Suicide in Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko

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Lee shifts the onus of responsibility of suicide from the individual to a complex societal structure. She implies that it is not that the person who dies by suicide is weak or selfish, but rather that the surrounding society is broken.

Emotional Memory in Dan Sheehan’s Restless Souls

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Dan Sheehan’s intertextual debut novel pursues the different calibers of memory, and asks to what extent we can and should control them.

The Narrative Messiness of Chronic Illness

Memoirs from Paul Kalanithi, Lucy Grealy, Jean-Dominique Bauby, and Porochista Khakpour teach us about turning the story of an ailing body into a work of art.

Everyone Rides the Bus in a City of Losers by Jason Freure

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But in Montreal, according to Freure's speaker, everyone is a loser in the best sense of the word.

Andy Capp and the Survival of the Neediest

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Often our ugliest and most tired characters are casually granted new pathways to reinvent and rebrand themselves, allowed safe distance from darker histories their creators would prefer we forget.

Therefore

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Spic, Richie said in the cafeteria, and I don’t remember why. After, as we walked back to our fourth grade classroom, I pushed him down when he turned his back.

Michel Houellebecq’s Submission and the Liberal Man

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Michel Houellebecq has always been a provocative writer and in fact considers himself to be a real provocateur, someone who “says things he doesn’t think, just to shock,” and who leans into that shock when he has a sense that people will hate it.

The Importance of the Difficult

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What is the role of difficult poetry? What does it do that more accessible poetry cannot do? And might it not have a political import?

Remembering James Alan McPherson

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I first met Jim McPherson when he was twenty-five to my twenty-six. I’d read none of Jim’s work and had no idea that he’d published in the Atlantic, had studied with Alan Lebowitz, been mentored by Edward Weeks, and was finishing his first collection, Hue and Cry.

So Far So Good by Ursula K. Le Guin

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Readers who rest in these meditative poems are sure to find the voice of the beloved Le Guin just as intriguing as they did in her prose.