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Category Archives: FRL Spotlight Reviews

My Lukewarm Response to In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote You will hear almost nary a word of complaint about the MFA program I’m in. I’m happy with it. My writing has improved. I’ve made good friends. And I even forgive Aaron Shurin for making us read W.G. Sebald. But I need to gripe. Don’t get me wrong: In […]

Essays of E. B. White (Repr of 1977 ed) (Perennial Classics)

Essays of E. B. White (Repr of 1977 ed) (Perennial Classics) by E. B. White Last night I dreamed I was in the library of a private women’s college; I don’t know which one, though it was in a rural setting, so I can rule out a few. The librarians were charming and wonderful, but […]

Meatless Days

Meatless Days by Sara Suleri This week I had to write four imitations of writers we’re studying in my MFA lit class. I did the first three pretty quickly (by now I dream in Baldwin’s prose, Hoagland was fun, and Natalia Ginzburg’s “He and I” was a gimme), then was stumped. Orwell? Too hard to […]

Reviews Resumed

Thanks to Robin and Stu, I’m resuming reviews. I am reading a lot–some of it over and over again–and what the heck, it’s not hard to give a quick review a book I’ve already read three or four times. In the case of Lopate’s collection, it was therapeutic (no index? she continues to mutter…). Plus […]

The Art of the Personal Essay : An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present

The Art of the Personal Essay : An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present by Phillip Lopate Phillip Lopate’s Art of the Personal Essay is a lovable pain in the ass. It’s lovable because it’s filled with delightful and surprising choices, such as E.B. White’s “The Ring of Time” and Junichiro Tanizaki’s “In […]


About a month ago or so, I subscribed to I’m going to stay subscribed, which is its own nod of approval. It’s a writers’ resource with fabulous things going for it, from a scrupulously-maintained database of listings for thousands of publishers, agents, magazines, newspapers, contests, script markets, and other specialty writing fields, to the […]

Refworks: Yeah, Baby!

I was going to review the Writers’ Marketplace database, and honest, it’s on the list. But I’ve been using Refworks for less than a week, and I am so dazzled by this product that if I don’t share this with you right this very second, I’m going to burst. As a writer and librarian, I […]

Women Soldiers of the Civil War

In the fog and friction of homework and pre-ALA activity, blogging has been hard to get to (ironically, since one of my distractions is that along with some folks reading FRL, I’m involved in setting up the LITA blog). But books… who can’t talk about books? Early Sunday evening I stopped working on the first […]

Blog of the Week

Well, two blogs. I skim Lee Goldberg’s A Writer’s Life, a highly quotidian walk with Lee through his writing adventures, and very much sans petard. It’s comforting to be reminded that most writers deal with ennui, lack of direction, frustration, and severe work avoidance–and still love what they do. Sounds like most work, doesn’t it? […]

FRL Spotlight Review: Dr. Zeitgeist Sends His Reading List

[I wrote this piece to amuse myself during the end-of-semester revision process, during which, as one instructor noted, we spend so much time rewriting the same material that “mild nausea” sets in every time we resume work. The following is probably only funny for MFA students. Still, I wouldn’t rule out future messages from Dr. […]