Reading Archive

Why the Language of Awesomeness Fails Us

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We trust the language of betrayal. If a teen writer wants to win a contest, let her turn not to the wonders of the world but to its horrors. Profundity is biased toward the grim, and injustice is not ageist.

Generosity as a Social Justice Reading Practice

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There are a number of practices and resources that can encourage the practice of reading generously or introduce one to new writers.

Band of Mothers

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A few days before my son was born, my parents and sister came to Princeton, where my husband and I lived at the time, to witness the birth. They had found a sublet a few blocks away from our apartment, but my mother wanted to spend the first few

The Readers: Scott Esposito and the Redemptive Powers of Translation

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We misunderstand each other and we pull away. Even within one language like English, words mean different things to different people, and we gravitate towards those who use this meaning-making technology as we do. Some people struggle to differentiate between systemic issues and issues of personality. The quest for

The Black Aesthetic: Salvation and Deliverance in Jimi Hendrix’s “Hear My Train A Comin'” and “Purple Haze”

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Forty-seven years ago, in the month of September, the legendary blues rock singer Jimi Hendrix died. When Hendrix passed away suddenly from an unintentional drug overdose at the age of twenty-seven, he was at the peak of his musical career.

Death Memoirs and What They Impart to the Living

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Recent memoirs on death and dying offer profound insights for the living, from Edwidge Danticat’s comprehensive new book, The Art of Death, to more intimate accounts of facing death first-hand, such as Nina Riggs’ The Bright Hour and Cory Taylor’s Dying: A Memoir.

Star Stuff: Poets on Space

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Science relies on metaphors. The work that metaphors do, after all, is to either make the familiar strange, or to make the strange familiar. Science is full of strangenesses, difficult for most of us to grasp unless we have something more quotidian to compare it to. Space, in particular,

Creative Thought and Chronic Pain

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Chronic pain necessitates time spent alone, and so seems a natural conduit for loneliness. This doesn’t signal immediate alarm for the writer, who excels in spending time alone. But is there a more insidious, pervasive relationship between chronic pain and the writing process? How does it alter the texture

Florida’s Nonfiction Borderland in Sunshine State

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By switching back and forth between epistolary writing, imagined scenes, memoir, and journalism, Gerard shows her range of skills and voice while keeping her story contained to one location—Pinellas County, Florida, where Gerard grew up, and dips in and out of in her adulthood.

“What Shall We Do Before Eternity?”

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It’s an upsetting premise: The estranged parents of Ninon, a twenty-three-year-old woman dying of AIDS, travel across Europe to attend her wedding in Italy.