April Bernard

April Bernard’s most recent books are Romanticism, a ­collection of poems, and Miss Fuller, a novel. (October 2014)

  • A New Trip to Lindgren Land

    June 23, 2015

    Though best known for having created the red-headed and wildly independent little girl Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren wrote many books not involving Pippi. Newly reissued, Seacrow Island may be among her greatest works.

  • Laura's World

    March 17, 2015

    Nostalgia, with its admixture of warmth, loss, and dangerous sentimentality, suffuses any consideration of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books. It’s the only way to make sense of the phenomenal popularity of the new scholarly tome, Pioneer Girl.

  • Mice: Naughty and Nice

    December 23, 2014

    As with many classics, if Beatrix Potter’s tales have become invisibly “charming,” it is time to return to them and see them anew.

  • Caged Laughter

    June 6, 2014

    Is it possible to feel more ambivalent than I do about Orange Is the New Black?

  • Sylvia Plath: Rage and Laughter

    June 5, 2013

    If we consider embarrassment as an aesthetic strategy rather than as a mistake, we begin to see how funny Sylvia Plath often is.

  • Here's What I Hate About Writers' Houses

    August 11, 2011

    On the subject of Writers’ Houses, that dark genius Robert Frost would have understood the paradox I find myself inhabiting: that I hate them in general, but soften to something like affection in the face of particular places. Frost enjoyed mocking his own, and others’, ambivalences, especially when personal feeling interfered with principle. Whether or not he also would have enjoyed hearing my footsteps in his old parlor and study is another matter; I would guess not.

  • 'Orange Is the New Black'


    The experience of being highly entertained by this soap opera—which is also, often, extremely funny—turns the viewer into a tourist of suffering.