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Contributor Archives: Jennifer B. McDonald

“Why’s this so good?” No. 82: Rebecca Solnit and “Detroit Arcadia”

If you’ve been following the recent reports out of Detroit, you know conditions there are dire. This is hardly new. For decades the dominant narrative about the city has been one of failure: economic collapse, physical devastation, racism and violence propelling a once robust metropolis down a dismal path. For a taste of the common [...]

“Why’s this so good?” No. 57: Joan Didion on dreamers gone astray

In 1977, Joan Didion told The Paris Review that she always kept in mind one line of poetry, from T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets”: “at the still point of the turning world.” I don’t know if Didion had the still point in mind when she wrote “Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream,” her classic account of adultery [...]