Author Archive

Tracing Ancestry in The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South

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Throughout his life, the kitchen was the place where truth always found Michael Twitty. It was where he first came out to his mother. Where he first felt kinship toward Jewish tradition. And where he decided to delve as deeply as possible into the culinary history of his ancestors.

The Body in Pain

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Karen Havelin’s debut novel keeps readers teetering on the edge of an abyss that cannot quite be named—the notion of living an existence of ongoing pain, the isolation of a disintegrating body—only to pull them back to a sunny meadow of hope, beauty, and temporary relief.

Reading The Human Stain

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Philip Roth’s book is an in-depth, punch-in-the-gut study of the notion of judgment and blame-laying.

Good Little Girls

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What happens when young women try to fight against the urge to be good and undisruptive?

The Trauma of the Everyday

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Books by Kevin Brockmeier—focusing on the horror of surviving seventh grade—and Buddhist psychotherapist Mark Epstein dissect the trauma of everyday life.

Reading Palestine

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As a translator, I am often asked about contemporary Palestinian literature, and find myself, a liberal Jew from Israel currently living in the US, at an embarrassing loss. Recently, I found my foray into contemporary Palestinian writing.

The Legend of The Princess Bride

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This year, I learned that the emotional background to William Goldman’s famous novel is fictional.

Rage and Shame

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Works by Rebecca Solnit and Lexi Freiman take a look at how women express and suppress their rage.

Maxim Loskutoff’s Exploration of the American Northwest

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As with one’s family, Loskutoff has a complicated relationship with the Northwest, one that cannot be reduced to a single definition such as “love” or “hate.” He is mixed up in this wild country, both as an insider Montana native and as an outsider.

Women Grieving Women

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Recent works by Sarah Perry, Michelle Zauner, and Sara Nović demonstrate how, with time, they were able to take their pain and paralysis and forge something beautiful.