Category Archives: Contemporary

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Word Nerds Gone Wild: A Reading List

I remember my intern days well. Hell, I was an intern three times: first during college, then again after being let go from my first post-college job, and once more after making the leap into full-time freelance work. Each one of … Continue reading

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The Evolution of the Style Guide: An Interview with Psycholinguist Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker is a cognitive scientist and psychologist whose work focuses on language–how it works and how it breaks down. Drawing upon his nearly forty years of research, as well as his experiences on the Usage Panel of the American … Continue reading

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The Book That Changed My Country

I mostly sit at the window when I’m working at Café la Habana. I have a spot. It’s the same spot where I sat when my buddy, Santiago, first brought me for coffee when I arrived in Mexico City. But … Continue reading

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Why I’m One Bad—But Well-Read—Feminist

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt like an adequate representation of “feminist.” When I married my husband a little over seven years ago, I barely waited a month before giving notice at my full-time job so I could give full-time … Continue reading

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Lit GIFs: The Giver (and why I haven’t seen the movie)

Let’s talk about The Giver. The Giver is a wonderful book by Lois Lowry. Many of us probably read it for school. Recently it was made into a movie, which I refuse to see because why in the world is Jonas cast as … Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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