Reading Archive

A Held Breath: Alice Munro’s “Tricks” and Waiting in Literature

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I am in the midst of an anticipating season. My first book comes out in a month; my second baby will be born in a little over two. I’m finding that in terms of productivity right now I’m pretty useless.

Can’t Get It Out Of My Head: Songs in Janet Frame’s Early Fiction

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A good song is catchy: it’s quickly learned, and easily retained. It may be hard to forget, to the point of distraction. There’s a reason that the first literature was found in verse, in melodic and rhythmic patterns.

The Affair’s Slyly Satirical Portrayal of the White Male Literary Darling

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While Showtime’s The Affair has been praised for its incisive exploration of the unreliability of memory, particularly in romantic relationships, some of its most insightful commentary is on the contemporary literary community.

End of Storytelling Era, Farewell to Vin Scully

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This week a certain kind of storytelling will come to an end. Vin Scully, who began broadcasting Dodgers games in 1950, will retire at the age of 88. Yes, he was once a prodigy, announcing major league baseball games at just 22 years old.

Contemporary Native American Poetry Essentials

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Some of the most interesting work in Contemporary American poetry is being done by American Indian writers. And yet, in the ongoing (and important) conversations about diversity and inclusion in United States literary production—especially in poetry—the work by Native Americans is often left out.

Lying in a Hammock

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Reader, I am having a bad day. I am having a bad day, and I can’t seem to write anything worth your time, and so I have flipped through my books and settled on James Wright’s “Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota.”

The Best Short Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Wind on the Moon” by Katie Burgess

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We are a world awash with conspiracy theories, but what resides in the hearts of those behind the actual conspiracies? In her flash fiction piece, “Wind on the Moon,” Katie Burgess explores the internal struggle of a governmental doctor of spin.

The Best Essay I Read This Month: “Pete Wells Has His Knives Out” by Ian Parker

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Parker takes the profile beyond the person being profiled, canvassing the phenomenon by which a single dismissive adjective from a single man can cut down an empire, at least for a while.

Githa Hariharan Talks Indian Femme Fatales and Politics

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A collection of essays, Almost Home is a wonderland of hybrid techniques. It contains post-colonial insight that goes beyond India and keeps readers coming back for more—more labyrinthine story lines, more social commentary, more pro-woman eroticism.

Chicanas in Literature

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First, let’s you and me get in my time machine. . . . Suddenly we are in a world in which the Mexican-American border is being nationally debated, the Mexican-American people are being treated as second-class citizens—are punished for speaking Spanish, for teaching Mexican-American history and culture.