Michel Houellebecq’s Submission and the Liberal Man

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Michel Houellebecq has always been a provocative writer and in fact considers himself to be a real provocateur, someone who “says things he doesn’t think, just to shock,” and who leans into that shock when he has a sense that people will hate it.

The Importance of the Difficult

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What is the role of difficult poetry? What does it do that more accessible poetry cannot do? And might it not have a political import?

Remembering James Alan McPherson

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I first met Jim McPherson when he was twenty-five to my twenty-six. I’d read none of Jim’s work and had no idea that he’d published in the Atlantic, had studied with Alan Lebowitz, been mentored by Edward Weeks, and was finishing his first collection, Hue and Cry.

So Far So Good by Ursula K. Le Guin

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Readers who rest in these meditative poems are sure to find the voice of the beloved Le Guin just as intriguing as they did in her prose.

Anger and Feminism in Virginie Despentes’ Work

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Despentes is blunt, upfront, and unapologetic about upending normative rules of decorum regarding what can be discussed and how it must be discussed.

The Immigrant, The Worker, and The Zealot in Ling Ma’s Severance

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Ling Ma brings post-apocalyptic zombie fiction, the Asian-American immigrant narrative, and anti-capitalist office satire together in her debut novel in which capitalism is—literally—a disease.

Eudora Welty and Place in Storytelling

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In her essay “Place in Fiction,” originally delivered as a lecture at Duke in 1955, Eudora Welty almost immediately positions place as an antidote to broad generalizations about human experience.

Decolonizing Poetic Form

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There’s no such thing as a singular “poetic tradition.” To suggest otherwise is horrendously erasive of the myriad poetic traditions, many of them oral, belonging to the world’s diverse cultures.

Reading On the Road

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It took four years for a glioblastoma, a brain cancer that has a median survival rate of fourteen months, to take my mom’s life. It took me those same four years to read Jack Kerouac’s famous work.

After the Winter by Guadalupe Nettel, translated by Rosalind Harvey

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Guadalupe Nettel's writing, in an excellent translation by Rosalind Harvey, is spare, occasionally eerie and always elegant.