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20 september 2017

Theodore Manno describes his own book Swamp Rat as "indefatigably researched," based on "every available primary research document involving nutria" (xvi, xv). Yet in a list of states with substantial nutria populations (13), he omits Texas! There may be some technicality about the list that I'm missing, or it may be a simple oversight. Elsewhere in Swamp Rat, Manno discusses Texan nutria in several places.     read more

17 september 2017

Sociologist Tressie McMillan Cottom comes to the problem of for-profit higher ed in America from two powerful perspectives: academic analysis and personal experience. Her academic side allows her to land body-blow after body-blow on for-profit schools, but her personal experience allows her to do so without expressing contempt for their students, or faculty, or even for most of their staff and administrators (having been a staff member at two for-profits herself).     read more

16 september 2017

Tiffany Jenkins' Keeping Their Marbles is an argument against repatriation of the museum treasures of the West, as its subtitle ("why they should stay there") clearly indicates. Yet Jenkins attempts an unbiased survey of both sides of the dispute before coming down on the one she prefers.     read more

4 september 2017

Jhumpa Lahiri's In altre parole is the most attentive, extensive memoir I know of about the process of learning a new language. And not only learning that language (in Lahiri's case, Italian), but learning to write, and to deliver the fruit of her learning in her new language.     read more