Critical Essays Archive
Saul Bellow’s novel is often characterized as a rich portrait of a mind in crisis. It’s also an exploration of the role of history—and memory—in personal life.
We speak of things like ships, cities, and even the earth itself as female, yet men are so often the ones confidently plodding through these spaces, conquering them as they would a female body.
Like Mohsin Hamid and Ayad Akhtar, Shamsie is concerned with the ways a post-9/11 West has disrupted the lives of Pakistani Muslim immigrants. But where Hamid and Akhtar limit their scope to the individual experiences of brown men, Shamsie maps out the ways the family reacts to and reflects
How do we tell our stories? What form best fits the autobiographical? For many writers, working in one genre is not sufficient, or else a single genre does not exhaust a writer’s obsession with their subject matter.
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.
Raw from the loss of his father, Chee says he got into Tarot because he “never wanted to be surprised by misfortune again.” In Tarot cards he found a tool that could enable him to take power over a life that had rendered him utterly powerless.
Stephen Cone's film is about a queer teenage girl who, for one summer, discovers herself—what she desires, what she needs, and how she could fit in this world. It’s also, and just as importantly, a movie about words—writing and reading them.
How can and how does the poet contribute to the political, historical, and economic tradition of their society?
The veneer that is language is a major recurring trope in D. F. Brown’s newest collection. What is real and what is imagined through the filter of language? How might that affect the way we process an event?
An old poem by Yehuda Amichai, published in the collection Love Poems, seems more pertinent than ever to me, reading it as the elegy of a parent to their lost child.