Michel Houellebecq has always been a provocative writer and in fact considers himself to be a real provocateur, someone who “says things he doesn’t think, just to shock,” and who leans into that shock when he has a sense that people will hate it.
Writers, like all artists, experience things twice—once in the moment, and again when attempting to draw out the details of what has happened to bring a work to life. In the digital age, however, many experiences have been stripped of vibrancy.
In “Kaddish,” Ginsberg bears witness to his mother’s pain and struggles; he intones her name over and over again as if to deify her. It is in that painful remembrance that, during that panicked time of terrorism and political instability, I drew hope.
Writers squeeze writing in between their full-time work, even if they don’t talk about it. Journalist and TV anchor Jake Tapper did just that in writing his political thriller, which he wrote sometimes in intervals of only fifteen minutes at a time.
The tourists, travelers, and colonial police of The Sheltering Sky are mostly disaffected and unmoored Westerners who see their time in Algeria as temporary. The protagonist defines a tourist as someone who “generally hurries back home at the end of a few weeks or months.”
Although employment has been on the rise for several years, jobs that are available are often low wage or part time. And people still are losing work altogether: factory worker unemployment has been an issue for decades—especially in the Great Lakes region.
Since the year after the Columbine tragedy, 2000, a total of 113 novels have been published in English about school shootings. The number of novels published on school shootings before Columbine? One.
In this particular moment, journalists have come under fire for their presentation or concoctions of the “truth” with a capital T. They’re expected to write as objectively as possible, but writers, especially those who write historical fiction, have been known to bend facts in service of story and are
The Vietnam War has long been recognized as a turning point in the United States as a country, in which Americans lost their “innocence” with regards to politics and war.
On April 24, 2015 I was in Istanbul when the hundred-year commemorations of the start of the Armenian Genocide were taking place. A group of Armenians, Turks, and foreigners ended a walk to remember the massacre.