Author Archive

Anne Garréta and the Grammar of Desire

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The initial image of the sphinx in Garréta’s first novel seems to haunt the project of each of her subsequent books: a chimera-like assemblage of parts (the exact composition of which can vary) that remains enigmatic, that resists understanding.

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 Role of Images in Teju Cole’s Blind Spot

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As is painting, so is poetry: the connection between the two cannot be denied, but its nature and significance have been heavily debated. Is poetry a verbal painting? Is painting silent poetry?

Cyd, Miranda, and the World: Finding Family in Literature in Princess Cyd

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Stephen Cone's film is about a queer teenage girl who, for one summer, discovers herself—what she desires, what she needs, and how she could fit in this world. It’s also, and just as importantly, a movie about words—writing and reading them.

The Enduring Allure of Literary Provence

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Provence is one of these regions, like Bordeaux and the Atlantic seaboard, that have always had a strong connection to Anglophone cultures, starting in the seventeenth century when the court of the House of Stuart went into exile in Avignon.

“A Wilderness of Being”: Maternity in the Apocalypse

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Future Home of the Living God has been hailed as the heir to Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, mostly because it talks about women forced to carry out pregnancies and dystopian political repression. Those two ideas together, however, are nothing new.

Julie Maroh’s Body Music: Looking for Love in Montreal

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Last year, Julie Maroh published another graphic novel, Body Music, a series of short vignettes about people and their love stories. It takes place in Montreal, starting July 1st – the day when people usually move out or in – and spans one year, coming back full circle.

“Is this the truth of our historic encounter?”: Museums in Literature

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Not all representations of museums overtly highlight the way they structurally rely on certain power dynamics, and yet the adherence to a certain normalizing discourse is always there, lurking, even when the explicit intention of the museum is to reconnect with a lost past.

Out with T.S. Eliot, and In with Cathy Park Hong: Poetry Criticism in the 21st Century

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The debate about whether Rupi Kaur’s poetry (and by extension, the whole genre dubbed “instapoetry”) is good or bad has apparently been revived. Whether that debate is actually useful in the terms it has set out for itself remains to be seen. Most often, it seems, when the poet

Ruth Ozeki and the Anxieties of the New Millennium

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Contemporary literature has me thinking that the apocalypse isn’t about to happen to us. Instead, it’s been happening for a very, very long time. At least, this is what I read in Ruth Ozeki’s fiction.