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William Giraldi

William Giraldi is the author of the novels Hold the Dark (Liveright, 2014) and Busy Monsters (Norton, 2011). He is the fiction editor for the journal AGNI at Boston University.


Loving Literature: A Cultural History. By Deidre Shauna Lynch. University of Chicago Press, 2014. 352p. HB, $40.

On Loving Literature

Winter 2015 | Criticism

First, a distinction. When I employ the term academic in what follows, I will not mean the first definition, the technical one: individuals who teach college students. I will mean the second definition, the sullied one: individuals for whom the academy is not a place to work but a way to think, those priests and priestesses of palaver for whom literature is never quite okay as it is, and to whom literature begs to be gussied up in silkier robes.

Sigmund Freud, the Never-Ending Storyteller

Summer 2014 | Criticism

Adam Phillips’s new study, Becoming Freud: The Making of a Psychoanalyst, is an effective breviary and defense of Sigmund Freud, and not because it dazzles with a tightrope act of theory, but because it simply and directly underscores Freud’s tremendous accomplishments of comprehension. 

My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer by Christian Wiman. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2013. 182p. HB, $24.

Faithful Grieving: On Christian Wiman

Summer 2013 | Criticism

The trick in producing a spiritual memoir spurred by disease is circumventing the fact that you have become a cliché: Of course you discovered or rediscovered your god during a grievous bout with cancer—doesn’t everyone?