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The Secret Profession

My appreciation of Panic, an underappreciated, little-seen movie about the psychological crisis of a hit man.


At Critics at Large: my review of Michelle Dean's Sharp, concerning ten woman writers "who made an art of having an opinion."

Wally and the Beaver

I've done a handful of public readings in my life, and while none has been completely unpleasurable, probably the best so far occurred about a month ago. The Chicago-based Great Books Foundation held a launch event in connection with their “Big Ideas in Popular Culture” trilogy; GBF bigwig Nancy Carr, my old crony and co-blogger, invited me to read the Magic Circles excerpt that was in included in the pop music volume. The event was held at Bookends and Beginnings, a warm, eclectic, inviting independent bookstore in Evanston, just off the Northwestern campus. Also on the bill was Walter J. Podrazik, professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago, contributor to the television volume, and –


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