Reading Archive

The Black Aesthetic: Redemption and Rescue in Jacob Banks’ “Unholy War” and “Chainsmoking”

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Jacob Banks’ latest EP The Boy Who Cried Freedom explores redemption and rescue.

The Limits and Freedoms of Literary Regionalism: The Rules of Reality in William Faulkner’s Fictional County

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There is no conversation on literary regionalism without Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha. The Mississippi-born author’s loyalty to his imagined landscape is perhaps what he is most known for.

How Do We Decide What to Read?

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There are too many beloved books and not enough prizes, and somehow they get lost underneath all the news about the really important books that I should be reading.

Splintered Selves and Sexual Abuse in Dorothy Nelson’s In Night’s City

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Set in 1970s Ireland, Dorothy Nelson’s In Night’s City is an obscure, deceptively slim book. Unofficial predecessor to Eimear McBride’s A Girl is a Half-formed Thing, the novel charts Sara’s attempts to assimilate sexual abuse, suffering, and shame.

A Small-Town Coming Out in an Online World

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The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves starts, like many books set in a small town, with a homecoming.

Sculpting Flesh From Text in My Body is a Book of Rules

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How to control the body is a constant theme in Washuta’s work.

Scansion and Contemporary Poetry

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How might the practice of scansion as a tool toward understanding and crafting poetry become more equitable and expansive so as to allow for poets’ and readers’ different fundamental orientations toward language?

The Readers: Ismail Muhammad and Encounters with Ghosts

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Muhammad’s criticism is far-reaching, pulling together literature, politics, and religion in a quest to reckon with the black experience in modern America.

The Mother of All Fears

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This week, I reread Alexandra Kleeman’s short story “Choking Victim”. I had first read it when it was published in The New Yorker in May 2016, when I was spending most of my days at home with a mysterious newborn.

A Lot of Sorrow, A Lot of Faith

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I round a dark alcove in the Reykjavík Art Museum to find twenty or so people gathered in a space the size of a hip basement venue. Before them is a screen on which The National plays.