Speaking Against Silence

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Much like 2018’s pop feminist anthems, the speaker of Louise Glück’s “Mock Orange” makes an analogy between the scent of mock orange flowers and the “false union” of sexual intercourse to suggest that her true sexual experiences reflect objectification and domination rather than genuine pleasure.

Female Prisoners in Emily Brontë’s Gondal Poems

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Emily Brontë’s attraction to images and metaphors of imprisonment are fueled by historical precedent and romantic inclination, especially by way of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Don Quixote or the Dangers of Reading Badly

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Again and again the story of Don Quixote shows that idealism untethered from reality leads to nothing but real harm, and I find in it a cautionary tale for our age, in which misinformation and conspiracy theories proliferate.

Last Night in Nuuk by Niviaq Korneliussen

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Niviaq Korneliussen’s novel is short, only around two hundred pages, but it moves like a bullet: powerful, emotionally dense, and over much more quickly than I wanted it to be.

A Return to Main Street

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Sinclair Lewis’s novel offers no solutions to current social ills, nor does fiction serve such ends well. Fiction may, on the other hand, meditate on the romantic and the realistic to reveal insight into individual minds seeking out the world to find the best way to live in it.

“Unfortunately, the Book Continues to Be Relevant”: An Interview with Erika Meitner

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When Erika Meitner was in the process of adopting her youngest son, she was surprised to discover just how many households in her neighborhood had firearms. Erika Meitner’s new poetry collection uses these two life events to examine safety, violence, and raising a family in rural Appalachia.

The Colonizers

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Claire Messud’s novel intimately considers the legacy and trauma of the pieds-noirs through the story of a family living in Marseilles, France in the 1980s and 1990s.

Reading Palestine

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As a translator, I am often asked about contemporary Palestinian literature, and find myself, a liberal Jew from Israel currently living in the US, at an embarrassing loss. Recently, I found my foray into contemporary Palestinian writing.

The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh

Mackintosh’s characters offer a representation of how young women deal with grief once a familial structure is undone, in the way of filling empty spaces that begin to present themselves.

Revisiting Alice Munro’s “Material”

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Munro raises questions about the relationship between two things that often coincide in writers: the first is a certain amount of self-indulgence and self-mythologizing; the second is the difficult work of putting aside the ego and observing the world.