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.
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.
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
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.
The affair in Lorrie Moore’s story, “How to Be an Other Woman,” starts with a meet cute on a bus: “A minute goes by and he asks what you’re reading. It is Madame Bovary in a Doris Day biography jacket.” Moore’s story is more playful than Flaubert’s, but she
By way of introduction at readings, I often start with a poem about my hometown. “For those of you who don’t know me,” I say, “I’m from Schenectady, New York, and I think it is the greatest small city in the world.” I wait a beat before the punchline:
In March 2015, I went off the pill. It was all very well-planned on the surface, but inside I was hesitant, equivocal, terrified. I knew I wanted to have kids, but I didn’t ache for a baby, and I was worried about all the ways it would change my
The history of Black people in America is important and complex, which is why film is such a crucial, valuable way to understand it. Here’s a list of seven Black films, based on books, that impart insight into the depths of Black joy, Black suffering, and Black life.
For a brief period in childhood, I was afraid of trees. It was after Hurricane Fran swept through North Carolina, and when the winds subsided trees had fallen on roads, houses, sidewalks. Maybe they would fall on me. And maybe trees in the South are scarier than trees elsewhere.
Though genre forms and conventions have changed rapidly throughout the short history of the novel, the popularity of one subspecies has endured: the bildungsroman, or coming-of-age novel.