On Being Keepers: Heidi Julavits and Sarah Manguso’s Diaries

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Diaries offer writers, particularly women who historically have not had a public voice, space to reflect on and process their lives as they happen, as well as space to record the daily routines that compose a life.

Poetic Counterpoints: Emmanuelle Guattari’s I, Little Asylum

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In I, Little Asylum, Emmanuelle Guattari reflects on her childhood at La Borde, an experimental psychiatric clinic founded in 1951 in the Loire Valley, France. Are the textures of this novel cum memoir particular to its setting? Can we detect in the book’s rhythm and style anything that directly

Learning to Love the Long Poem

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I’ve been wired since girlhood, by factors ranging from my Catholic upbringing to low self-esteem, to shrink, to make myself smaller, to avoid bringing attention to myself. Perhaps my comfort with small poems has underpinnings I should interrogate.

Lines from Limbo

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When I began to make a concerted effort to study Irish in college, I could not help but feel at times that the process was less one of starting from zero than of anamnesis, the slow recollection of a dormant inborn knowledge.

The Undressing by Li-Young Lee

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Lee is clearly wary of the limits of language. Perhaps this is why his language in this collection is so syncretic, so wildly alive and allusive with references to anime, science fiction, the Hebrew Bible, Gnosticism, Shakespeare, and hip hop.

Nightmares by the Border in The Line Becomes a River

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In the desert, by the border, Francisco Cantú dreams of wolves. They are strange, menacing figures whose appearances portend a message he can’t quite figure out. Are they stalking him, the way he and the rest of the Border Patrol trail Mexican migrants through the Sonoran desert? Are they

“Fort Wilderness” by Andrew Bienen

By this time next week—and possibly sooner—I’ll be just another man who abandoned June. I’ve outlasted most of the others and in some twisted way I’m proud of that fact.

Should Creative Writers Adopt the Same Objectivity Expected of Journalists and Historians?

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In this particular moment, journalists have come under fire for their presentation or concoctions of the “truth” with a capital T. They’re expected to write as objectively as possible, but writers, especially those who write historical fiction, have been known to bend facts in service of story and are

The Classism of Dental Work in Erin McGraw’s Short Story “Teeth”

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There are many ways in which teeth can also set people apart. In the short story “Teeth” from the January/February issue of Kenyon Review Online, Erin McGraw explores classism and the power of wealth through the symbol of teeth.

Monstrous Masculinity: Frankenstein at Two Hundred

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When I first read Frankenstein, I knew that Mary Shelley was the daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft, the blazing eighteenth-century feminist, so I was expecting a text reflecting that parentage. But her women characters were . . . well, dead. Her book was all about men.