Tag Archives: Lora Kelley

The Wow Factor: A Visit to Mark Twain’s Grand Mansion in Hartford

“This entry hall really has the ‘wow factor,’” our tour guide drily announces, gesturing at the lavish dark-wood staircase spiraling above the foyer. The Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut, built in 1874, is a towering mansion in the High Gothic style. Home to Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain), his wife Olivia, and their three […]

Faulkner’s Rowan Oak

Slipping through a cold metal turnstile, I enter Rowan Oak, William Faulkner’s home in Oxford, Mississippi. The gatekeeper, an Ole Miss graduate student reading a worn-out Thomas Pynchon paperback and wearing leather sandals, accepts my $5 ticket and waves me through into the house. Rowan Oak, a primitive Greek revival house set on four acres […]

Paul Beatty Wins Biggest British Prize for a Scorchingly American Novel

In Paul Beatty’s sizzling bestseller The Sellout, no one is spared. Over the course of his compact satirical novel, Beatty skewers everyone from the Los Angeles police force (fairly), to the cast of Little Rascals (of all things), to Dave Eggers (teased for his brand of do-gooder California condescension). Notable for its daring engagement with […]