Reading Palestine

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As a translator, I am often asked about contemporary Palestinian literature, and find myself, a liberal Jew from Israel currently living in the US, at an embarrassing loss. Recently, I found my foray into contemporary Palestinian writing.

The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh

Mackintosh’s characters offer a representation of how young women deal with grief once a familial structure is undone, in the way of filling empty spaces that begin to present themselves.

Revisiting Alice Munro’s “Material”

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Munro raises questions about the relationship between two things that often coincide in writers: the first is a certain amount of self-indulgence and self-mythologizing; the second is the difficult work of putting aside the ego and observing the world.

Unmooring

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Those who write about their mental illnesses—Jane Kenyon, Susanna Kaysen, Andrew Solomon, Kay Redfield Jamison, and Elizabeth Wurtzel to name a very small few—often struggle to reconcile their character with the disease that riddles them.

Children of Exile

Between December 1960 and October 1962, around fourteen-thousand unaccompanied children arrived in Miami from Cuba as part of Operation Pedro Pan; my father, migrated here on June 29, 1961.

Desire in John Wray’s Godsend

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Aden Grace Sawyer, the young white American woman inspired by John Walker Lindh who leads John Wray’s latest novel, is on a mission from God.

Cruelty in Literature

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What do we learn from new depictions of brutalized bodies in literature?

The Ripples of History in Howl

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I left Hungary in 1981, and never questioned that freedom of speech has always been a feature of the West.

Civil War Christmas Traditions in Little Women

Christmas calls the sisters of Louisa May Alcott’s novel to reflect on their bonds with each other and their parents, and on the kinds of lives they want to lead.

Levity and Storytelling in A Christmas Carol

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With the indefinite article “a,” Dickens seems to declare that the story is not about a carol, but is, instead, itself a Christmas carol: a song for the season.