Subscribe




Book Reviews: November 2016

The latest from Jen Michalski and Gary Vikan.

By Gabriella Souza - November 2016

Book Reviews: November 2016

The latest from Jen Michalski and Gary Vikan.

By Gabriella Souza - November 2016

Get Baltimore Daily.

Sign up today and you'll get our latest stories delivered straight to your inbox every weekday afternoon.

The Summer She Was Under Water

By Jen Michalski (Queen’s Ferry Press)

Almost instantly, we can tell that Sam, the main character in local author Jen Michalski’s latest novel, is harboring a secret. We feel her anxiety as she ventures to her blue-collar Baltimore family’s summer house, where the tension between her, her parents, and her mostly absent brother, Steve, hangs in the air like the ever-present cigarette smoke. Though at first we aren’t given many clues about the secret, we sense how much it’s weighing on her. It is the book’s second narrative that illuminates Sam’s story—albeit in a bizarre, magical realism sort of way. This companion narrative is a story Sam herself has written, and tells of a man who discovers that he’s pregnant. (It doesn’t take much insight to infer that he, too, might be hiding something.) Through Michalski’s unusual but effective structure and her insightful and deeply personal writing, we begin to understand just how much strength it takes for a person to peel back the layers of a troubled past—and how invaluable that self-knowledge is at the end of that journey.

See our full interview with writer Jen Michalski.


Sacred and Stolen: Confessions of a Museum Director

By Gary Vikan (SelectBooks)

There’s a certain mystique to the hallowed galleries of a museum. Even though you marvel at the creativity and genius behind the paintings, sculptures, and antiquities, it’s also easy to wonder, “Exactly how did this end up here, in front of me?” Gary Vikan, who was director of The Walters Art Museum for nearly 20 years, draws back the curtain on the often shocking, humorous, and intriguing inner workings of the art worldthe obsessive collectors, shady art dealers, inside thefts, and discovered forgeries. Vikan is a specialist in Byzantine art, and he details how he has had to reconcile his passion for assembling these sacred works with the knowledge that some are stolen. He also delves into his interactions in international art theft cases, including his role in the return of a Renoir that was missing from The Baltimore Museum of Art for more than 60 years. His book is by no means a stuffy, self-promoting autobiography, but rather an enlightening, at times hilarious tour through a world that, despite appearances, has more than its share of intrigue.




You May Also Like


MaxSpace

Review: Wonder Wheel

Woody Allen pays homage to the great American plays of the 1950s.

Arts District

Hamilton Slated to Make its Baltimore Premiere

Hippodrome Theatre’s upcoming season showcases a stunning lineup of productions old and new.

MaxSpace

Review: I, Tonya

Notorious ice skater Tonya Harding gets sympathetic treatment in this otherwise glib biopic.


The Chatter

Davon Fleming Eliminated From The Voice and Fans Are Not Happy

Disappointed fans of Fleming took to social media to vent.

Arts & Culture

Music Reviews: January 2018

The latest from F City and ​Legends of Et cetera.

MaxSpace

Review: All the Money in the World

Kevin who? Christopher Plummer and co. excel in this stylish and gripping thriller.

Connect With Us

Most Read


Ten Incredibly Easy Ways to Be More Active in 2018: Get creative with walking meetings, workout buddies, and local sports leagues.

Here’s What We’d Like to See in the New Penn Station: Penn Station Partners will be refreshing the century-old train station.

The Rowhouse Grille Hosts LLS Fundraiser Honoring Alex Wroblewski: The 41-year-old Locust Point resident was fatally shot outside of Royal Farms in November.

Baltimore Women’s March Moves Downtown as Thousands Plan to Participate: This year’s theme encourages voter registration in 2018 elections.

Walters Curator Says Google Arts App is Good Start But Not Perfect: The museum has more than 1,400 works represented in the app's collection.