Author Archive

Stories Strangely Told: Big Want

Author: | Categories: Reading, Series No comments
The way we most often talk about it desire is an aspect of character. Which is all fine, really, until we slam into those desires so bullish in their insistency that no longer can we play like we own them.

Stories Strangely Told: Stories That Break Their Molds

Author: | Categories: Series No comments
There are stories that break from patterns, and stories that pull so hard at their stitching that they unravel themselves in the process.

Stories Strangely Told: Denis Johnson’s “Car Crash While Hitchhiking”

Author: | Categories: Reading, Series No comments
When I was twenty and thought I had just about figured out what a story was, my fiction teacher walked me to the oven-sized scanner outside his office to copy onto legal paper the first twelve pages of Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son.

Stories Strangely Told: Stuart Dybek’s “Misterioso”

Author: | Categories: Series No comments
An art that constantly changes contour is an art that keeps us free, keeps us questioning and alive.

Stories Strangely Told: Sherwood Anderson’s “Hands”

Author: | Categories: Series No comments
On quick glance then not much of "Hands" seems overtly experimental—the only oddity is that without George asking and without Wing disclosing, we somehow arrive at Wing's backstory.

Stories Strangely Told: One Particular Stroller on the Road of Muslim Migration

Author: | Categories: Series No comments
It starts with a stroller: pink beams, brown fabric; the whole architecture collapsed into branches and leaf-rot and gritty snow. Five of the six wheels—two dual rears and a single front one—point up like the legs of a submissive dog. The sixth is snug in the dirt.

Stories Strangely Told: Borges, Bad Art, and the Infinite Aleph

Author: | Categories: Series No comments
"The Aleph" by Jorge Luis Borges concerns, along with mirrors and the infinite: the demolition of a house, literary prizes, fragile egos, café lighting, the death of Beatriz Viterbo, and a few terrible stanzas by Carlos Argentino Daneri, a pompous and longwinded academic.

Stories Strangely Told: Lore Segal’s “At Whom the Dog Barks”

Author: | Categories: Series No comments
Lore Segal’s “At Whom the Dog Barks” is not so much concerned with cause and effect as it’s concerned with coincidence and pattern. Or perhaps coincidence is the name for cause and effect outside the realm of human perception.

Stories Strangely Told: Zadie Smith’s “The Embassy of Cambodia”

Author: | Categories: Series No comments
One of the ceaseless joys of narrative, however we try to contain it, is how it bursts through the walls of expectation. The drama's there too in language—its strict rules, its constant bend and flex toward newness.

Speaking of Megaphones: Why Reading Literature Now Might Be Useful

Author: | Categories: Reading No comments
I could spin many narratives for why I wanted this series. Instead I'll be honest with you: it was mostly for my own sanity. Maybe you've got a better handle on this than I do, but my way of engaging with our daily media does not feel particularly healthy,