Articles by Michael Bourne

June 6, 2016

Look at Your Game, Girl: On Emma Cline’s ‘The Girls’ 37

There is so much I wish I could unknow about Emma Cline and her debut novel The Girls.

December 20, 2015

A Year in Reading: Michael Bourne 0

So this is what it would be like to meet one of my favorite authors while on acid.

November 24, 2015

A Visit to Planet North Korea: On Adam Johnson’s ‘The Orphan Master’s Son’ 6

After Adam Johnson’s surprise win of the National Book Award for Fortune Smiles last week, readers new to Johnson’s work may also want to make room on their Christmas wish lists for his 2012 novel, The Orphan Master’s Son.

November 2, 2015

#NaGrafWriMo: Welcome to National Paragraph Writing Month! 8

It can take more talent, determination, and hard work to write one good paragraph than an entire lousy book.

October 19, 2015

Pulp Nonfiction: The Art and Business of Memoir 3

Whether its practitioners like to admit it or not, contemporary memoir, to a far greater degree than contemporary fiction, is an agents’ and editors’ medium.

October 1, 2015

Apocalypse Now: Claire Vaye Watkins’s ‘Gold Fame Citrus’ 1

Gold Fame Citrus takes an important step away from the moral convenience of cataclysm-as-metaphor — or, in lesser novels, cataclysm-as-plot-starter — toward an angrier, more urgent form that insists its reader do more than wallow in free-floating anxiety about the future.

August 24, 2015

Joan Didion, America’s Truth-Teller 2

Joan Didion possessed the luck of serving as a human tuning fork for the anxieties of her age and the dogged curiosity to pursue those anxieties wherever they led.

August 20, 2015

What Was the Matter with Kansas? On Andrew Malan Milward’s ‘I Was a Revolutionary’ 0

Unlike many young writers, Milward’s gaze isn’t directed at his own navel, but outward at the rough, strange history of the state that formed him.

July 22, 2015

America, Meet the Real Atticus Finch 4

Whatever its true provenance, Go Set a Watchman, despite some deft prose and sharp dialogue, fails as a work of art in every way except as a corrective to the standard sentimental reading of Atticus Finch.

July 13, 2015

No More Lies: The Great Second-Half 2015 Nonfiction Preview 2

Today, we offer a preview of some of the most compelling nonfiction titles set to arrive in bookstores between now and December.