As a critic, I read for work. Or rather, I read and then work to translate that experience into something others might read. The hope is that they'll then be compelled enough to also read, if it's any good, the thing I wrote about me reading. That's a pretty meaningful exchange for a reviewer.
Journalist and essayist David Giffels has written for the New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Grantland, and Redbook among others. His most recent book is The Hard Way on Purpose, a collection of essays about growing up near Akron and Cleveland, an area he sees as embodying a sense of place, but “a weird, surreal place,” The Rust Belt.
The writer Christopher Isherwood met teenage Don Bachardy on a beach in Southern California when Isherwood was in his late 40s. For the next 30 years, until Isherwood's death in 1986, they were partners, collaborators and creators of a tender storybook world entirely their own.
Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 8:53 am
Roughly halfway through Najwan Darwish's Nothing More to Lose, wiping awkwardly at tears and trying self-consciously not to sob with my partner in the room, I found myself wondering what someone with no connection to Palestine would make of it.