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…

I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are by Rachel Bloom

Review by George Yatchisin Think of Rachel Bloom’s memoir I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are as a bathroom book. It’s written in zippy chapters—some lists, some mini-screenplays,…

My Vanishing Country by Bakari Sellers

Review by David Starkey There is much to recommend My Vanishing Country, a memoir by the former (and future?) politician and current CNN commentator Bakari Sellers. Growing up in a…

Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir by Natasha Trethewey

Review by David Starkey As she tells it in her memoir Memorial Drive, former United States Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey had a relatively idyllic childhood, especially for a biracial girl…

Self-Portrait in Black and White by Thomas Chatterton Williams

A father’s hard-earned struggle to unlearn race. Until his daughter Marlow was born, Thomas Chatterton Williams had never questioned that his children would be Black like him. Marlow’s blue eyes,…

Chasing The Light by Oliver Stone

Review by Brian Tanguay Oliver Stone was an only child, the product of a whirlwind romance between his father, a US Army officer who served under General Dwight Eisenhower, and…