What We Are Reading Today: The Saddest Words by Michael Gorra

What We Are Reading Today: The Saddest Words by Michael Gorra
Short Url
Updated 02 January 2021

What We Are Reading Today: The Saddest Words by Michael Gorra

What We Are Reading Today: The Saddest Words by Michael Gorra

The Saddest Words: William Faulkner’s Civil War by Michael Gorra was a beautiful and exhaustive analysis of the literary works of William Faulkner examined in the light of the influence of the Civil War on Faulkner’s fiction.

The Saddest Words offers a wealth of history, literary review, and biographical examination, all tied to the relevance of current national events.

While clearly the product of an experienced academician, Gorra’s organization and writing style make the heavily referenced content accessible and clear.

Blending Civil War primary sources, Faulkner’s own text, and literary criticism, Gorra helps the reader see how the weight of the social memory of the Civil War infuses Faulkner’s works.

“Gorra’s book, as he writes in his preface, is ‘an act of citizenship,’ timely and essential as we confront, once again, the question of who is a citizen and who among us should enjoy its privileges,” said Ayana Mathis in a review for The New York Times. 

Mathis, a 2020-21 American Academy in Berlin Prize fellow, is the author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie.


What We Are Reading Today: Mediocre by Ijeoma Oluo

What We Are Reading Today: Mediocre by Ijeoma Oluo
Updated 16 January 2021

What We Are Reading Today: Mediocre by Ijeoma Oluo

What We Are Reading Today: Mediocre by Ijeoma Oluo

From the author of the New York Times bestseller So You Want to Talk About Race, a history of white male America and a scathing indictment of what it has cost us.
After the election of Donald Trump, and the escalation of white male rage and increased hostility toward immigrants that came with him, New York Times-bestselling author Ijeoma Oluo found herself in conversation with Americans around the country, pondering one central question: How did we get here?
Oluo answers that question by pinpointing white men’s deliberate efforts to subvert women, people of color, and the disenfranchised. Through research and interviews, Oluo investigates the backstory of America’s growth, from immigrant migration to our national ethos around ingenuity, from the shaping of economic policy to the protection of sociopolitical movements that fortify male power. In the end, she shows how white men have long maintained a stranglehold on leadership and sorely undermined the pursuit of happiness for all, according to a review at goodreads.com.