American literature

Jonathan Galassi’s fictional poet made me doubt my knowledge of American literature

15 August 2015 9:00 am

Jonathan Galassi is an American publisher, poet and translator. In his debut novel Muse, his passion for the ‘good old…

Eugene O’Neill with his last wife, the actress Carlotta Monterey, who safeguarded him, and enabled him to write his later plays, though friends and family considered her his jailer

Eugene O’Neill: the dark genius of American theatre

29 November 2014 9:00 am

George Bernard Shaw called him a ‘Yankee Shakespeare peopling his isle with Calibans’. He was dubbed ‘a fighting Tolstoy’ and…

No worries: John Updike in his late fifties, on the beach at Swampscott, Mass

Up close and personal

26 April 2014 9:00 am

What should a writer write about? The question, so conducive to writer’s block, is made more acute when the writer…

Samuel Beckett walks into a nail bar

29 March 2014 9:00 am

It isn’t very often that a writer’s work is so striking that you can remember exactly where and when you…

William S. Burroughs was a writer – not a painter, prophet, philosopher

8 February 2014 9:00 am

William S. Burroughs lived his life in the grand transgressive tradition of Lord Byron and Oscar Wilde and, like all…

The two people who brought us The Grapes of Wrath

25 January 2014 9:00 am

John Steinbeck (1902–1968), an ardent propagandist for the exploited underdogs of the Great Depression, had barely enough money for subsistence…

Critics can be creative - look at Malcolm Cowley

11 January 2014 9:00 am

Even Spectator book reviewers have to concede that their craft is inferior to the creative travail of authors. Henry James…

The Selected Letters of Willa Cather, edited by Andrew Jewell - review

17 August 2013 9:00 am

Willa Cather is an American novelist without name-recognition in Europe, yet she had a wider range of subject and deeper…