Longform Archive

The Power of Reading About Your Home

Jaquira Díaz’s 2019 memoir resonated deeply with me in a way that a bronzed Al Pacino never could, and that a book never had.

The Trials of Migraineurs

Author: | Categories: Longform No comments
I can understand why Roland Barthes, like many others, may have second-guessed the veracity of his migraines, this extreme—invisible—pain. Even with the blinds drawn, lying on my bed with a cold washcloth across my forehead, I wonder if what I am feeling is real.

“Day to be recorded with sunbeams! Day of light and love!”: Longfellow and the Weather

Author: | Categories: Longform No comments
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s weather reports document a lifelong fascination, even partnership, with the weather acting as the writer’s trusted, often fickle, companion and muse. The ritual documentation of the daily weather reveals Longfellow’s creative process and his failed attempts at separating his private life from the published prose and

Literary Silence in the Time of Pandemic

Author: | Categories: Longform No comments
From the Black Death to the AIDS epidemic, the history of literature is suffused with gaps. Such a history is a record of mourning. It’s a record of all the things that cannot be spoken while living with upheaval and grief.

Reading Know My Name and Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl

Author: | Categories: Longform No comments
New memoirs by Chanel Miller and Jeannie Vanasco are about their rapes, but also about what it means to move through this world in a woman’s body. What has happened to Miller’s body and to Vanasco’s body connects them with millions of women globally and across time.

Writing Racist Characters

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays, Longform No comments
There are uniquely white stories that all white people know intimately, and that we aren’t telling: stories of white people perpetrating racism.

Revisiting James Wright’s Shall We Gather at the River at Fifty-One

Author: | Categories: Longform No comments
It is an understatement to say that Wright’s fourth collection had its work cut out for it, and it is no surprise the reception of the book was dramatically and passionately mixed.

“I Refuse to Review”: Literary Criticism and Kim Hyesoon’s Autobiography of Death

Author: | Categories: Longform No comments
Kim Hyesoon’s poetry collection recognizes the necessity of tracing lives erased and extinguished by political repression, patriarchy, and capitalist imperialism.

Dirty Realism, Veteran Transition, and Contemporary War Literature

Author: | Categories: Longform No comments
Somewhere between “fiction” and “nonfiction” sits the military veteran, pen and paper in hand, wondering why they lived while their friends died.

Passing

Author: | Categories: Longform No comments
Edith Maud and Winnifred Eaton, sisters from the turn of the century, dealt with racial ambiguity throughout their lives, learning to navigate how others interpreted them in vastly different ways.