Shirley Jackson, Madeleine L’Engle, and Motherhood

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I read much of Shirley Jackson’s memoir of raising four children, Life Among the Savages (1952), on a weekend when I was caring for three children. For a brief stretch—maybe five pages—we achieved a fragile equilibrium and they were all attached to me as I read.

What women really want when women want imperialism: Kushner and Rushdie on Queen Isabella

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In November, after failing to allow a woman to steer our ship of state, watching Netflix’s The Crown seemed punishing. After Hillary Clinton’s close loss, I didn’t know if I could handle watching a woman preside over the United Kingdom. But I capitulated and found myself watching a young Elizabeth

Fiction Responding to Fiction: Ray Bradbury and Elton John

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Based on a Ray Bradbury short story, Elton John's “Rocket Man” was released the same week as the Apollo 16 launch, and echoes of the story can still be found on the surface of the moon.

The Weather We’re Having

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The calamity of weather disaster in literature offers more overt indications of those who are vulnerable and exposed. From Shakespeare’s encroaching storms to Richard Wright’s floods, from Zora Neale Hurston’s hurricane to Haruki Murakami’s quakes, we learn that we have to keep our eyes on the skies and our

Old South/New South: Ghosts on Cloudless Days

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Whereas spring further north leaps cleanly from receding snow and bare branches, southern spring is brief and muddled with the semi-cold winter that precedes it and the too-hot summer that follows. Springtime is a liminal space where the past seeps into the present.

Our Spring 2017 Issue Has Been Released!

We are pleased to announce the release of our Spring 2017 issue.

Nothing Doing

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It might be the case that either our understanding of the brain or our grasp of the cosmos recapitulates the other, and it’s language that pushes us further into both—if we can bend, torque, and look behind it for what it’s concealing, we might discover how it’s holding us

Harm Was Done: Subversive Sympathy in Anakana Schofield’s MARTIN JOHN

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In Martin John, Anakana Schofield presents us with a sexual deviant hiding out in London having fled the West of Ireland. Where does this novel sit in relation to such works as Nabokov's Lolita and A.M. Homes' The End of Alice, and what role do such works serve?

New Ploughshares Solo Now Available!

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We’re excited to announce the release of our latest solo, "Girl of Few Seasons" by Rachel Kondo! Read the Solo today for $1.99.

S-TOWN and the “Daunting Exercise” of True Crime

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Less than forty-eight hours after Serial and This American Life released their new true crime podcast, I got a text message from a friend about it. “S-Town podcast. Listen immediately. All seven episodes.”