Authors Archive

The Death of the Reader

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I wanted to begin this piece with a line like: “It’s dead, thank God” but Barthelme beat me to the punch thirty years ago in his essay “Not-Knowing.”

The Narrative Medium of our Times: An Interview with TV Critic Matthew Gilbert

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TV is no longer the second cousin to film; in many ways, it’s become the higher art form. And to a great extent, television has become society’s barometer—it shapes and tells us more about who we are than almost any other medium.

Nora Ephron and the Lost Art of Magazine Writing

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It's my opinion that Nora Ephron never should have left journalism. Sure there was a lot more money to be made writing and directing major motion pictures like When Harry Met Sally or Sleepless in Seattle, but Ephron had a gift for magazine writing.

Art & Politics: An Interview with Author & Best American Short Stories Editor Heidi Pitlor

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What is the function of the artist and writer in a troubled society? What is our role in these uncertain and precarious political times?

Speaking for Everyone, Speaking for No One: The Question of (APIA) Canonicity

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The Western canon has no objective nomination process, which is why it is both axiomatic and controversial. But why have APIA voices been erased from the so-called “Great Books” for so long, and how should APIA writers respond to this longstanding erasure?

The Arc of Joan Didion and Annie Dillard

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In my mind, Joan Didion and Annie Dillard are linked, two sides to the same coin, one the yin to the other’s yang. This is unfair to both women.

The Complicated and Contradictory Mosaic of Cure: An Interview with Eli Clare

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Clare’s writing is radical in its refusal to condense to a prescriptive right or wrong without ever sliding into passivity. His book, The Marrow's Telling: Words in Motion, was a 2008 Lambda Literary Award finalist. His 1999 essay collection, Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation, was reissued by

Killing the Messenger: A Dual Interview with Charles Baxter and Viet Thanh Nguyen on the Importance and the Stigma of Didactic (APIA) Fiction

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Inside the craft-obsessed, time-warped fiction workshop where literary realism has reigned supreme forever, the Show-Don’t-Tell maxim serves an important function in critique.

Your Connected Notebook: The Instagram of Eileen Myles

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Eileen Myles is a poet, novelist, performer and art journalist who ran a write-in candidacy for president twenty-five years ago when the bulk of our presidential candidates were straight, white, male, and wealthy. But you wouldn’t know any of this from their Instagram page, where their bio reads, simply,

Seeking Amnesty in an Epidemic

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Octavia Butler’s short story “Amnesty” is a tale in which an invasive species, called Communities, occupies desert areas on Earth and tests, uses, hires, and even “enfolds” (a sort of cocoon-like cuddle) humans for comfort and resources.