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.
Critic Maureen Corrigan reviews "The Reader's Catalogue." It's a listing of 40,000 books--fiction and non-fiction--in more than 200 subjects, complete with recommended editions and an "800" number for ordering the books.
Book critic Maureen Corrigan takes a look at the book reviewers bible, "Publishers Weekly." She examines how PW has often hawked new books that went nowhere, while barely mentioning books that went on to become classics.
Commentator Maureen Corrigan reviews "Time Passages: Collective Memory and American Popular Culture" by George Lipsitz. The book examines how our collective memory has been shaped by popular culture since World War 2.
Critic Maureen Corrigan reviews an English translation of the novel, "The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman," by Polish writer Andrzej Szczypiorski. Although it was a bestseller in Europe, the novel was banned in Poland because of the writer's involvement with Solidarity. With the recent political changes, Szczypiorski's book is now published in Poland and in July he was elected to the Polish Senate.