account_circle by Emily Banner
Emily Banner is a co-founder of Inkberry, a nonprofit literary center in the Berkshires. She lives in western Massachusetts.

Book Lovers

Halls of Fame

Issue No. 60 ~ May, 2002

If all of Halls of Fame were as carefully constructed as these two pieces, I'd use the term `wondrous' to describe the entire book.

One Man’s Meat

Issue No. 59 ~ April, 2002

I got a letter from a lightning rod company this morning trying to put the fear of God in me, but with small success. Lightning seems to have lost its menace. Compared to what is going on on earth today, heaven’s firebrands are penny fireworks …


Issue No. 55 ~ December, 2001

Before I get to Sheba, the actual subject of this review, I’d like to take a moment to explore a parallel that occurred to me about halfway through the book. It’s a parallel that Nicholas Clapp never addresses directly, but which he must be aware …

Loving Pedro Infante

Issue No. 54 ~ November, 2001

Loving Pedro Infante tells the story of Teresina Ávila, or Tere, a divorced thirtysomething teachers’ aide in Cabritoville, New Mexico. Tere has a mother who’s always there for her, a best friend she can tell anything to, a string of romantic failures, and mixed feelings …

The Other Side of Eden

Issue No. 53 ~ October, 2001

The Other Side of Eden is a puzzle of a book, by turns engrossing and dull, insightful and preachy. In it, Hugh Brody examines hunter-gatherer cultures, individually and in general, and looks at how these societies coexist — and, more often, clash — with the …

The PowerBook

Issue No. 52 ~ September, 2001

Yesterday, as I was considering how to begin my review of The PowerBook, a friend spotted the book on my coffee table. “Jeanette Winterson!” she exclaimed. “She’s a great writer.” I agreed, and we got to talking, and we found that we had both been …

Provinces of Night

Issue No. 50 ~ July, 2001

A man nearing the end of a murderous quest — to hunt down and kill his wife’s lover — pauses on the brink of action. He can carry out the plan he’s made, he realizes, but what will he do then? He is “at the …

The Guest From the Future

Issue No. 47 ~ April, 2001

The Guest from the Future is a difficult book to classify. It comprises a goodly amount of literary criticism, and the bulk of the work focuses on the life of Anna Akhmatova, yet the author informs us in the preface that “[t]his book is not …

Love, etc.

Issue No. 46 ~ March, 2001

I…deal in subjective truth–so much more real, and more reliable, than the other sort… Julian Barnes is, on the evidence of his novels, a man obsessed. For while his books assume different forms and deal with a range of subjects, they are all, at heart, …

The Years with Laura Díaz

Issue No. 45 ~ February, 2001

Not long after the publication of her novel The Years, Virginia Woolf attempted to explain the book to a friend. “[W]hat I meant,” she wrote, “was to give a picture of society as a whole; give characters from every side; turn them towards society, not …

Jim the Boy

Issue No. 42 ~ November, 2000

Earley writes with enviable confidence and laid-back style. His sentences are superbly crafted, full of vivid imagery and well-chosen detail, yet they flow with an easy grace, carrying the reader along...