Reading Archive

Scaffolding

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As people who will die someday, and whose loved ones will die someday, we all live with at least one large dark truth from which we often try to avert our gazes. This tension—knowing a thing, but living as far away from that knowledge as possible—surfaces in literature too.

With Those We Love Alive and a Different Way to Write a Short Story

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The medium we present something on, often defines the kinds of stories we can tell and how we tell them. In the digital age, With Those We Love Alive shows us another way to write a story even if its written on our skin.

On Scab-Picking and Other Such Transformations

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At the heart of it, the simple matter of learning about the things you can’t control and struggling to control the ones you can come in just as many forms as those things themselves.

Serious Subjects

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I learned that I could respond to poetry with a thousand times a thousand micro-emotions. I soon began to wonder what I even meant by “serious” poetry, and what constituted a poem’s artfulness. I reflected upon the fact that those initial ideas were narrow, even elitist, and they are

Rachel Cusk and the Unbearable Lightness of Being

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When I was pregnant, I felt for the first time in my life that I came first. Suddenly, my needs and desires weren’t mere whims; in the gestation of another being, they mattered tremendously. When this being was extracted from my body, I still felt it crucial to put

I Don’t Need to Read LOLITA, Because I’ve Read THE LOVER

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I am not saying Lolita is a bad book, or that its fans or Nabokov are complicit in sexism; just that it’s not a story I care about delving into. I always thought this was because I wasn’t open-minded enough as a reader—until I met The Lover, by Marguerite

The Zen Leopard

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Lately, it seems mindfulness is next to godliness. For many, concentrating time on a rich inner life is an antidote for overstimulation—the meditation smart phone app serving as a one-swipe pharmacy for this modern malady.

Small-Town Life: Polish Edition

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It’s obvious on the page that Springer has fallen in love with the town, with its story. Some chapters read like a brochure for a place that no longer exists.

The Shifting Language of Violence

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It is more or less the recognition of the less-than-subtle hint that the violence ensued upon each other cycles back onto the faulting, failing, incriminating treatment of our one true home.

The Problem with Writing Autism as Problem

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To try to capture the zeitgeist of autism in America right now is to sip water from a fire hose. It can’t be done. The diagnosis is as contentious as it is, increasingly, commonplace, claimed as everything from epidemic to evolution. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at