Maureen Corrigan

Maureen Corrigan, book critic for NPR's Fresh Air, is a critic-in-residence and lecturer at Georgetown University. She is an associate editor of and contributor to Mystery and Suspense Writers (Scribner) and the winner of the 1999 Edgar Award for Criticism, presented by the Mystery Writers of America. Corrigan's literary memoir, Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading! was published in 2005. Corrigan is also a reviewer and columnist for The Washington Post's Book World. In addition to serving on the advisory panel of The American Heritage Dictionary, she has chaired the Mystery and Suspense judges' panel of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

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12:01pm

Wed October 12, 2011
Book Reviews

'Lost Memory Of Skin' Goes Where Most Fiction Won't

You've got to hand it to Russell Banks: He's certainly not writing with an eye to please readers or to be taken up by book clubs across the land. Lost Memory of Skin is not aiming to be a "crossover" literary stealth hit. If you're going to read it, you're the one who will have to "cross over" to Banks' world, and it ain't very pretty on his side of the social divide.

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10:01am

Tue June 14, 2011
Books We Like

'State Of Wonder' Deftly Twists, Turns Off The Map

It's not often that a novel leaves me (temporarily) speechless. But Ann Patchett's new novel isn't called State of Wonder for nothing, because that's exactly the state I've been in ever since I first opened it. The numbness has worn off by now, but for days, all I could say to friends who asked me about it was the one-word review: "Wow."

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10:07am

Mon June 13, 2011
Books We Like

'Guilty Passion' Leads A Housewife To Homicide

Lust makes people do crazy things — as demonstrated by the almost weekly addition of yet another politician to our national walk of shame. But, bad as the marital infidelities and lewd twitterings of our elected officials may be, there's cold comfort to be found in the fact that none of them have gone completely over the edge.

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12:00pm

Thu June 2, 2011
Book Reviews

Summer Reads To Transport You Back In Time

Summer, when I was a kid, meant weekend road-trips in our family Rambler to sites of historical interest. We'd pack up deviled-ham sandwiches and Cokes and make pilgrimages from our apartment in Queens to Teddy Roosevelt's house on Long Island or Washington Irving's house in Westchester. Sometimes there were longer expeditions to Valley Forge and, once, Williamsburg. I'm not sure how much history I absorbed; I mostly remember a lot of candle-making demonstrations.

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10:01am

Wed June 1, 2011
Books

Crime Fiction Picks Serve Up Summertime Suspense

Chris Silas Neal

Pining for another suspenseful summer in Scandinavia?

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11:00am

Thu May 26, 2011
Book Reviews

'The Sentimentalists': Submerged Emotions Surface

This is the kind of novel that the traditional publishing industry isn't supposed to have room for any longer: a slim debut novel graced by inventive language and a haunting atmosphere. In other words, a novel that, if it's lucky, can be estimated to attract maybe 15 readers outside of the author's family. But Johanna Skibsrud's novel, The Sentimentalists, has already had more than its share of first-time work of fiction luck.

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11:23am

Wed May 11, 2011
Book Reviews

'Big Girl Small': Humiliation, High School Style

 

Don't read this novel if you have teenagers. Or ever were a teenager — especially a teenage girl. It will bring back high school in raw, oozing detail, like a psychic skinned knee. The cliques, the whispers, the glossy girls, the frantic parties, the stupid drinking, the disconnected sexual encounters and, perhaps worst of all, the carnival of lost souls that is the lunchtime cafeteria. High school: a world so hostile to the outsider that even a Navy Seal might hesitate at the threshold.

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11:05am

Wed May 4, 2011
Book Reviews

WWI: A Moral Contest Between Pacifists And Soldiers

Adam Hochschild frames his pensive narrative history about the first World War with accounts of his own walks through what once was the Western Front. He describes it as "a thin band of territory, stretching through northern France and [a] corner of Belgium [that] has the greatest concentration of young men's graves in the world."

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11:15am

Tue April 19, 2011
Books We Like

An Old Romance Blooms Anew In 'Love Of My Youth'

To fully give yourself over to Mary Gordon's luscious, wistful new novel, you first have to make yourself forget that the Internet exists.

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10:27am

Tue March 22, 2011
Books We Like

The Joy Of The Mundane In 'Emily, Alone'

It takes a deft hand to do justice to the ordinary. Most novelists don't even bother to try, which is why most novels are about a rip in the fabric of the routine. It's tough to find fiction ambitious enough to tackle the story of a run-of-the-mill job, a hum-drum family; but, if the mundane matters to you, then Stewart O'Nan is your man.

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