Jonathan Russell Clark

Jonathan Russell Clark is a former staff writer for Literary Hub, and his essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Atlantic, Tin House, Vulture, the Columbus Dispatch, LA Review of Books, New Republic, The Georgia Review, and dozens of others. Most recently, he wrote about a debut novel by a professional skateboarder for the L.A. Times. His first book, An Oasis of Horror in a Desert of Boredom, a study of Roberto Bolaño's 2666, was published in 2018. His second book, Skateboard, will be a part of Bloomsbury's Object Lessons series and will be published in 2022.

Lady Mondegreen’s Jungle

by | September 22, 2022

In 1954 Sylvia Wright, an editor at Harper’s Magazine, wrote a piece for the magazine in which she recalls her childhood. Her mother would read the Scottish ballad “The Bonnie Earl o’ Moray” to her. Here is how young Wright heard the opening lyric: Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands, Oh, where hae ye been? They […]

A Shark-Infested Rice Pudding book cover

Jonathan Come Lately—An Introduction

by | June 14, 2022

Jonathan Russell Clark debuts a monthly column for Tasteful Rude detailing the choicest selections from his book-obsessed life. His current apartment resembles a used bookstore almost more than it does an ordinary living space, and he plans to write about whatever he finds on those shelves that tickles his fancy.

books in a used book store

Extra-metatextuality: A Review of Chuck Klosterman’s The Nineties: A Book

by | April 5, 2022

In his book "The Nineties", Chuck Klosterman is not interested in what’s conventionally understood or easily graspable but in the layers that either exist deep underneath or hover loftily. It’s what makes his essays and books so fun—it allows us to reconsider accepted wisdom.

the nineties book cover

Spelling Cyphers: A Review of Long Division by Kiese Laymon

by | June 24, 2021

The most interesting mystery novels don’t announce themselves as such. There is no murder to solve or culprit to apprehend. Rather, events which have no obvious explanation unfold and an air of ambiguity surrounds them. Kiese Laymon’s novel Long Division belongs to this category of mystery.

Long Division Book Cover

Embodied is an Intertextual and Intersectional Masterpiece

by | May 6, 2021

I could go on and on about these collaborations, but I don’t have enough space here to describe how wonderfully, gloriously, and lovingly enthralling they are. There are poems about birth and the body, stories of misogyny at a university and of grappling with a miscarriage. These works explore heritage, family, gender, love, and in the case of the inimitable Diane Seuss, tits. Altogether, they typify the robust state of contemporary poetry.

Embodied Cover

Pola Oloixarac’s Mona is a Devastating Satire That Got Blurbed by a Creep

by | March 23, 2021

Pola Oloixarac’s Mona (translated from Spanish by Adam Morris) is a devastating and harrowing satire of the literary world, an alternately hilarious and piercing examination of the culture surrounding books.

Mona book cover

The Dangers, and Pleasures, of Smoking in Bed

by | February 4, 2021

Mariana Enriquez’s The Dangers of Smoking in Bed joins the ranks of magic realism's finest short story writers with a group of off-kilter tales enlivened by captivating unease.

Smoking in Bed cover