The first action heroine

In the figure of the coltish, resolute Sigourney Weaver, Alien may just be the film that overhauled the old, unreconstructed horror genre and dared to put a woman centre-stage. Because make no mistake: a horror movie is what Alien is. “It’s basically a haunted house film,” explains the critic David Thomson. “The only difference is that the old dark house just happens to be a spaceship.” –Xan Brooks, Guardian Alien…

Tips on Writing a Literary Book Review

I’ve asked students in my “Writing about Literature” class to write a book review, in order to establish a connection to the literary world outside the classroom. The Purdue Online Writing Lab has a brief handout, Writing a Book Review, which begins by explaining the difference between a “book report” (written for the teacher who assigned it, by a student who is trying to prove he or she read an…