The Position of English

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Jhumpa Lahiri’s work in Italian is reminiscent of liturgy books with Koine Greek on the left side and English on the other. That she includes the “little brother,” a moniker she’s given Italian, in her 2015 book—and on the left side—is a reversal of the norm.

Poetic Archives as Ethnic Studies: An Interview with Dr. Craig Santos Perez

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I found within Perez’s poetry a dexterous remixing of the settler colonial archive, a deeply lyrical autobiographical sensibility, and a sustained commitment to the decolonization of literature, history, his native Guam, and other mappings.

“What It Means To Be Cuban in the Island”: An Interview with Dariel Suarez

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Suarez opens his 2018 short story collection with a dive into the bizarre nature of Cuba: “Stealing the giraffe wasn’t the problem. Transporting it from the city to the countryside-even at two a.m. on a Wednesday night with a few bribed cops clearing the path-that was another story.”

Sherlock in Shanghai

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How difficult is it for a story to move continents? One of Sherlock Holmes’ early Chinese translators, Cheng Xiaoqing, decided to find out, transplanting Sherlock Holmes from the foggy streets of nineteenth century London to his own Republic-era Shanghai.

Work, Love, and Partnership in Tove Jansson’s Fair Play

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Jansson’s 1989 novel serves as a particularly poignant antithesis of the “loner artist” narrative, dealing instead with a loving partnership that, rather than getting in the way of artistic work, lifts and expands it.

The Secret History’s Fates, Allusions, and Tragedies

By making her first novel’s characters classicists, Donna Tartt lets us in on the trick: that this book is, in essence, a modern day Greek tragedy.

“I Refuse to Review”: Literary Criticism and Kim Hyesoon’s Autobiography of Death

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Kim Hyesoon’s poetry collection recognizes the necessity of tracing lives erased and extinguished by political repression, patriarchy, and capitalist imperialism.

The Language of Trauma in Kevin Goodan’s Anaphora

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Kevin Goodan seizes on the persistent remembering that characterizes PTSD in his new book, creating an elegy that develops a kind of poetic logic of the fear system.

The Complicated Radicalism of Emily Wilson’s The Odyssey

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While a woman translating Homer’s epic is certainly a huge milestone, Wilson’s interpretation is a radical, fascinating achievement regardless of her gender.

The Resurgence of the Witch’s Tale

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Witch-hunting, Silvia Federici has written, developed in a world where communal relations were crumbling under the emergence of capitalism; from that moment on, the witch was the woman who escaped and defied patriarchal authority—and for this, she has always had to be punished.