Reading Archive

The Limits and Freedoms of Literary Regionalism: Edward P. Jones and the Other Side of Capitol Hill

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Edward P. Jones does not represent the Washington D.C. of the mainstream—no national monuments perforating his setting, no overt commentary on policy, no presidential-brand elitism lacing his words. Instead, he simply writes the life of the local everyman and pushes anything beyond that into the background, making excess as

Gone Transparent: The Real-World Relevance of the Radical Transparency in Dave Eggers’ THE CIRCLE

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It could be argued that The Circle, Dave Eggers’ 2013 techno-satire of an all-powerful Faceboogle-type company, goes after some easy targets. After all, it’s common to bemoan the exhaustingly hyperconnected state of a society dependent on social media.

Beyond Modernism: Eimear McBride and Embodiment 

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How does McBride employ and expand modernism? Is it her rendering of fragmented, burgeoning female subjectivities that defines her? Or is it her continuing to push form at the level of the sentence?​

Somewhere Else: One Woman and Her Car

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About two years ago, I arranged for a one-way ride to York, Maine, to buy a 2004 Toyota Matrix that I found on Craigslist. While the owner counted the cash, he gave me a brief history of my new car.

Threatened with budget cuts, literary programs fight on

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Organizations engaged in the day-to-day work of running NEA-funded literary programs are continuing to serve their communities while facing potential budget cuts.

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not: the Love Poem and the Elegy

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All of my attempted love poems sound like elegies, and so I’ve given up trying to write them for my beloved, lest I give the wrong impression. Occasionally, however, one will come to me like a windfall, a speck of gold in the pan.

Jhumpa Lahiri’s “Hema and Kaushik”: Love Across Borders

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When I first read Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri’s long short story “Hema and Kaushik,” I lived in suburban Mumbai, where I often sat in darkness by the window at night all by myself. In Koparkhairane, twenty-four miles from downtown Mumbai, power outages were common.

Re-reading the ‘80s: THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL

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Navigating through the hairpin twists and turns in le Carré novels is always fun and almost always challenging. In his Cold War novels, such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the plot is a subtle game of cat and mouse. The Little Drummer Girl was a change of pace for

Tarot in the Time of Uncertainty

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A friend I was visiting a while ago agreed to read tarot cards for me. I was a complete novice in the matter. The reading was about me picking up each card, describing what I saw, and then having my friend help me articulate my gut reaction to/analysis of

“There’s only one subject. That’s the trouble”: DeLillo and Saunders in 2017

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The first paragraph I wrote after reading Saunders’s essay felt exhausting. Every sentence felt vague and hollow. But good: a feeling akin to my physical therapist standing beside me, correcting the form on my squats. Painful but good when I got it right.