In corporeal and metaphysical terms, Ferrante’s girls and women are made porous and penetrable, pervious and vulnerable, in ways that raise questions regarding the contemporary status of a woman’s body, and the modes of resistance we might fashion in changing its position.
“The baby is dead. It only took a few seconds.” So begins Leïla Slimani’s French bestseller, translated into English by Sam Taylor. The thriller won France’s Prix Goncourt—Moroccan-born Slimani is only the twelfth woman to win the award—and uses an American news story as its source.
When you immigrate, you bring an entire world along with you, a fifth limb impossible to detach, though internal and external forces demand its removal. Immigrants enter into a state of constant negotiation, deliberating what stays and what goes within their sociopolitical space.
The stories in a new anthology edited by Viet Thanh Nguyen speak not only of estrangements from languages, loved ones, and countries of origin, but also of the pain of being in a new place that is not always accepting.
There is a pathos and also an infuriating self-indulgence to the central protagonist, Cy, obsessed with finding lost dinosaurs, rumours of which abound, in the lands beyond the Mississippi.
I learned about Victor LaValle, recent recipient of Ploughshares’s Alice Hoffman Prize, as I read an introduction to Shirley Jackson’s The Sundial, in which he recounts the humor, horror, and humanity he respects in her work.
What is the importance of reading and writing in this moment? Those who come from overtly troubled communities and countries have long known that literature holds enormous power: the veracity that can bring about humility, death, growth, and change.
If there is an equivalent of the artist’s statement in poetry, it’s the ars poetica. Latin for “the art of poetry,” the ars poetica shows up as early as Horace, in 19 BC, and most poets since, it seems, have written at least one.
The nature of the census changes continually—it is at points a mechanism of state surveillance, a quest for self-knowledge, an act of community, a measure of goodness, an exchange, a gift.
Throughout ‘The Lazy River’ Smith uses the second person to create a
community on the page, not unlike the ones we flock to online. She establishes from the
beginning that we, as readers, will be a part of the narrative and complicit in the action