Read more about the article Review: Avner Landes (2021) Meiselman: The Lean Years.
Watercolour Portrait by Cain S. Pinto (2022)

Review: Avner Landes (2021) Meiselman: The Lean Years.

The titular protagonist of Meiselman: The Lean Years has at the age of thirty-six had an epiphany: he’s been a pushover ever since he can remember, and he doesn’t want to be the good guy who finishes last. He is neither a hero nor a celebrity, neither likeable nor engaging though he tries valiantly to rise to each description. Alas, yeast is wanting. 

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Read more about the article Review: Blake Bailey (2021) Philip Roth: The Biography, Skyhorse Publishing.
Watercolour portrait by Cain S. Pinto (2022)

Review: Blake Bailey (2021) Philip Roth: The Biography, Skyhorse Publishing.

Blake Bailey's Philip Roth biography has something for everyone: it satisfies the reader who wants to relive the rapture of reading Roth at his best, the literary dilettante who wants to bone up on dinner table banter about notable priapic penpushers, and aspiring heirs to Roth’s ballpoint sceptre.

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David Sedaris’ Tips for Humour Writing

Anybody can be a storyteller and a humourist because interesting things happen to everyone, and there is humour to be found in almost every indignity. “Everything’s funny eventually” says Sedaris, and he must know as he’s able to laugh about having a flexible metal tube inserted into his urethral meatus as part of a medical screening for cancer.

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Read more about the article Review: Indra Nooyi (2021) My Life in Full: Work, Family, & Our Future. Portfolio/Penguin
Indra K. Nooyi (2021)

Review: Indra Nooyi (2021) My Life in Full: Work, Family, & Our Future. Portfolio/Penguin

For her meteoric rise to be a satisfying story the rags-to-riches-heroine needs to start from a position of complete destitution. Put her in a middle class home with its usual opportunities, joys, disappointments, and brushes with tragedy, and then even her rise to the presidency of the United States is immediately less interesting. This story arc can only be rescued from narrative indifference if she’s a colourful personality, someone perpetrating incredible hijinks, always getting into capers which strain our moral muscles but from which we come away with her stronger rather than broken. None of this true of the story of Indra K. Nooyi’s life; it has neither a rags to riches trajectory nor the emotional heft of a tale worth the telling. It is fitting that this stylized ledger of Nooyis deeds, personal and professional, is delivered in a monotone, grocery list, register. The troughs and peaks are equally unremarkable in the treatment they receive, and the ending is clear right at the start. Indra Nooyi was born, she worked hard, and with a little luck she succeeded.

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