Why Are These Statuettes All One Color?

The past several days have been peppered by an enormous outcry over the acting nominees for this year’s Academy Awards. The committees responsible for the acting nominations came up with a slate of 20 white actors and actresses. “Where is the Diversity?,” hollered the LA Times on Friday morning, all too predictably horrified in the wake of last year’s predictable horror at an only marginally less white slate of acting contenders. I write this as someone who doesn’t go toRead more

Decor on the Nile

Having written of the pleasures of reading one of Agatha Christie’s novels in the space of an evening, the academic part of my brain – yeah yeah Ph.D. blah blah blah – feels it should say a few words about the authoress and her work. It wants to be terribly smart and dismiss Mrs. Christie’s novels, not only as mere entertainment literature (nay: as mere entertainment writing), but also as writing which is as inferior technically as it is artistically.Read more

Pleasures of the Orient Express

I recently discovered a considerable, if old-fashioned, pleasure: spending an evening reading an entire Agatha Christie novel. I’d always heard that Murder on the Orient Express had been intended as a single evening’s entertainment, but I’d always read Mrs. Christie (somehow that suits her more than “Dame Agatha”) the way I suppose most people read her: a few chapters here, a few chapters there…and you’re done with the book in a week or so. It’s rather a different experience toRead more