Tara Wanda Merrigan
I'm a critic for Bustle.com books vertical. I've just graduated from Harvard, where I studied the history and literature of America and wrote and edited for The Crimson.

Latest Articles

This Book May Actually Be a Work of Genius

Eimear McBride’s debut novel A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing (Coffee House), a fractured portrait of a nameless Irish girl’s traumatic childhood and adolescence, is an uncomfortable novel. I
By Tara Wanda Merrigan

9 Feminist Arguments from 'Unspeakable Things'

The first thing you need to know about British feminist Laurie Penny’s Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies, and Revolution (Bloomsbury) — a collection of essays that range in topic from eating disorders an...
By Tara Wanda Merrigan

A Bit of Jane Austen's Handwriting, Found

We've all read Jane Austen's words, some of us have probably even committed some of her most famous to memory. ("It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortun...
By Tara Wanda Merrigan

This Weird Thing Affects Your Credit Score

Taking books out of the library seems like a great idea in theory. (The books are free! You won’t feel bad about shelling out cash for a book you don’t like, you can just return and a get a new one!) ...
By Tara Wanda Merrigan

Why Do We Read, Wendy Lesser Asks

I moved to New York in late October of last year, just a few weeks after returning from Berlin, a city which, during my three weeks there, had stolen my heart. There are many cities I like, and many m...
By Tara Wanda Merrigan

What To Make of the 'Three Cups of Tea' Scandal

"In Three Cups of Tea, the first chapter, the first word is 'failure.' I failed in many ways, and it's an important lesson. I'm going to try as hard as I can never to make the same mistakes again,” Gr...
By Tara Wanda Merrigan

Ad Promotes a Self-Help Book with Selfies

Seizing upon the popularity of the self-portrait — "selfie" was named word of 2013 by the Oxford Dictionary, after all — British publisher Vintage Books has created an ad campaign to publicize the pap...
By Tara Wanda Merrigan

Happy Birthday, Zora

As any of you who have Googled anything in the last 17 hours knows, today would have been novelist Zora Neale Hurston’s 123rd birthday. And while Google’s commemoration, a doodle of the poised author ...
By Tara Wanda Merrigan

'On Such a Full Sea' Is a Fresh Take on Dystopia

Dark visions of the future are certainly not a new subject for contemporary fiction. In the 1980s, there was Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, a speculation of what might happen if conservative r...
By Tara Wanda Merrigan

'You Don't Look Like Your Pictures' Probes Love

In this increasingly digital world, the way we connect with one another looks drastically different than it did 20, 10, or even just five years ago. And nowhere is this truer than for romantic interac...
By Tara Wanda Merrigan

Stieg Larsson Fans, We've Got Some News

The three books of Stieg Larsson's "Millennium" Series books are hugely popular. The novels, which follow the corruption-fighting efforts of the journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the anti-social tech wh...
By Tara Wanda Merrigan

9 Christmas Books to Avoid

'Tis the season to read holiday books, right? You've been waiting all year to dive into your Christmas-themed books (because reading A Christmas Carol in August just doesn't seem right), but we've col...
By Tara Wanda Merrigan

It's the Tenth of Dec — and It's Saunders Time

If you checked your calendar today, you know it’s December 10. For some today is just any other day in December — not Christmas, not the winter solstice, not New Year’s Eve, not Hanukkah. But for fans...
By Tara Wanda Merrigan

'In the Night of Time': a Mesmerizing Spanish Tale

Antonio Muñoz Molina’s In the Night of Time (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is an epic novel — in both scope and physical size — that details one man’s experience surviving and escaping the Spanish Civil ...
By Tara Wanda Merrigan

Goods from the Goodreads Readers' Choice Awards

Goodreads, that favorite social platform for readers looking to share and learn about books, has released its list of the best books of the year, as chosen by its site users. There are many good title...
By Tara Wanda Merrigan

A Shocking Death Starts 'Black-Haired Girl'

Robert Stone's Death of the Black-Haired Girl (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is a captivating tale about the untimely death of Maud Stack, a highly spirited and intelligent college girl. It is untimel
By Tara Wanda Merrigan

'Nothing' Takes On The Despair of 20-Somethings

Nothing (Two Dollar Radio), Anne Marie Wirth Cauchon’s debut novel, is an original, thrilling tale of a gritty small town about to be consumed by a raging wildfire. The story, alternately narrated by ...
By Tara Wanda Merrigan

Brooke Shields' New Mother-Daughter Book

Brooke Shields, the actress-model who became an icon of ‘80s style with her appearance in a controversial Calvin Klein denim ad,
By Tara Wanda Merrigan

'Little Red Riding Hood' Is Crazy Old

Let me tell you a fairy tale. A girl, dressed in a bright red cape, journeys deep into the forest to see her aging grandmother. There she finds the idiom “a wolf in sheep’s skin” scarily literalized: ...
By Tara Wanda Merrigan

Calling the Most Extreme Foodies

In Anything That Moves: Renegade Chefs, Fearless Eaters, and the Making of a New American Food Culture (Riverhead), writer Dana Goodyear hooks her readers in with the outrageous, unbelievable stories ...
By Tara Wanda Merrigan