El Norte review: an epic and timely history of Hispanic North America

Carrie Gibson has written an exhaustive corrective to historians who seek to whitewash a story of settlement and conflict The subtitle of Carrie Gibsons book is The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America. El Norte lives up to it. These 437 pages are an important correction to centuries of American history which have mostly neglected the vital role of Spanish pioneers (and Native Americans) in favor of settlers from England, Ireland and Scotland. As the author quotes Walt Whitman, Americans long ago tacitly abandoned themselves to the notion that our United States have been fashioned from the British Islands which is a great mistake To that composite American identity of the future, Spanish character will supply some of …

Shortest Way Home review: Pete Buttigieg as president in waiting

The 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana has written the best political autobiography since Barack Obama Imagine waking up on 4 November 2020 to discover America has elected has never slept with a porn star, and who married the very first person he fell in love with. And imagine this is someone whose spouse just happens to be a man which, as Stephen Colbert pointed out Barack Obamas Dreams from My Father. Buttigieg is the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Brimming with midwestern authenticity, he captured a large portion of CNNs audience earlier this month in his first threshold of 65,000 individual donors which governs qualification for the forthcoming debates. The son of a Notre Dame professor whose family …

‘I’m not a gay writer, I’m a monster’: did James Purdy foresee Trump’s America?

At first he was feted. But then his novel about a handsome, Yale-educated serial rapist made him an outcast. Ten years after his death, has the scabrous authors time finally come? On 6 August 2015, the American author and playwright Cabot Wright Begins. A scabrous satire about three of New Yorks sacred cows publishing, politics and psychiatry the novel concerns the battle for the biographical rights of the titular Wright, a handsome, Yale-educated stockbroker and serial rapist. New York Times book critic Orville Prescott called it the sick outpouring of a confused, adolescent, distraught mind. A counter-attack from Susan Sontag hailed it as a bravura work of satire, but the damage was done. If my life up to then had …

Siri Hustvedt: Im writing for my life

She has spent her life carving out a career as a writer of intellect in a world still dominated by men. Here, Siri Hustvedt talks about magic tricks, why you cant trust an author and seeing herself as ridiculous Siri Hustvedt is laughing. I feel so much urgency, she says, her long legs folded beneath her on an armchair. We are on the ground floor of the Brooklyn brownstone she shares with her husband, Hustvedt, who has just published her seventh novel, Memories of the Future, is figuring out which of her many projects to tackle next. I want to write another novel, but I also want to write this philosophical book, and I have many, many essays now that …