Rick Soisson is a Senior English Lecturer at Montgomery County Community College; he has previously taught at three other Philadelphia area colleges and two high schools. He was also the last Director of Patient Relations at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, a post he held for 15 years. He lives in East Falls with his wife and daughter.
By this Author
NPR won't chase a presidential lie
Dreck, lies, and audiotape
NPR has decided its correspondents should not to refer to President Donald Trump's lies as "lies." Rick Soisson sees a problem with that decision.
Arthur Caplan, Donald's Trumpettes, and me
How did we get here?
Rick Soisson wonders about "the line between civilization and something else," and finds the intersection between former Penn medical ethicist Arthur Caplan and Donald Trump.
'Heat & Light' by Jennifer Haigh
Fracking: The novel
Jennifer Haigh's novel 'Heat & Light' visits a fracking-fed Pennsylvania town in Trump country. Rick Soisson reviews.
Tawni O'Dell's newest novel, 'Angels Burning'
Mine fires of the mind
Novelist Tawni O'Dell set her newest book at the site of a long-burning coal fire that's not under Centralia. Rick Soisson wonders why.
'Wicked Philadelphia: Sin in the City of Brotherly Love,' by Thomas H. Keels
William Penn and prostitutes: All the news that's unfit to print
Rick Soisson reviews 'Wicked Philadelphia: Sin in the City of Brotherly Love,' Thomas Keels's 2010 catalog of our city's historic scandals and scoundrels.
'Philadelphia Noir,' edited by Carlin Romano
Real and imagined crimes
This overlooked 2010 collection of Philadelphia neighborhood-based noir fiction contains plenty of surprises, literary flourishes, and a crazy Biddle.
Baby boomers confront posterity
From here to oblivion
As death approaches, says Michael Kinsley, we baby boomers have become obsessed with our generation’s reputation. He should stop talking to writers and get out in the real world.
Dave Barry’s 'Live Right and Find Happiness'
The temptation is to simply fill up my review of Dave Barry's new book with quotations, but I won’t, even though he is perhaps the only living writer who can make me laugh so hard I weep.
Sundance TV’s 'Hap and Leonard'
Politics and the buddy film
Hap and Leonard depends on the clichéd Hollywood notion that folks at the bottom of the economic ladder are all actually remarkably intelligent, witty, and, under the skin, brothers in capitalistic striving.
Paul Cleave’s ‘Trust No One’
Narrative manipulation as madness
In Trust No One, Paul Cleave moves into interesting territory that involves unfair terrain for the reader, with contradictory versions of the protagonist's interior monologue.
Robin Kirman’s 'Bradstreet Gate'
A tangent to murder
Bradstreet Gate is a promising first novel, a book first about uncertainty, but also about the difference between even bright students’ fantasies and “actual, multifarious reality,” as well as the odd, formative nature of friendships made on the threshold of adulthood.
John Ridley's 'American Crime,' season two
Too many shades of gray
The second season of American Crime raises intelligent questions: Can a teenager struggling with his sexual orientation and rough sex fantasies actually be raped, and is there any hope of establishing that legally? Or is Taylor an odd variation of the Victorian heroine who dreams of being ravished, but then decides that wasn’t such a good idea after the fact?
'The State We're In: Maine Stories' by Ann Beattie
John Updike surely would have approved of Ann Beattie's pitch-perfect dialogue and her descriptions of the things we all define our existences by in her first collection of short stories in a decade.
How do we get our news?
Breaking: BSR contributor launches newsfeed!
We have all become fairly sloppy about where we look for information to feed our minds and possibly act on. However, it is what it is, and in that spirit I am happy to announce that on December 18, I transformed my Twitter feed into a highly respected newsfeed.