual politics in a slave-owning household. Perhaps it is not her best novel, but it certainly gets the sexual tension in such households correct.

Episode 331: Willa Cather, Lucy Gayheart

This episode includes my thoughts on LUCY GAYHEART by Willa Cather. This novel tells the story of a naive young woman who falls in love with a married singer in Chicago. But her silliness does not excuse her scorned suitor from feeling he has been put into the imaginary "friendzone". That was a thing in the 1920s too? Men never change.