Literary Criticism & Political Commentary

Diana E. Sheets

I have a Ph.D. in Modern European History from Columbia University with honors in Literature and Politics, which I studied with Edward Said. Later, I worked in corporate sales in metro New York before relocating to the Midwest to write fiction and, more recently, literary criticism and political commentary.

The publishing industry has reduced its fictional offerings in recent years to the most banal, the most feminized, the most gentrified, the most formulaic, the most politically correct pabulum. Yet, its readership continues to plummet. In response, publishers have increasingly promoted nonfiction: celebrity tales, exhibitionism cum memoir, and a deluge of informational prattle. Sadly, the once wild and dynamic range of fictional offerings is no more.

In defiance of this abysmal trend, I have created, a blog devoted to literary criticism and political commentary and now my fiction. I hope to demonstrate why stories must dispense with solipsistic preoccupations of self and love and family to examine the world at large. Permit me to make my case. Read my writings mindful of the consequences.

  • The Cusp of Dreams is serialized on my website and available for purchase at in their Kindle Store. In 2010 it will be available in hardcover and as a PDF eBook at The Cusp of Dreams is the story of ordinary Americans who quit or are fired or are downsized. Reminiscent of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman and David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross, my novel recreates the battleground upon which Americans fight to retain the American Dream while living on the cusp.

  • American Suite is a diary novel that parodies "Chic Lit" and confessional memoir. Nominally it is a story about love and the American family. But behind the pink tulle fabric is masculine carnage: warfare, religious strife, and the schism fostered by oppositional politics. American Suite will be serialized on Literary Gulag's website and published as an e-book.

  • In the works-a post-apocalyptic sci-fi about the loss of cultural memory inspired by Olaf Stapledon's Last and First Men.
  • My paper "The Great Books and Cultural Identity: The Rise and Fall of Western Memory and Its Implications for Our Time" appears in Reading in 2010, a collection of essays edited by Michael F. Shaughnessy and available at It will be serialized on Literary Gulag.

  • Forthcoming-From the Gulag: Literary Criticism & Political Commentary from the Archives of