Colonialism and Nationalism in The House of Hunger

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Alongside his exoneration of colonial violence both externally apparent and pervasively overlooked, Dambudzo Marechera questions what will happen when independence comes, throwing into stark relief the metanarrative of the nation state and the concept of nationalism as a motivating structure for freedom.

Dissecting Suspense in Rebecca

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A master of suspense, Daphne du Maurier’s highest skill lies in finding the latent dread in mundane domestic moments.

True Love by Sarah Gerard

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Gerard’s novel is a fascinating read for anyone looking to understand the world we’ll inhabit when the smoke of the Trump era clears—in particular, the world that’s being left to young people.

White Melancholia

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To both Toni Morrison and Jess Row, American literary output has been marked by an often unconscious awareness of the racial other. To Row, an avoidance in recent white literature serves a kind of protective function for white writers and readers, acting as a shield against our own shame.

Maria Popova’s Figurations of Inner Life

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It almost does not matter what someone does or what happens to them. Rather, what matters is what someone thinks they have experienced. As Popova suggests, the true changes in our lives are cognitive as much as they are biographical—or, rather, if they are biographically significant, it is only

The Historical Imperatives of Swing At Your Own Risk

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Deeply rooted in Black feminist discourse, Metta Sáma’s second full-length book of poetry is part of a line of historical poetics—part documentary, part interpretative—that refuses to distinguish between the horrors of the past and their ongoing inflections in the present.

The Danger and Loneliness of Passing

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Brit Bennett’s recently published novel and Nella Larsen’s classic reveal the danger—and loneliness—of a black woman passing for white in the early 1900s and the 1990s. Passing affords the freedoms and opportunities for reinvention that whiteness allows for, but this comes at a terrible cost.

Of Color by Jaswinder Bolina

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Bolina’s collection explores the complicated ground of being “of color,” being an immigrant, being American, and being human with an admirable fluency. He entrusts us with an honest conversation—one that we should all be having with one other.

Oliver Sacks’ Whole-Person Approach

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When telling stories of his patients, Oliver Sacks is clinical while also remaining deeply compassionate in his approach. His dual perspective allows him to see both patient and person, and treatment is never the end of the story.

The Liminality of Life and Death in Seán Ó Ríordáin’s Poetry

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Poetry as life and death—may I term this struggle as survival? Seán Ó Ríordáin, the Irish poet whose oeuvre elucidates this limbo, looks no further than to the interaction of light with dark to explain this compulsion for the letter as both cure and curse.