Maureen Corrigan

Maureen Corrigan appears in the following:

On This Spanish Slave Ship, Nothing Was As It Seemed

Monday, January 27, 2014

In The Empire of Necessity, historian Greg Grandin tells the story of a slave revolt at sea. The 1805 event inspired Herman Melville's Benito Cereno, and Grandin's account of the huma...


Empty Nester In 'The Woods': A Modern Dantean Journey

Thursday, January 09, 2014

When writer Lynn Darling found herself at a turning point in her life, she sought solitude and enlightenment in the woods of Vermont. Her new memoir, Out Of The Woods, describes that ...


A Critic Tours 'Echo Spring,' Home Of Beloved Boozy Writers

Friday, January 03, 2014

A new book by critic Olivia Laing explores the link between alcohol and writing through the commentaries of famous writers who were themselves alcoholics. Fresh Air's Maureen Corrigan...


Need A Read? Here Are Maureen Corrigan's Favorite Books Of 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fresh Air's book critic says it's just a fluke that 9 of the 11 titles she picked this year were written by female authors. Her favorites include a jumbo-sized Dickensian novel, a bio...


Thanksgivukkah Stress Getting You Down? Here's A Literary Escape Plan

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Mark your calendars: According to some scholars, the next time it might happen is the year 79,811. I'm talking, of course, about the hybrid holiday of Thanksgivukkah, a melding of Thanksgiving and the Jewish Festival of Lights. The Borsch Belt-style Pilgrim jokes and mishmash recipes (turkey brined in Manischewitz, anyone?) ...


'Self-Help Messiah' Dale Carnegie Gets A Second Life In Print

Thursday, November 07, 2013

"Make the other person feel important." "Let the other fellow feel that the idea is his." "Make people like you." Those are some of the peppy commands that have sent generations of Americans out into the world, determined to win friends and influence people — oh, and make big bucks.



Dickensian Ambition And Emotion Make 'Goldfinch' Worth The Wait

Thursday, October 31, 2013

"Dickensian" is one of those literary modifiers that's overused. But before I officially retire this ruined adjective (or exile it to Australia, as Dickens himself would have done), I want to give it one final outing, because no other word will do. Here goes: Donna Tartt's grand new novel, The ...


If You're Looking To Read 'Lady Things,' Choose Jezebel Over Jones

Monday, October 21, 2013

Bridget Jones hasn't aged well. At 51, she's the "geriatric mum" of two small children, and finds herself yearning to plunge back into dating. Critic Maureen Corrigan says if you're l...


From McDermott, An Extraordinary Story Of An Ordinary 'Someone'

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Endurance, going the distance, sucking up the solitude and the brine: I'm not talking about the glorious Diana Nyad and her instantly historic swim from Cuba to Key West, but of the ordinary heroine whose life is the subject of Alice McDermott's latest novel, Someone. "Ordinary" is a word that's ...


A Gossipy, Nostalgic History Of A Publishing 'Hothouse'

Thursday, August 15, 2013

In the world of book publishing, ravaged though it may be, the name Farrar, Straus & Giroux still bespeaks literary quality. It's a publishing house that boasts a roll call of 25 Nobel Prize winners and heavyweights like Susan Sontag, Carlos Fuentes, Joan Didion, Philip Roth and Jonathan Franzen. A ...


'Love Affairs' Of A Hip, Young Literary Hound Dog

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Before I read Adelle Waldman's brilliant debut novel, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., I had about as much interest in reading about the hip, young literary types who've colonized Brooklyn as I do in watching Duck Dynasty, that reality show about a family of bearded Luddites who live in ...


With 'Arrangements' And 'The Rest,' Two Debut Novelists Arrive

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The novel I've been recommending this summer to anyone, female or male, who's looking for the trifecta — a good story that's beautifully written and both hilarious and humane — is Seating Arrangements, Maggie Shipstead's debut novel from last summer. I was about to go all old-school and excitedly add ...


The Only Surprise In Rowling's 'Cuckoo's Calling' Is The Author

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Call it "The Mystery of the Missing Book Sales" — and I don't think we'll be needing to bring Sherlock Holmes in to solve this one. In April, a debut mystery called The Cuckoo's Calling was published. It appeared to be written by an unknown British writer named Robert Galbraith, ...


American Mystery Finds A New Voice On 'The Bohemian Highway'

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

It's been a while since I've heard a distinctive new American voice in mystery fiction: That Girl With the Dragon Tattoo dame seems to have put our homegrown hard-boiled detectives in the deep freeze. The mystery news of the past few years has chiefly come out of the Land of ...


In 'TransAtlantic,' The Flight Is Almost Too Smooth

Monday, June 17, 2013

Here we go into the wild blue yonder again with Colum McCann. In his 2009 novel, Let the Great World Spin, McCann swooped readers up into the air with the French aerialist Philippe Petit, who staged an illegal high-wire stunt walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center ...


After WWII, A Letter Of Appreciation That Still Rings True

Monday, May 27, 2013

In the fall of 1945, my father was honorably discharged from the Navy. He was one of the lucky ones. He'd served on a destroyer escort during the war, first in convoys dodging U-boats in the Atlantic and then in the Pacific where his ship, the USS Schmitt, shot down ...


Coming To 'Americanah': Two Tales Of Immigrant Experience

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

First things first: Can we talk about hair? Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has written a big knockout of a novel about immigration, American dreams, the power of first love, and the shifting meanings of skin color; but, as Adichie has said in interviews, she also knows that black women's ...


Postgraduate Post-Mortem In A Smart, Literary Mystery

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

There are many things to savor about Elanor Dymott's debut suspense novel, Every Contact Leaves a Trace -- among them, its baroque narrative structure and its clever manipulation of the stock, husband-who-hasn't-got-a-clue character. But Dymott really won me over when she pulled Robert Browning out of her crime kit. Nobody ...


Godwin's 'Flora': A Tale Of Remorse That Creeps Under Your Skin

Monday, May 06, 2013

Gail Godwin says one of the inspirations for her new novel, called Flora, is Henry James' ghost story The Turn of the Screw. Both stories take place in isolated old houses, and both revolve around mental contests between a governess character and her young charge. There are ghosts in Flora, ...


'Equilaterial': Martians, Oil And A Hole In The Desert

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Equilateral is a weird little novel, but any reader familiar with Ken Kalfus expects his writing to go off-road. Kalfus wrote one of the best and certainly the least sentimental novels about New York City post-9/11. I loved A Disorder Peculiar to the Country, but I stopped assigning it to ...