“Secret” Influences on Tana French’s “In the Woods”

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“I am, of course, romanticizing; a chronic tendency of mine.” – In the Woods

“I think that [my fatal flaw] is this: a morbid longing for the picturesque at at all costs.” – The Secret History

I didn’t really know anything about Tana French until I read a recent profile in The New Yorker, which made me curious about her work for several reasons. So when my friend C. offered me her copy of In The Woods, I accepted it and jumped in.

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My Back Pages: Perfume in “A Little Life”

I recently read Hanya Yanagihara’s novel A Little Life. (Many thanks to my friend T. for lending me her copy!) I’m not going to write an actual review; in any case, I’m still sorting out my thoughts about this compelling and troubling (and very long) book.

However, I did want to share one observation I made towards the end of the novel—a perfume-related thought! (If you haven’t yet read A Little Life and you don’t want any potential spoilers, you may wish to stop here.)

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Quick Reads: Henry Alford, “Conducting a Field Test on Pheromones”

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I’ve been an avid reader of Henry Alford’s prose for more than two decades, so I was delighted to note that his latest column for The New York Times recounts his unscientific, but highly amusing, field testing of synthetic pheromones.

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William Butler Yeats, “Song of Wandering Aengus” / Trina Schart Hyman for Cricket Magazine

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This is my fourth and final post in honor of William B. Yeats’s 150-year anniversary. I’m backtracking all the way to my initial encounter with Yeats’s poetry.

Cricket magazine published “The Song of Wandering Aengus” in its September 1974 issue, as a two-page spread with an illustration by Trina Schart Hyman (1939-2004).

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