Monthly Archive:: August 2012

Canada

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Canada Richard Ford Ecco, May 2012 432 pages $27.99 I found myself humming Simon and Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” while reading Richard Ford’s Canada—only instead of “Joe Diamaggio,” I sang “Frank Bascombe,” the hero of the Ford Trilogy that began with the Sportswriter, peaked with Independence Day, and closed with

THAT LIT, LIT LIFE (with global characteristics) 2 (of 14)

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32 years. That’s how long it’s been since I last set foot on Australia’s east coast. Byron Bay was a soft landing after the long absence, because here was a surfer’s paradise, a gourmet’s paradise, a wine aficionado’s paradise . . . okay, okay so waxing overly lyrical etc.,

Literary Boroughs #14: Montpelier, Vermont

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The Literary Boroughs series will explore little-known and well-known literary communities across the country and world and show that while literary culture can exist online without regard to geographic location, it also continues to thrive locally. Posts are by no means exhaustive and we encourage our readers to contribute in the comment section. The

A Machine that Twitters: Why I decided to let Paul Klee title my essays

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For about four years, I lived within walking distance of the Menil Museum in Houston. It’s a free museum lodged in the Montrose neighborhood and it ate hours of my life. One season the museum had a giant mounting of Paul Klee’s work, the majority borrowed from other collections.

The Borderlands of Language: Using Italics for “Foreign” Words (Part I)

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Junot Díaz once told me that he writes for his six best friends and the rest of the world.  This was a few summers ago in a VONA fiction workshop in San Francisco. We had been discussing the meaty issue of how much to explain in our short stories

Not Unlike…

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Readings in World Literature Srikanth Reddy Omnidawn, 2012 42 pages $11.95 Editor’s note: P. Scott Stanfield holds a Ph.D. in English and teaches literature at Nebraska Wesleyan University. Recently, I challenged him to see how many references to other works and artists he could make in a single 500-word

THAT LIT, LIT LIFE (with global characteristics) 1 (of 14)

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When you’re around the world’s literati, you’re usually a little lit. A bit inebriated. Slightly slurred. Deliciously drunk. Oh, on words of course (Mais oui! What else?). Or if you’re running an international, low-residency MFA with Asian characteristics, you’re intoxicated in multiple Englishes and other languages. Let’s talk about

Literary Boroughs #13: Los Angeles, California

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The Literary Boroughs series will explore little-known and well-known literary communities across the country and world and show that while literary culture can exist online without regard to geographic location, it also continues to thrive locally. Posts are by no means exhaustive and we encourage our readers to contribute in the comment section. The

How I’m Spending my Summer

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My wife told me to lead with the woman peeing. So I will. It was 5:30 last Sunday morning and I watched a woman pee herself. She announced she was doing it. Mumbling something about fascists, she said she hated that the bathrooms were locked and then she pissed

Bridging the Divide: Why I Brought My Mom to Bread Loaf

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I didn’t grow up in what I would call a literary family. We delivered newspapers; we didn’t read them. We told stories constantly, but we never wrote them down. My mom is a housekeeper. All her life she has never taken a sick day. No work meant no paycheck.