Dorothy Reno

Dorothy Reno is a senior review editor and classic-books columnist for the Washington Independent Review of Books. Some of her short fiction has been published in Canada and the United States. Dorothy has worked at an Indigenous healing center, the Canadian federal government, and two international think tanks. She currently lives in Hanoi, Vietnam, and previously spent three years in the country known as the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. 


67 entries by Dorothy Reno

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The ultimate awakening in Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

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How Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town shaped Canuck culture.

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Satire (mostly) trumps sincerity in Voltaire’s Candide.

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This singular collection by late psychologist Leslie H. Farber offers elegant insights into the human condition.

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Attending to familiar ghosts in The Turn of the Screw.

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The pseudonymous writer discusses his fictional father's very real epic poem.

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Aristocracy of character in Iola Leroy: Or, Shadows Uplifted.

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The battle for everything in War and Peace.

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Authority and American culture in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

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Two columnists contemplate The Haunting of Hill House.

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Reading into (and beyond) the inner child of Le Petit Prince.

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Signs and symbols from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

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Coping with affliction in the first modern novel

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The first novel written in English by an Indian author

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A pair of columnists contemplate The Haunting of Hill House.

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Exploring the not-so-simple religiosity of Anne Brontë’s best-known heroine

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Emily Brontë’s family drama is neither patient nor kind.

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Stripping off the layers of the sexiest Brontë novel

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How Clotel dared to shed light on Jefferson’s daughters

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The patriarch of short stories shows us how to embrace ambivalence

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The Independent's senior editor, Carrie Callaghan, chats with Dorothy about the novels covered in "Considering the Classics" this past year.

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The tangling of philosophy and religion in Crime and Punishment.

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Austen’s polemic against the Romantic movement comes off as a little stiff.

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Reframing The Picture of Dorian Gray

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Flaubert’s realism is sad enough to make you laugh

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A day in the life of modern consciousness

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Hester Prynne’s wisdom as a social outcast

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Mary Shelley’s seminal work exposes the dark side of human nature.

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The persisting allure of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe.

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How literature can improve your life.

Book Review

The Path of the Jaguar: A Novel

By Stephen Henighan

A Mayan woman adapts to the changing times in this well-researched novel set in post-civil-war Guatemala.

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An outstanding collection of tales about the pitfalls and rewards of human connection.

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The novelist explores the darker, more complicated side of motherhood.

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The novelist discusses Unspeakable Things, her daring story of exile and secrets set in WWII-era New York.

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Father’s Day: A Novel

By Simon Van Booy

A quiet, tender story of unlikely adoption and love’s triumph

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Lust & Wonder: A Memoir

By Augusten Burroughs

The tell-all author is back with his signature humor (and lessons in love)

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An acclaimed Canadian writer of poetry and short stories, the author marks her American debut today with the release of her novel The Crooked Heart of Mercy.

Book Review

“In existentialism, there are no excuses. Freedom comes with total responsibility.”

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The Crooked Heart of Mercy

By Billie Livingston

A Canadian novelist makes her American debut in this gem of a story about love, faith, and human failings.

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The noted — and knighted — author discusses power and triumph in 1500s Europe.

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Meet a writer for whom "the human condition is the whole point."

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The author discusses relationships, mother-daughter conflicts, and the relative merits of zombies.

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Told from different perspectives, the author’s new novel is all about secrets — those kept and those revealed.

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A deeply felt, occasionally foul-mouthed tale about a Palestinian family navigating the birth of Israel.

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The author discusses her new novel, along with dystopia, disease, and her obsession with masks.

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The Language of Paradise

By Barbara Klein Moss

Faith and fanaticism mingle in this unique, challenging tale.

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Though exceedingly dark in places, this story ultimately trumpets the resilience of the human spirit.

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The Lodger is Louisa Treger’s fictionalized account of Dorothy Miller Richardson’s early life and love affairs: from her involvement on the fringes of women’s suffrage to her coming of age as a writer in England. Here, Treger discusses feminism, fidelity, and the complexity of relationships.

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Funny Girl: A Novel

By Nick Hornby

A working-class beauty queen takes on 1960s television in this funny, probing novel.

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The author of Riveted: The Science of Why Jokes Makes Us Laugh, Movies Make Us Cry and Religion Makes Us Feel One with the Universe talks about the inner workings of the mind.

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Can childhood wounds ever heal? Maybe, says the author.

Book Review

The First Bad Man: A Novel

By Miranda July

This stunning debut is a weirdo’s epic of unusual love, strange sex, and the search for happiness.

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The author discusses Gutenberg’s Apprentice, her debut novel about ambition, reform, and the machine that changed the world.

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The author talks about setting, believable characters, and things that go bump in the night.

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Let Me Be Frank With You

By Richard Ford

Richard Ford’s much-loved Frank Bascombe is back for a fourth turn, and he’s as cranky, introspective, judgmental, unapologetically Democratic, and wise as ever.

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Reunion: A Novel

By Hannah Pittard

A woman learns that her estranged father has committed suicide and returns to her hometown to make sense of what's left in his wake.

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Growing up in Bangladesh, Maria Chaudhuri burned with a passion that separated her from her family. As she matured, the author came to understand her desires as an inheritance from her loved ones — whom she still struggles to understand.

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Florence Gordon

By Brian Morton

A novel about a family on the verge of splitting apart because of secrets, frustrated ambition, and disparate needs.

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Loretto Jones is a tough guy who finds himself falling into a life of organized crime with Vincent “Mad Dog” Coll. Yet Loretto has a soft side — especially for Gina Baronti. Can her love save him? Here, Ed Falco discusses his new novel, Toughs, based partly on events in the true-life story of gangster Coll.

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A Jewish boy in Brazil struggles with the echoes of trauma.

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Sekret

Lindsay Smith

Caught by the KGB, teenage Yulia is forced to use her psychic powers for evil to protect her family until she figures out her own path.

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A trio of novels takes us into the abyss.

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The Painter: A Novel

By Peter Heller

A good book about being bad.