Author Archive

Chopin at the Fair

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On the main thoroughfare, known as the Pike, of the 1904 World's Fair, a display entitled "Home on the Old Plantation" featured a recreated slave cabin, complete with black actors playing the slaves. What might Chopin have thought about this?

Reckoning with the Past in Octavia Butler’s Kindred

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Far from offering us the possibility of a peaceful reconciliation with the past, Butler suggests that the only way for her protagonist to free herself from it is to assert her own worth over that of her slave-owning ancestor, even if he is her kindred.

Fighting Muteness in Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls

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A feminist retelling of the Iliad, Barker’s novel seeks to give voice to the women and girls behind the epic, and in doing so becomes a clear rebuke to centuries of patriarchal silencing.

In Search of Collateral Beauty: Counting Spells in the NICU

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My left leg is still numb from the epidural, so my husband pushes me in a wheelchair to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I’m wearing an oversized hospital gown and a pair of blue, anti-slip socks. It’s sometime in the evening, but I don’t know exactly when; time has