Author Archive

Stand With Standing Rock: Books That Honor Activism

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On Sunday, the Obama administration announced that Energy Transfer Partners, the company managing construction on the pipeline, must halt until the Army Corps of Engineers completes an environmental impact study.
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Witches in Literature, or Bodies as Translators of Fear

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Lady sorceresses are vessels of fear through their bodies , or representations used to translate terror. A witch’s greatest strength is her body, as when Circe seduces and distract Odysseus from his journey; it is her greatest weakness, too, as when the Wicked Witch of the West is destroyed:
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The Art of the Twitter Essay

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Twitter is maybe one of the most ideal places to watch a draft shape itself into a finished essay—a public place for us to learn the bones.
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Literary Meals & Cocktails for the Summer

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Maybe it’s because I’m always hungry, but meals have always been some of the most memorable scenes in books. I drink tea from a porcelain tea cup while reading Oscar Wilde, and crave fried okra or salt pork between readings of Faulkner and Harper Lee.
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Divine Inspiration: Letting Dante Lead Me

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When I arrived in Florence for an extended trip, I was determined not to look like a tourist. I wanted to carry a leather-bound notebook and sit at sidewalk cafes drinking cappuccinos and looking thoughtful. Mostly, I wanted to read The Decameron and the last two books of The
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Creepy Pasta and Michael Helm’s AFTER JAMES

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Part ghost story and part detective novel, After James by Michael Helm is a novel of ideas descended from creepy pasta, or urban legends from the Internet.
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Booze, Books, and Boys: Literary Friendships Throughout History

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Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker Oscar Wilde was the son of Lady Jane, an eclectic socialite who collected artists like trophies. Bram Stoker was a frequent feature in her Saturday night salons, although the two met at a young age and were fast friends through the rest of their
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When Women Writers Become Nightmares

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When we go to inspect female-presenting writers, the canon is too familiar: Emily Dickinson, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen. There’s no purpose in arguing this. What’s more interesting is uncovering forgotten women writers—women who wrote poetry with T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound in life, or produced movies with Alfred Hitchcock.
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On Questioning Narrative Sequence

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At the Contemporary Museum of Art in Montreal, Ragnar Kjartansson’s “The Visitors” plays on nine screens in a dark theater. Each screen features a single musician set to the backdrop of a room in a chateau, which is in disrepair: one woman in a pale lace dress plays cello
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The Anti-Ekphrastic: Art Inspired By Text

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Writers often respond to visual art, a form known as Ekphrastic prose or poetry, and most famously as John Keats’ “Ode to a Grecian Urn.” But what happens when the form is inverted? The anti-ekphrastic takes many forms: The Futurists were the first to create sound poetry, or the
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