January 17, 2013 The National Book Critics Circle has announced that two feminist literary scholars, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, will receive a lifetime achievement award. Critic Maureen Corrigan says their groundbreaking 1979 book, The Madwoman in the Attic, changed the way we read.
January 15, 2013 At the beginning of January, the cover story of The New York Times Magazine declared: "George Saunders Has Written The Best Book You'll Read This Year." The stories in the author's latest collection, The Tenth of December, prove that The Times may well be right.
January 4, 2013 A new mystery by novelist Zygmunt Miloszewski explores Poland's relationship to its anti-Semitic past. Teodor Szacki, the likably washed-up hero, must sprint all over town interrogating suspects, including so-called Polish "patriots" — extremists who bombard him with their anti-Semitic rants.
December 19, 2012 Femmes fatales and their crafty female creators dominate this year's mystery and thriller picks. Critic Maureen Corrigan wonders whether it takes a woman to capture the evil that can hide behind a lip-glossed smile and pair of shining eyes.
December 13, 2012 An unemployed couple prepares to divorce in order to protect what little assets they have, and a 15-year-old suffers the fallout of his parents' bank heist. Many of Corrigan's top 2012 reads tell stories — imagined and real — about people who felt like they didn't know what hit them.
December 13, 2012 2012 was a very jittery year — what with the presidential election, extreme weather events and the looming "fiscal cliff." Fresh Air critic Maureen Corrigan found that her favorite fiction and nonfiction this year directly confronted the atmospheric uncertainty of the age.
December 7, 2012 Two new biographical studies that read like novels explore the familial relationships that shaped two of the 19th century's most beloved authors. Critic Maureen Corrigan calls Great Expectations: The Sons And Daughters Of Charles Dickens "a Gothic nightmare" and Marmee & Louisa "a romance."
November 20, 2012 Jami Attenberg's black comedy about the fallout of one woman's food addiction is a tough but affecting story about family members putting up with each other. Critic Maureen Corrigan says the novel's fragmented narration and jumpy timeline add to its emotional punch.
November 14, 2012 The novelist has won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Booker Prize and the Whitbread Award. His latest novel, however, earns the ire of critic Maureen Corrigan, who usually numbers among McEwan's fans but finds herself dismayed by this book's attitudes toward women.
November 5, 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Russo began looking out for his mother early in life. In his new memoir, Elsewhere, Russo writes not only of his mother, but of the vanished world that shaped her. Critic Maureen Corrigan calls the book "gorgeously nuanced."
October 11, 2012 In A.M. Homes' suburbia, yawning sinkholes will suddenly open up in front lawns, swallowing cliched plotlines and opening portals to other dimensions. In her latest novel, she serves up an old-fashioned American story that's more Norman Bates than Norman Rockwell.
October 4, 2012 Junot Diaz's electric new collection of short stories centers around Yunior, a macho yet mournful Dominican-American man. In these stories about love, lust and infidelity, a good man is hard to find — and when he is found, he's always in bed with someone else.
September 25, 2012 Charles Rowan Beye has been married three times — to two women and a man. Now, over age 80, he looks back on his life and asks, "What was that all about?" Critic Maureen Corrigan says Beye's memoir, subtitled "A Gay Man's Odyssey," is a complex, poignant addition to the sexual canon.