Alice McDermott's characters can often be described as average, and Marie, the heroine of her latest novel, is no exception. But critic Maureen Corrigan says the power of McDermott's writing is that she can make even Marie's run-of-the-mill life one for the record books.
The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is a debut novel about a sharp and assured young man living among young, aspiring literary types in Brooklyn. Book critic Maureen Corrigan says never before has a novel made her feel so grateful to be middle-aged.
In the 1947 film, It Happened In Brooklyn, Frank Sinatra plays a soldier who returns after four years at war and decides to pursue a singing career. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews the recently-released DVD version of the film.
Unlike other film critics, Stephen Schiff isn't so troubled by the ambiguous ending of Spike Lee's third movie. Schiff admires the way Do the Right Thing smartly grapples with race relations, but he's frustrated by how inconsistent the characters are, a directorial flaw that serves the sometimes twisting plot.