Author Archive

The Poetics of Orientation

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Sally Wen Mao’s new collection repeatedly pushes against the notion that a state of being “othered” is necessarily a fixed point of marginalization.

Oedipus and the River Monster

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Daisy Johnson’s new retelling of the Oedipus myth molds the story’s original questions into new shapes: What does fear look like? What produces it?

Levity and Storytelling in A Christmas Carol

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With the indefinite article “a,” Dickens seems to declare that the story is not about a carol, but is, instead, itself a Christmas carol: a song for the season.

List-Making at the End of the World

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In apocalyptic stories, lists seem to provide characters and writers with a sense of control.

Paradise Rot and the Art of Sexual Awakening

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In Marjam Idriss’ new translation of Jenny Hval’s novel, the biblical Fall of Man is reimagined within a narrative of queer female desire.

Reading the Body in Second Person

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The works of Daisy Johnson and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie demand a close look at the inherent sense of intimacy within the second-person perspective, forcing us to consider how we read the body in this mode of storytelling.

Karen Russell and the Art of Discomfort

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Without the draw of discomfort, horror wouldn’t be possible. Karen Russell uses different types of discomfort to shape her new short story, “Orange World,” in which Rae, an expectant mother with a high-risk pregnancy, makes a deal with the devil for the safety of her unborn child.

Hybridity in Color

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Anne Carson, Maggie Nelson, and Marie NDiaye destabilize categories like genre and color as a way of moving forward with exploring the disturbances found within personhood.

Achilles and the Art of the Character Flaw

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In the story of the Trojan War, Achilles’s “fatal flaw” changes drastically depending on the version and interpretation. Sometimes it’s his heel, the single weakness on an otherwise indestructible body; sometimes it’s his hubris, the crime of pride; sometimes it seems to be something more than either of those.

Alexandra Kleeman and the Poetics of Weather

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There’s much more to fictional weatherscapes than the tonal work that lies on the surface. Weather presents a fundamental aspect of narrative that, by definition, lies outside of the realm of agency.