Author Archive

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.

The Unbearable Rancidity of French Letters

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The first woman to be admitted into the French Academy was Marguerite Yourcenar, in 1980. Nowadays, as we’re nearing the Academy’s 400th anniversary, the proportion of women remains dismally low, and the members are overwhelmingly white.

“A Sort of Sci-Fi Apocalypse of Flowers”: An Interview with Karim Kattan

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Karim Kattan is a young writer who lives between Bethlehem and Paris. He has written for The Paris Review, Vice’s i-D, and The Funambulist, among others. In 2014, he founded el-Atlal, a yearly residency in Jericho for artists and writers. Préliminaires pour un verger futur, published by Elyzad, is

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Inclusive Writing?

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These are the facts: French is a highly gendered language. Every noun is gendered, and all adjectives follow an agreement rule regarding number and gender.

So Your Character Wants to Be a Historian

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There’s no easy way to actually quantify this, but it feels like more and more characters I see in books are historians of some kind – regardless of their status, amateur or professional, these are characters who do sleuthing work about the past, consciously or not.

Stranger Stories: Storytelling and Dungeons & Dragons

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It’s always fascinated me, this seemingly inescapable impulse we have to turn events into stories, even when we don’t necessarily think we have storytelling abilities. Storytelling has always been crucial to human nature, or so we’re told.

Reinventing Writing Workshops

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Like it or not, MFAs, as programs that aim at the professionalization of writing, have always been the vehicle of cultural imperialism; the propensity to remove “ideology” from writing in order to improve the latter is thus basic hypocrisy.

Plenty of Pride & No Prejudice?

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A while ago, while browsing the local Barnes & Noble, a friend and I started discussing how we got into LGBTQ literature, and how much reading specifically queer authors had meant to us in times of turmoil, both personal and not. This was in the aftermath of the Orlando

“She had a face that would haunt me for the rest of my life”: Looking for Annemarie Schwarzenbach

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Grappling with the complexities of Annemarie Schwarzenbach’s life–falling in love with her, in a way–entails addressing not just her political and ideological stances in light of her personal relationships, but also the realities of queerness within history, and the interplay of both of these aspects.

MFA vs. Saint Germain des Près

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Over the past five years, France has witnessed, bemused, the emergence of a very special breed of master's programs—in creative writing. Today, in a country that’s supposedly one of the cradles of Western literature (or so we French love to believe), there are, all in all, three such programs.