There Are Places I Remember: on the Fine Line Between Fiction and Memoir in Translation

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Sometimes it feels as if I’m not merely translating people’s stories into English, but helping people preserve their own lives, turning them into internationally comprehendible keepsakes. For every two books of pure fiction that I translate, there is a third that is not exactly a memoir, not exactly a

In Bookstores Near You: The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race ed. by Jesmyn Ward

Jesmyn Ward introduces The Fire This Time, an anthology of essays and poems of witness and dissent, by expressing her own commingled dismay and hope regarding race relations in America. This book, she says, gathers “the great thinkers and extraordinary voices” of her generation to consider racism, both subtle

Douglas Kearney and the 21st Century Remix

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I was at a lecture recently about The Iliad—that beloved epic gorefest—when the scholar discussing the text referred to its author as “DJ Homer.” It wasn’t so much that Homer composed the text of The Iliad, he said. It was more that he remixed old stories that had been

Writing Trauma: Notes of Transcendence, #4—The Situation and the Story

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Writing in second person point of view, I found power in a situation in which I’d felt powerless. I was no longer the victim but the witness...

Review: DOG YEARS by Melissa Yancy

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Melissa Yancy’s debut story collection, Dog Years, is an exploration into the intersection between our public and private selves. Each of the nine stories follows a central protagonist who is navigating the world, often uneasily and unsuccessfully, trying hard to figure out how to create a life with fewer

A Chapbook by Any Other Name: Reviews of 3 Prose Collections

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Genre, in a post-Dylan-won-the-Nobel world, is worth considering on a variety of levels, and often when people hear “chapbook,” they assume automatically the speaker means a short collection of poetry. Publishers, though, also print chapbooks of prose.

The Best Poem I Read This Month: Jayy Dodd’s “Black Philosophy #3”

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“Black Philosophy #3,” Dodd’s new poem from the first issue of The Shade Journal, poses a series of “if…then…” questioning statements regarding blackness, black boys, death, dead boys, living boys, pretty boys, prettiness, and a manner of interrelating, interlocking, and uncompromising conditions between those terms.

An Unconventional Nobel Laureate

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Have you ever found yourself looking at the heteronormative sausage-fest that is the Nobel Prize lineup and said, “I wonder if the hoity-toity Swedish Academy will ever give the Literature Nobel to a genre-bending disabled lesbian children’s book author?” Funny you should ask.

Why Canada’s First Nations Men Might Fight for Colonists

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Three Day Road, a historical fiction story about two Cree Natives, Xavier and Elijah, who volunteer to enter WWI fighting for Canada is tough to put down. Part Métis, Boyden lets us inside the world of the First Nations people enough to see how well their skills as hunters

Who Saves the World

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A girl who saves the world: isn’t this key to what draws us in droves to post-apocalyptic, dystopian, and otherwise speculative fictions? That they’re often only accounts of ruin on the surface; beyond that, and in the vein of what makes them utterly necessary, they’re stories of survival and