American Writers (One Hundred Pages at a Time)

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.

Episode 330: Willa Cather, Shadows on the Rock, 2

We say good bye to colonial French Canada and another of Willa Cather's excellent novels in part two of my review of SHADOWS ON THE ROCK. I loved the characters and setting in this one.

Episode 329: Willa Cather: Shadows on the Rock, 1

What was life like on late 17th century French Canada? I have no idea, but Willa Cather paints a nice picture of a socially diverse but united community. And in good Cather style we see the conflict between the evolving frontier and the home culture.

Episode 328: Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop, 2

Spoiler alert. He dies.

In this episode, I look at the the second half of DEATH COMES FOR THE ARCHBISHOP by Willa Cather. We continue to follow two priests who play a role in taming the New Mexico frontier, for better or for (probably) worse.

Episode 327: WIlla Cather: Death Comes for the Archbishop, 1

After the U.S. stole half of Mexico, the Catholic church formed a new diocese in New Mexico. In DEATH COMES FOR THE ARCHBISHOP, Willa Cather tells the story of how the church played its role in bringing this frontier to heel.

Episode 326: Willa Cather, The Professor’s House-2

In this episode, I finish looking at Willa Cather's THE PROFESSOR'S HOUSE. In the second half we get a look at the background of Tom Outland, a look at the ancient southwest civilizations, amateur archeology, the indifference of bureaucracy, and the resolution to the Professor's mid-life crisis.

Episode 325: Willa Cather: The Professor’s House, Part 1

I look at the first half of THE PROFESSOR'S HOUSE by Willa Cather. This book is a fascinating look at academia, family, and a mid-life crisis.

Episode 324: I Am Back! Willa Cather, A Lost Lady

In this episode I take a look at a splendid little novel deconstructing the heroic age of the frontier: A LOST LADY by Willa Cather. While only 100 pages, it seems to tell the entire story of the American West.

Episode 323: The Writings of Abraham Lincoln 1865

The finale of my series on Abraham Lincoln and on American political history in the 19th century. Next up, "Twentieth Century Girls": A series on American women writers.

Episode 321: Lincoln Re-elected (Writings of Abraham Lincoln 1864)

In 1864, Grant took command of the Union armies, Lincoln was re-elected, Atlanta fell and Sherman gave his president Savannah as a Christmas present. We look at all of these things and the impact of emancipation on American politics and the war effort in this episode.