“Anyone who reads independently and spiritedly is going to carry an eclectic canon around in his head,” writes Christian Wiman. “That is half the fun of it all.” For the past five years or so, I have had the responsibility of coming up with the novels to put on the Century’s list of Christmas picks for fiction. At first I was baffled by this job. Did I have to read every new book?
December 5, 2012

Fictional pastors

Douglas Alan Walrath's astute survey of American novels about clergy is essential reading for budding pastors—as well as for anybody who wants to understand why we American clergy are the way we are.
April 10, 2011

Free for what?

Franzen has turned his considerable novelistic talents to a kind of inquisito­rial examination of the American ideal of freedom. He shows how freedom is negatively construed—focused on what we are free from and not on what freedom might be for, what worthy ends it might be used to pursue.
October 17, 2010