Fire Island: A Century in the Life of an American Paradise by Jack Parlett

Review Essay by Walter Cummins Jack Parlett made his initial visit to the gay village of Cherry Grove on Fire Island in 2017 with his friend Celine by walking a…

The Unwritten Book: An Investigation by Samantha Hunt

Review by Walter Cummins Samantha Hunt subtitles The Unwritten Book an “Investigation.” The connotation of that word suggests a systematic analysis of clues. But what Hunt has really produced is…

In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss by Amy Bloom

Review by David Starkey Those who can remember the grief they felt for young, terminally ill Johnny Gunther when they first read John Gunther’s Death Be Not Proud, will be…

You Are All a Part of Me by Lisa del Rosso

Review by H. L. Hix In her very brief “Foreword” to You Are All a Part of Me, Lisa del Rosso declares that the essays in the book “are about…

On Juneteenth by Annette Gordon-Reed

Review by David Starkey While Annette Gordon-Reed’s On Juneteenth is, in part, about the new national holiday inspired by the events of June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, when Major…

Endings & Beginnings: Family Essays by Dewitt Henry

Review by Jack Smith Henry’s newest collection of autobiographical essays, going back over twenty-five years, takes us from beginnings to endings.  As the title suggests, this book is going to…

Festival Days by Jo Ann Beard

Review by George Yatchisin There’s an honored and honorable tradition of writers writing to explain why they write, from George Orwell to Joan Didion to Annie Dillard. Jo Ann Beard,…

Francis Bacon: Revelations by Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan

Review by David Starkey Francis Bacon: Revelations is a monumental book: the press release claim that it was “ten years in the making” doesn’t seem like an exaggeration. The notes…

Razor Wire Wilderness by Stephanie Dickinson

Review by Walter Cummins While the incarceration of Krystal Riordan dominates the pages of Razor Wire Wilderness—along with the ongoing miseries of her life since the day she was born—the…

Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss by Margaret Renkl

Late Migrations is an elegantly-crafted collection of brief essays, many less than a page long, that focus on Renkl’s family history and the way she sees reflections of that history…