Guest commentator Maureen Corrigan reviews a new book critical of the college entrance exam, administered by the company ETS. ETS also developed the subject-specific Advanced Placement tests, which Corrigan graded for three years.
Guest critic Maureen Corrigan revisits Bel Kaufman's autobiographical novel Up the Down Staircase, about a rookie high school teacher who must contend with limited institutional support. Corrigan herself is a college instructor, and believes many of Kaufman's insights still ring true twenty years later
Critic Maureen Corrigan reviews books by Wayne C. Booth and Robert Coles, writers who, while offering different solutions, both believe that the teaching of literature deserves a greater place in colleges and universities.
Book critic Maureen Corrigan is no fan of minimalist literature, which she derides for its familiar, navel-gazing themes. By contrast, she admires T. Coraghesson's expansive, political, and historical fiction. Unfortunately, his approach is better suited to the novel, rather than the short stories in his latest collection, If the River Was Whiskey.
Maureen Corrigan reviews the new novel by feminist author Marge Piercy. The book focuses on a love triangle between a woman and a married couple, as well as the nature of art, and living in Cape Cod year round.
Commentator Maureen Corrigan reviews The Real Thing, by Miles Orvell. Corrigan says the book is one of those works that attempts to explain just about everything in terms of one theory. Orwell's theory is that American culture has been driven by the tension between imitation and the desire for authenticity.
Maureen Corrigan reviews "Among Schoolchildren," Tracy Kidder's year-long look at an inner city elementary school. Kidder's previous books include "House," and "The Soul of a New Machine," about the creation of the personal computer.
Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews "Poodle Springs," the novel Raymond Chandler was working on at the time of his death. The story finds Chandler's famous detective Philip Marlowe married and living in Poodle Springs. Writer Robert Parker has just finished the novel that Chandler started 30 years ago.