The Obsessions, the Overall Work: An Interview with James Reston Jr.


With a bibliography that ranges from playwriting and fiction to nonfiction works on science, politics, medieval history, and current events, James Reston Jr. could be called a modern Renaissance man. My first acquaintance with the author was through the …

Maureen Thornton is a freelance writer whose articles on people in the arts, sciences, and entertainment have appeared in a variety of publications. Before retiring from a career in business development at a national research institute she had been a research scientist, and before that she spent several years as a Pan Am flight attendant. Thornton holds BS and MS degrees in molecular biology.

On Not Reviewing Joan Didion’s South and West: From a Notebook

Sebastian Matthews is the author of a memoir, In My Father’s Footsteps (W. W. Norton, 2004), and two books of poetry, We Generous (2007) and Miracle Day: Mid-Life Songs (2012), both from Red Hen Press. His new hybrid collection of poetry and prose from Red Hen, Beginner’s Guide to a Head-on Collision (2017), won the Independent Publishers Book Award’s silver medal.

“feeling it trying to feel it through”: Politicized Solitudes in Adrienne Rich’s Later Work

Ed Pavlić has published eleven books. His forthcoming and most recent works are Let It Be Broke (Four Way Books, 2020), Another Kind of Madness: A Novel (Milkweed Editions, 2019), Live at the Bitter End (Saturnalia, 2018), and Who Can Afford to Improvise?: James Baldwin and Black Music, the Lyric and the Listener (Fordham University Press, 2016). He is Distinguished Research Professor in the English department, and in the Institute for African American Studies, at the University of Georgia.

from “If & When”

Marvin Bell’s recent books include Vertigo: The Living Dead Man Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2013 )and Whiteout (Lodima Press, 2011), a collaboration with photographer Nathan Lyons. The selections from “If & When” in this issue continue Bell’s poetic correspondence with Christopher Merrill, earlier exchanges from which were collected in After the Fact: Scripts & Postscripts (White Pine Press, 2016).

Christopher Merrill has six poetry collections; many works of translation and edited volumes, among them The Forgotten Language: Contemporary Poets and Nature (1991) and From the Faraway Nearby: Georgia O’Keeffe as Icon (1993, reissued 1998); and six books of nonfiction, most recently Self-Portrait with Dogwood (Trinity University Press, 2017). His work has been translated into nearly forty languages and his honors include a knighthood in arts and letters from the French government. As director of the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program, he has undertaken cultural diplomacy missions to more than fifty countries.

Bosch in the Burning World

At the joining of the Dommel and the Aa in the southern part of the Netherlands, a town was built and called “Bosch” after its forest. It prospered, rivaling Utrecht. In its churches there was music. In town there was …

David Oates writes about nature and urban life from Portland, Oregon. He is author of four books of nonfiction, including Paradise Wild: Reimagining American Nature (Oregon State University Press, 2003). His work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, Orion, Earth Island Journal, High Country News, and elsewhere. The Heron Place (2016) won the 2015 Poetry Award from Swan Scythe Press. Peace in Exile: Poems was published in 1992. He won the Dovid Heersche Badonnah award from Bitterroot Poetryand last year he convened a group of writers to create the collection Come Shining: Essays and Poems on Writing in a Dark Time (Kelson Books, 2017).

The Novelist’s Event: Fact, Fiction, and a Writer’s Search for a Universal Subject

On November 18, 1978, an event unique in human history took place. In a remote region of Guyana, an elemental, disintegrating country just above the equator in South America, 913 followers of a captivating American preacher named Reverend Jim Jones

James Reston Jr.—novelist, nonfiction writer, and playwright—has published eighteen books and written for publications such as the New York Times, Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, National Geographic, and Esquire, has been a fellow at the American Academy in Rome, a fellow at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, and a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington. His most recent book is A Rift in the Earth: Art, Memory, and the Fight for a Vietnam Memorial (Arcade Publishing, 2017).

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