Category Archives: Contemporary

Might we be so bold as to suggest that you subscribe to Ploughshares?

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Birthright” by Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson

I believed in ghosts as a kid. Since then, I’ve wondered why I wasn’t ever fascinated by the lore of other supernatural creatures. I think it’s in large part because ghosts—unlike angels, demons, vampires, or werewolves—didn’t seem to have such … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Ploughshares Reviews, Reading | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What Is It About the Literature of War?

Up until that short story workshop I took my junior year of college, my TBR pile was made up of a bizarre mix of Stephen King, Barbara Kingsolver, and Bill Bryson. Then my professor passed around photocopied packets containing stories by Lorrie Moore, Grace … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Contemporary, Reading | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crossing Over: Literary Fiction Writers Tackling YA

The other day I was browsing in a favorite bookstore, moving backward through the alphabet, when I noticed Sherman Alexie’s novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, toward the front of the As in Fiction. I stopped and … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Reading | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Not Like What You Said” by Debbie Urbanski

The older I get, the more I notice that my handwriting resembles my mother’s. Her cursive is so even, consistent, and precise that her letters and grocery lists look like they’ve been typed up on the computer and printed out. … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Ploughshares Bloggers, Reading | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How Narrative Nonfiction Keeps Me Sane

Years ago, feeling creatively unfulfilled at my full-time publishing job, I took a continuing education class at The New School on pitching creative nonfiction to the glossy mags. Throughout the course of the semester, we worked our way through Robert … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Reading | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “My Wife, in Converse” by Shelly Oria

Stories written in the first person are supposed to be more intimate and allow us greater access to the emotions and thoughts of the narrator than second or third person. But what about the characters who aren’t eager or able … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Great Tennis Player: Looking Back at Foster Wallace on Federer

Under Review: “Federer as Religious Experience,” article by David Foster Wallace for New York Times, August 20, 2006. Collected in Both Flesh and Not: Essays (Little, Brown and Company, 2012, 336 pages). On July 6th, Swiss tennis player Roger Federer … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Reading | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Sports in Utopia: On The Grasshopper by Bernard Suits

Under Review: The Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia by Bernard Suits (University of Toronto Press, 1978, 178 pages) Just as an enthusiastic reader can make their way through a lifetime of books without ever once consulting a single text on … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Ploughshares Bloggers, Reading | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Fear Itself” by Katie Coyle

There’s a lot to love about Katie Coyle‘s story “Fear Itself,” published in the most recent issue of One Story. To start, Coyle is so spot-on in her depiction of teenage girls that about a page in, I took out … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Ploughshares Bloggers, Reading | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Five Reasons Not To Feel Guilty About Reading YA

One of the many challenges of being a teen is navigating what’s cool and what’s uncool. Are jeans dyed deep blue or acid-washed? Which bands have sold out? Which Youtube video is hilarious and which has been over-shared? It’s way … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Ploughshares Bloggers, Reading | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment