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The Enigma of Desire

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
André Aciman’s 2017 novel is a story specifically focused on desire in all of its forms, but it is the desire to reinvent oneself through romantic love that haunts the novel and is its motivating force.

Power and Obsession in Devotion

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The scale of privilege constantly shifts in Madeline Stevens’ debut novel, fostering a lethal combination of gratitude, jealousy, and resentment within its protagonist.

The Desire of Girls in Machine

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Rather than being a juvenile or simplistic depiction of desire as purely a physical impulse for the adolescent narrator, Susan Steinberg’s first novel presents desire in the mind of an adolescent girl as a larger force, one that is as much existential as it is universal.

Bipolar Disorder and the Pills that Keep Us Alive

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For bipolar disorder, the most tried and true treatment—the most effective one—doesn’t come from a lab; it comes from stardust. It’s an element on the periodic table, atomic number 3.

Writing Racist Characters

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays, Longform No comments
There are uniquely white stories that all white people know intimately, and that we aren’t telling: stories of white people perpetrating racism.

SoundMachine by Rachel Zucker

Author: | Categories: Book Reviews, Poetry No comments
In her new book, Rachel Zucker questions if her family is a distraction from her poetry, or if her poetry is a distraction from her family.

James Baldwin in the Archive

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What evolved from an unfinished novel manuscript, through a decades-long struggle with the legacy of Richard Wright, Henry James, and the white Lost Generation, are Baldwin’s 1956 and 1962 books as well as one of his most enduring insights into the struggle to end America’s innocence.

Who Speaks For the Trees?

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Poets, novelists, and artists of the Anthropocene are using their art to reveal the ties that bind us to that hazy concept of “nature,” and they often start with its most potent symbol, the tree—the embodiment of extreme strength and extreme vulnerability.

Imagination and the American West

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Carys Davies’ debut novel reveals that mythologies often arise from foolish beginnings but that the elevated stories that emerge are no less valuable.

The End of Love is a Thing of Ugly Brilliance

Author: | Categories: Personal Essays No comments
A bus ride is not the ideal place to fall out of love. But years ago, I was on a bus somewhere between Entebbe and Kampala with two dozen women from across the world when I began to turn my life of partnered bliss on its head.