Heller McAlpin http://kenw.org en 'Empathy Exams' Is A Virtuosic Manifesto Of Human Pain http://kenw.org/post/empathy-exams-virtuosic-manifesto-human-pain A boyfriend once called Leslie Jamison "a wound dweller." This is one of many personal morsels she shares in her virtuosic book of essays, <em>The Empathy Exams,</em> in which she intrepidly probes sore spots to explore how our reactions to both our own pain and that of others define us as human beings. Thu, 03 Apr 2014 11:03:00 +0000 Heller McAlpin 40038 at http://kenw.org 'Empathy Exams' Is A Virtuosic Manifesto Of Human Pain In 'Sprinkler,' A Wacky Poet Returns With New Obsessions http://kenw.org/post/sprinkler-wacky-poet-returns-new-obsessions Nicholson Baker has become a sort of poet of the particular and the peculiar. His books are filled with people who focus minutely on what captivates them – in other words, obsessives. A positive way of looking at obsession is as passion taken to an extreme. Tue, 17 Sep 2013 13:55:00 +0000 Heller McAlpin 32032 at http://kenw.org In 'Sprinkler,' A Wacky Poet Returns With New Obsessions 'Newlyweds': A Big, Fat Cross-Cultural Marriage http://kenw.org/post/newlyweds-big-fat-cross-cultural-marriage American literature is rich with books that illuminate our culture from an immigrant's fresh perspective. The most powerful tend to be written by the newcomers themselves, or their offspring, but there are exceptions. Nell Freudenberger's latest novel, <em>The Newlyweds</em>, is about a young Bangladeshi woman determined to find a better life by marrying an American she meets on a dating website. Coming from a native New Yorker, it's an act of sustained, cross-cultural ventriloquism and empathy.<p><em>The Newlyweds </em>is not exactly a love story. Thu, 03 May 2012 14:15:39 +0000 Heller McAlpin 10861 at http://kenw.org 'Newlyweds': A Big, Fat Cross-Cultural Marriage What Happened In 'Watergate': An Alternate Take http://kenw.org/post/what-happened-watergate-alternate-take Nearly 40 years after the Watergate scandal, <em>Watergate</em>, Thomas Mallon's latest historical novel, captures both the metastasizing dishonesty and the ludicrousness of this great American tragedy of political ambition run amok.<p>The book considers the break-in — that botched "third-rate burglary" that was a bad idea in the first place made far worse by attempts at a cover-up (and then a cover-up of the cover-up) — from the perspectives of several of the perps and their supporters, as opposed to the legal team and journalists charged with untangling their unbelievably knotted web of dece Thu, 23 Feb 2012 00:36:27 +0000 Heller McAlpin 7246 at http://kenw.org What Happened In 'Watergate': An Alternate Take In 'Drifting House': Home Is Where The Hurt Is http://kenw.org/post/drifting-house-home-where-hurt If you can bear it, it pays to read the intense, disturbing stories in Krys Lee's justly heralded debut collection, <em>Drifting House</em>, twice. Mon, 20 Feb 2012 18:08:36 +0000 Heller McAlpin 7109 at http://kenw.org In 'Drifting House': Home Is Where The Hurt Is