Entries by Jay Ruud

The Half of It

The Half of It Alice Wu (2020) In Plato’s famous dialogue The Symposium, in which a number of guests at a dinner party are asked to discourse upon the nature of love, the character of Aristophanes (the famous comic playwright) relates an old fantastic myth that human beings were originally created as doubled beings, formed […]

Machines Like Me

Machines Like Me Ian McEwan (2019) Ian McEwan’s most recent novel is a departure from his usually realistic, historically-based narratives. Of course, his last novel, Nutshell (2016), was also a departure, being as it was a new twist on the Hamlet story told from the perspective of a fetus. But in Machines Like Me, McEwan enters the […]

Kopp Sisters on the March

Kopp Sisters on the March Amy Stewart (2019) Amy Stewart’s “Kopp sisters” novels are feminist literature in the classic sense. That is, they explore, define, and analyze the historic situation of women in the early years of the last century; by demonstrating the unequal and often appalling gap in the political, economic and social rights […]


Old-Timers (Staříci) Martin Dušek and Ondřej Provazník (2019) Foreign language films have never been hugely successful in the United States. For every Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, there are a hundred less popular films that make a tiny ripple at some small festival or get a few screenings in some art house in New York but go […]

The Club Dumas

The Club Dumas Arturo Pérez-Reverte (1993) A rare book dealer—of all things—is presented with a job involving the authentication of a manuscript version of a chapter from The Three Musketeers in Alexander Dumas’ own hand, but the search leads him into a more dangerous mystery involving three copies of a proscribed book called De Umbrarum Regni […]