Maureen Corrigan

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Maureen Corrigan
Maureen corrigan 8320.JPG
Occupation Journalist, critic, author
Genres Criticism, nonfiction

Maureen Corrigan is an American journalist, author and literary critic. She writes for the "Book World" section of The Washington Post, and is a book critic on the NPR radio program Fresh Air. In 2005, she published a literary memoir, Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in Books.

Life and work[edit]

Corrigan holds a B.A. from Fordham University as well as an M.A. and Ph.D from the University of Pennsylvania and is Critic in Residence and a lecturer in English at Georgetown University.[1] Her specialist subjects include 19th-century British literature, women's literature (with a special focus on autobiographies), popular culture, detective fiction, contemporary American literature, and Anglo-Irish literature.[1] Corrigan is a member of the advisory panel of The American Heritage Dictionary and an Advisor to the National Endowment of the Arts "Big Read" project.[1]

Corrigan has been a book critic for NPR on the Peabody Award-winning Fresh Air radio program for almost two decades.[1][2][3] She is a reviewer and columnist for the "Book World" section of The Washington Post, and essays and reviews written by her have appeared in publications such as The Village Voice, The New York Times, The Nation, The New York Observer, Salon and The Philadelphia Inquirer.[3]

Along with Robin Winks, she was an associate editor of and contributor to Mystery & Suspense Fiction (Scribner, 1999), a work which won the Edgar Award for Criticism from Mystery Writers of America in 1999.[1][2]

Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading[edit]

Corrigan has written a literary memoir, Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in Books, first published in 2005, which reviews the books that most influenced her personally, belonging in the main to three non-canonical genres – female extreme-adventure tales (narratives recounting "private tests of endurance" in women's lives), hard-boiled detective novels, and Catholic-martyr narratives.[4] The main focus of the book however is on the first, extreme adventure tales, and Corrigan makes the observation that narratives themed around female suffering are today breaking with a millennia-old tradition.[4] Where women used to suffer in silence, all the while plotting under a surface of stillness – like Penelope in Homer's Odyssey, who has to put up for years with unwanted suitors – in more recent narratives women begin to act: they talk back, and fight.[4][5]



  1. ^ a b c d e "Maureen Corrigan, Lecturer and Critic in Residence, English Department". Georgetown University. Retrieved 3 March 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Maureen Corrigan, Book Critic, Fresh Air". People at NPR. NPR. Retrieved 3 March 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Ann Merle Feldman (March 2008). Making writing matter: composition in the engaged university. SUNY Press. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-7914-7381-8. Retrieved 3 March 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c Susan M. McKenna (16 May 2009). Crafting the female subject: narrative innovation in the short fiction of Emilia Pardo Bazán. CUA Press. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-8132-1673-7. Retrieved 3 March 2011. 
  5. ^ Maureen Corrigan (2 January 2007). Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in Books. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. pp. xxiii–xxv. ISBN 978-0-375-70903-6. Retrieved 3 March 2011.