Daniel Nester

  • culture December 23, 2010

    There’s a Road to Everywhere Except Where You Came From by Bryan Charles

    New York City is built on the backs of earnest, reticent, frugal, and ambitious Midwesterners. These are “the settlers” who make up the “Third New York” immortalized in E.B. White’s Here Is New York. Look in the right places and they seem to be everywhere: Minnesotans ordering the cheapest beers on draft at East Village bars, dumpster-diving South Dakotans, Iowans doctoring up ramen with cheap vegetables sold on Chinatown sidewalks. The Third New Yorker, White writes, “accounts for New York’s high-strung disposition, its poetical deportment, its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable

  • culture February 01, 2010

    A Common Pornography by Kevin Sampsell

    A Common Pornography is neither common nor, by today’s standards, pornographic. It is more accurate to call Kevin Sampsell’s fragmented, moving memoir a Bildungsroman (albiet a true one). More precisely, for those keeping score at home with their glossary of literary terms, it is a nonfiction Künstlerroman, the story of an artist’s struggle from innocence to experience, in this case from small-town youth to fully fledged, urbane writer. One of the many interesting aspects of the story is that Sampsell never plays up or celebrates this transformation; rather, his story moves from one decisive