Algis Valiunas

Algis Valiunas is a Florida-based writer and critic.

The Truth About Abe Was Astonishing Enough: Apr. 2000


In honor of president’s day, the Spectator will be republishing this week essays and reviews on our nation’s best — and worst — leaders. Abe: A Novel of the Young LincolnBy Richard SlotkinHenry Holt/478 pages/$27.50 Lincoln: A Foreigner’s QuestBy Jan MorrisSimon & Schuster/205 pages/$23 It has been said that Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) was born in […]

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Socking the Angel


Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’ConnorBy Brad Gooch (Little Brown, 416 pages, $30) A semi-invalid stricken young with lupus who lived with her mother in a small Georgia town and attended Mass every morning, Flannery O’Connor (1925–1964) is the most famous Roman Catholic writer America has produced, and enjoys a reputation for extraordinary devoutness. Robert Lowell, […]

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A World of Hurt


Katherine Anne Porter: Collected Stories and Writings (Library of America, 1093 pages, $40) “SHE SIGHED WITH A HUMUROUS BITTERNESS. The humor seemed momentary, but the bitterness was a constant state of mind.” So Cousin Eva, a Texas schoolmistress, suffragette, and old maid, ca. 1912–her never having married evidently attributable to a recessive chin–reveals her spiritual […]

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