Monthly Archive:: September 2012

This Is How You Lose Her

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This Is How You Lose Her Junot Diaz Riverhead, September 2012 224 pages $26.95 Full disclosure: I heart Junot Diaz. A lot. I’m not alone, of course. His previous efforts, Drown and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, have attracted the kind of visceral praise

THAT LIT, LIT LIFE (with global characteristics) 6 (of 14)

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Good morning. It’s a day for an air walk on that lit, lit sojourn. Coffee? Here’s the view above my tatami mat, one of Liu Zhen’s “Landscapes of the Mind,” a lacquer painting. Liu Zhen is a talented, and unusual, young (b. 1970) Shanghai-based artist. Unusual for his patience

Literary Boroughs #19: Kansas City, Missouri

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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

#GurneyEssay – The Trending Topic that will Topple Kitten Videos

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I want to claim that I have invented a new form of essay. It’s easy and fun and with the uptrending in retirement age demographicals in the USA regionality, it might just become the dominant form of essay writing in the next decade. It’s possibilities for depressing content are

Sorry Please Thank You

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Sorry Please Thank You Charles Yu Pantheon, July 2012 240 pages $24.95 Charles Yu is weird. It’s just one of those things you can tell after reading the stories from his most recent collection, Sorry Please Thank You. There’s a zombie shopping for a date, a floating door to

Blurbese: “The First _____”

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When Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom was published, in 2010, the British Daily Telegraph called it “the first great American novel of the post-Obama era.” If that sounds oddly specific (not to mention premature), they at least had good reason for it: the title of “first great American novel of the

THAT LIT, LIT LIFE (with global characteristics) 5 (of 14)

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I used to live in Singapore. In ’94, just before my first book was released, a corporation moved me to this tropical, island city-state. It still feels like home whenever I fly into Changi at the eastern end of the island. Prison neighborhood. The street where I lived. My

Literary Boroughs #18: Nottingham, UK

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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

Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby?

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At my job working the early morning Hydration Stations along the lakefront path serving Gatorade to Chicago-area runners, I work with a 19 year old who also works at the duty-free at the airport (she’s the one who looks at your ticket and tells you that you can’t shop

Bridging the Generation Gap: Grub Street Teens Visit Ploughshares

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This past summer, during Grub Street’s Young Adult Writers Teen Fellowship (http://www.grubstreet.org/index.php?id=22), one of my students wrote a ghazal that left me speechless with awe and envy. She is fifteen. Most days during the three-week program, she wore flannel shirts, jean shorts, and black Gladiator sandals. Her shoulder-length brown