Amanda Holmes Duffy

Amanda Holmes Duffy is the author of a novel, I Know Where I Am When I'm Falling. Her stories have appeared in Ploughshares, Moxie, the Christian Science Monitor, Rattapallax, Northern Virginia Review, Main Street Rag, Our Stories, Phoebe, So To Speak, and elsewhere. She has edited for "Goings On" at the New Yorker, evaluated scripts for NBC, worked as a bookseller at Politics and Prose, and taught writing at Emerson College, the American University of Rome, Lenguas Vivas in Buenos Aires, and at Northern Virginia Community College. She currently runs two book clubs for Fairfax County Public Library and hosts a weekly podcast, "Read Me A Poem," for the American Scholar.


65 entries by Amanda Holmes Duffy

Feature

Weaving a Narrative

Finding common threads among recent readings.

Feature

Dispatch from Down Under

Exploring First Nations writers during a stay in Sydney.

Book Review

Ocean State: A Novel

By Stewart O’Nan

Ocean State: A Novel

A story of adult infidelity told, oddly, through the lives of teens.

Feature

Few Shouts, Many Murmurs

Once upon a time, I worked at the New Yorker.

Book Review

City of Incurable Women

By Maud Casey

City of Incurable Women

Tales of female hysteria and its many dubious remedies.

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Jane’s Heir

Why Charlotte Brontë’s lesser-known Villette deserves its own place in the canon.

Book Review

Luckenbooth

By Jenni Fagan

Luckenbooth

A brooding Edinburgh tenement bears witness to a century's worth of strange doings.

Book Review

An Impossible Love

By Christine Angot; translated by Armine Kotin Mortimer

An Impossible Love

The long shadow of incest shatters a mother-daughter bond.

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Cause & Reject

How D.H. Lawrence both fueled and fought Mabel Dodge Luhan’s ascendance.

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That Ghastly Greek

Exploring my love-hate relationship with Zorba.

Book Review

Mona at Sea

By Elizabeth Gonzalez James

Mona at Sea

A luckless, snarky Millennial finds herself at loose ends.

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Companionable Characters

Elizabeth Bowen’s relatable novel makes a fine fellow traveler.

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The Re-Awakening

As we emerge from our pandemic year, spiritual stories resonate anew.

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An Uncompromising Artiste

Discovering the savage beauty of Edna St. Vincent Millay.

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A Chance Encounter

Serendipity leads to a poetic discovery.

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An Interview with Andrea Pitzer

The journalist talks Icebound, polar bears, and the utter darkness of Arctic nights.

Book Review

The Delivery: A Novel

By Peter Mendelsund

The Delivery: A Novel

An anonymous courier comes fully to life in this deceptively rich tale.

Book Review

Saltwater

By Jessica Andrews

Saltwater

A young Englishwoman seeks to shake the legacy of alcoholism in this poetic coming-of-age tale.

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A Literary Lion?

Rethinking the legacy of Edward Thomas.

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Reading New American Voices

A look at four recent novels by immigrant authors.

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Fall (Virtually) for the Book

A beloved festival flourishes online.

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Ode to Joys

Revisiting Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey.”

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So You Want to Read about Race?

You may not get to every great title, so here’s where to begin.

Book Review

Bunny

By Mona Awad

Bunny

A darkly funny, sinister story set in a cliquish MFA program.

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All Together Now

Pandemic dispatches from far-flung friends

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Capturing the Lateness of the World

A conversation with poet Carolyn Forché

Book Review

Barker House: A Novel

By David Moloney

Barker House: A Novel

In this prison story, most of the hardship happens on the outside.

Feature

Found in Translation

Discovering the immersive world of Magda Szabó.

Book Review

Saltwater: A Novel

By Jessica Andrews

Saltwater: A Novel

A young Englishwoman seeks to shake the legacy of alcoholism in this poetic coming-of-age tale.

Feature

Book Review

The Floating Feldmans: A Novel

By Elyssa Friedland

The Floating Feldmans: A Novel

When an eccentric family embarks on a cruise, hijinks (unfortunately) do not ensue.

Book Review

Bunny: A Novel

By Mona Awad

Bunny: A Novel

A darkly funny, sinister story set in a cliquish MFA program.

Book Review

An American Marriage

By Tayari Jones

An American Marriage

Incarceration, injustice, and infidelity plague a couple's tenuous union.

Book Review

The Wreckage of Eden: A Novel

A lack of passion derails this otherwise clever imagining of Emily Dickinson's love life.

Book Review

The Mars Room: A Novel

By Rachel Kushner

The Mars Room: A Novel

Dark and intense, this story of the imprisoned is hard to shake.

Book Review

An American Marriage: A Novel

Incarceration, injustice, and infidelity plague a couple's tenuous union.

Book Review

The Dog’s Last Walk (and Other Pieces)

A canny, curmudgeonly assortment of essays from a prize-winning Brit.

Book Review

Broken River: A Novel

By J. Robert Lennon

Broken River: A Novel

This haunted-house story gets too caught up in a misguided critique of the publishing industry.

Book Review

Still Here: A Novel

By Lara Vapnyar

Still Here: A Novel

A poignant story of immigration and technology.

Book Review

The Turner House: A Novel

By Angela Flournoy

The Turner House: A Novel

Family ties — and the misunderstandings that threaten to sever them — lie at the heart of this wonderful tale.

Book Review

Flying Shoes

Lisa Howorth

Flying Shoes

Characters enrich this tale of a reopened murder inspired by real events in the author’s life.

Book Review

This Dark Road to Mercy: A Novel

A deadbeat dad kidnaps his two daughters from foster care following the death of their mother.

Book Review

Longbourn: A Novel

By Jo Baker

Longbourn: A Novel

The Bennets take a backseat to their servants in this homage to Pride and Prejudice.

Book Review

Archangel

Andrea Barrett

Archangel

The triumph of discovery and the sense of loss that scientific progress can bring are explored in this new collection of short stories.

Book Review

The First Rule of Swimming

Courtney Angela Brkic

The First Rule of Swimming

The yearning for and promise of refuge are symbolized by a fictional Croatian island in this novel about two devoted sisters, survivors who learn that the first rule of swimming is to stay afloat.

Book Review

The Hope Factory

Lavanya Sankaran

The Hope Factory

This Indian “Upstairs Downstairs” parallels the lives of a Bangalore manufacturer and his maid as industrialism undermines tradition and family expectations.

Book Review

The Woman Upstairs

Claire Messud

The Woman Upstairs

In yet another tour de force novel, the award-winning author poses questions about life, love and the meaning of art.

Book Review

Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles

Loss, love and the line between truth and fiction are at the center of the author’s latest novel.

Book Review

The Snow Child: A Novel

In the magical world of the Alaskan wilderness, is the captivating girl who frolics in the landscape real or imaginary?

Book Review

Alice Munro

Dear Life: Stories

The nature of romantic impulse and the disorienting shifts in the direction of desire provides the focus of this extraordinary collection of stories by the winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Book Review

Lisa O’Donnell

The Death of Bees: A Novel

The secret of two bodies buried in the garden lingers over the lives of two sisters in Glasgow and the elderly gay neighbor who befriends them.

Book Review

Lydia Millet

Magnificence

In this concluding work of a trilogy, the author presents a biting commentary on extinction and our stewardship of the natural world.

Book Review

Susan Richards Shreve

You Are the Love of My Life

Set in an upscale 1970s suburb of Washington, DC, this novel explores the clashes between secrets, deception and the human need for intimacy.

Book Review

Frances Itani

Requiem: A Novel

A moving novel spotlighting the silent dignity of Japanese-Canadians interned during World War II.

Book Review

Emily Jeanne Miller

Brand New Human Being: A Novel

A stay-at-home dad deals with parenthood, a crumbling marriage and his father’s recent death.

Book Review

Kim Barnes

In the Kingdom of Men

Think "Mad Men" in the Arabian Desert, as an Oklahoma-bred woman accompanies her husband to an oil-company job in the 1960s.

Book Review

Mudwoman: A Novel

Joyce Carol Oates

Mudwoman: A Novel

Joyce Carol Oates dissects the layers of a troubled woman’s self, revealing both her tender heart and the raw, sometimes ugly truth of her being.

Book Review

Lydia Millet

Ghost Lights

In the second book of a trilogy, a man wanders the Belize jungle in search of a missing acquaintance, only to confront his own psyche.

Book Review

Helen Dunmore

The Betrayal: A Novel

In treating the son of a high ranking officer of Stalin’s secret police, a pediatrician and his family find their lives dangerously tied to the child’s in Dunmore’s sequel to The Siege.

Book Review

Martha Southgate

The Taste of Salt

The marine biologist who narrates this novel plumbs the scientific depths of painful family experience.

Book Review

Bonnie Nadzam

Lamb

In this stunning and evocative novel, a chance encounter finds two characters reaching out in desperation to change who they are amid the vastness of the Midwest.

Book Review

Christina Shea

Smuggled

A lyrical and absorbing novel of a young girl’s assumed identity, and its psychological effects, in Communist Romania.

Book Review

Camille Noe Pagan

The Art of Forgetting

This skillful debut novel explores the course of friendship after a traumatic brain injury changes things.

Book Review

Nina Sankovitch

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading

Remembrance, life lessons and conversations with friends, all from a book a day.

Book Review

Carolyn Cooke

Daughters of the Revolution

A cast of unusual characters populates this debut novel by a prize-winning short story writer.