You Can’t Trust Anybody in Elvira Navarro’s A Working Woman (And What That Says About Us)

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Elvira Navarro’s A Working Woman, translated by Christina MacSweeney, interrogates the psyche of characters mired by the Spanish economic crisis and the realities and lies they build around themselves in search of catharsis.

Wielding Literature for Truth and Trust

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Perhaps the core difficulty in discovering truth exists in lieu of our inability to trust.

My Dress Hangs There: Three Chapbooks Addressing Femininity, Reviewed

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These three poetry chapbooks address aspects of femininity, though a variety of other themes (sometimes related to femininity, other times by its side) abound in each—love, lust, heroism, art, to name a few.

Imagining the Anthropocene: Cathy Park Hong’s Engine Empire

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In the nineteenth century, Manifest Destiny cast pillage as a moral imperative. Its rallying cry re-ignited the American founding’s genocide and environmental destruction to fuel westward expansion. Cathy Park Hong’s sonorous triptych Engine Empire reshapes the Western’s tropes into a chilling interrogation of digitally facilitated detachment.

Confronting Our Environmental Apocalypse: Blood Meridian

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Though Cormac McCarthy’s masterwork is neither a warning nor a statement of climate change, it is an imaginative and aesthetic example of how modern fiction can look beyond the confines of characters’ internal worlds to grapple with forces beyond our control.

Review: STOMACHS by Luna Miguel (Translated by Luis Silva)

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There are times for sadness and severity and all things bleak, and what do we do then? Luna Miguel might not have solutions but Stomachs reminds us that melancholy is not always destructive.

A Conversation With Margot Livesey and Whitney Terrell

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Whitney Terrell’s 2016 book The Good Lieutenant was selected as a best book of the year by the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and Refinery 29. Terrell also happens to be my former student.

The Refugee Narrative as Ghost Story

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Migration, especially for refugees, is a violent crossing. In Viet Thanh Nguyen’s story collection The Refugees and Mai Der Vang’s Afterland, the dead, and all else the living abandoned, refuse to be left behind. 

Stealth Animal Rights Novels

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As A.A. Milne wrote in Winnie-the-Pooh, “Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.” The simple act of reading about animals challenges the conventional way that humans impose orders on other creatures, without wondering about their lives.

Our Summer 2017 Issue Has Been Released!

We are thrilled to announce the release of our Summer 2017 issue! Acclaimed writer Stewart O’Nan guest-edits this fiction and nonfiction issue of Ploughshares, featuring new work from Stephen King, Christie Hodgen, Askold Melnyczuk, Michael Byers, and more.