Book Reviews by Etta Madden
More than twenty of my reviews have appeared in academic journals such as The New England Quarterly, Early American Literature, Utopian Studies, Communal Societies, and The American Historical Review.
A few months ago Utopian Studies published my review of Adrienne Rose Bitar’s Diet and the Disease of Civilization — a fantastic study of American obsessions with diet, reaching back to the later-19th century. More on that book in January, as I mention last year’s favorites.
Before that, my review of Mark Sundeen’s The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today’s America, appeared in Communal Societies (2017). I shared a few of those ideas in a blog here. And a few years ago, “Savory Bites: Books on Eating in Early America,” appeared in Early American Literature 50.2 (2015).
Also attesting to my belief in the importance of reviews, I served for five years as Book Review Editor for Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers.
Recently, I have been posting shorter book reviews on Goodreads. These reviews appear on my Facebook page and sometimes below as well. I would like to know what you think of these books, if you read them. Your comments motivate me to rethink and to learn more about others’ perspectives.
Mark Sundeen’s The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today’s America ranks among the most interesting new books I read in 2017. Here are some highlights from my review of... More >
Occasionally I read a not-recently-published book that moves me so that I wonder how I missed it when it first appeared.
Divine Expectations is one such book. Since it... More >
In the spring of 1962, within a month of my birth and just before his death, Lobzang Jivaka finished composing his spiritual autobiography in India. Almost fifty years before and half-way round the world, he had been named at birth Maude Laura Dillon in the Ladbroke Grove neighborhood of Kensington,... More >
“Savory Bites: Books on Eating in Early America,” appeared in Early American Literature 50.2 (2015). On the hot topic of food and literature, it considers three books on American literature and culture from colonial exploration through Reconstruction: Ann Chandonnet’s Colonial Food (Shire 2013); Michael A. LaCombe’s Political Gastronomy: Food... More >
Jhumpa Lahiri begins her memoir of two years in Italy with a water metaphor. Rather than thirst in Rome’s heat or a watery rebirth, the imagery of swimming around a lake seduced me. So starts Lahiri’s story of writing in a language neither her parents’ Bengali nor the English she... More >