Critical Essays Archive
Memoirs from Paul Kalanithi, Lucy Grealy, Jean-Dominique Bauby, and Porochista Khakpour teach us about turning the story of an ailing body into a work of art.
Often our ugliest and most tired characters are casually granted new pathways to reinvent and rebrand themselves, allowed safe distance from darker histories their creators would prefer we forget.
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.
What is the role of difficult poetry? What does it do that more accessible poetry cannot do? And might it not have a political import?
Despentes is blunt, upfront, and unapologetic about upending normative rules of decorum regarding what can be discussed and how it must be discussed.
Ling Ma brings post-apocalyptic zombie fiction, the Asian-American immigrant narrative, and anti-capitalist office satire together in her debut novel in which capitalism is—literally—a disease.
In her essay “Place in Fiction,” originally delivered as a lecture at Duke in 1955, Eudora Welty almost immediately positions place as an antidote to broad generalizations about human experience.
There’s no such thing as a singular “poetic tradition.” To suggest otherwise is horrendously erasive of the myriad poetic traditions, many of them oral, belonging to the world’s diverse cultures.
What is new and what is vestigial? What trauma is passed down and what trauma can be left behind? While some might consider Texas a kind of photo negative of the former East Germany, I think of those two states as simulacrum in many ways.
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.