Remaking Home: Transformative Motherhood in Lisa Ko’s The Leavers

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In Lisa Ko’s The Leavers, a relationship between mother and son becomes a catalyst for analyzing domestic boundaries. At it’s heart, it’s a story about motherhood and personal responsibility.

Mugabe’s Shadow in Recent Zimbabwean Fiction

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Robert Mugabe’s resignation last month was the most significant development in Zimbabwean politics in a generation. One way of assessing the shadow of Mugabe’s brutal hold over Zimbabwe’s history is assessing the shadow he casts over Zimbabwe’s post-independence fiction. This is significant.

Big Picture, Small Picture: Context for Jamaica Kincaid’s AT THE BOTTOM OF THE RIVER

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Jamaica Kincaid’s debut book, At the Bottom of the River, is published to immediate acclaim in December of 1983. The thin volume weaves surreal narratives of post-colonial island life, complicated female relationships, and the pervasive longing for self-actualization.

Deck the Halls–Merrily but Warily

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In literature, scenes of decoration are charged with dramatic potential. In leaving their marks on spaces in this exaggerated way, characters show themselves to us.

Stories Strangely Told: Me & Barthelme

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When we first pick up a book, how much buy-in comes from whether or not we actually like it, versus being entirely psychosocially implicated in a culture of reader opinions and college syllabi and corporate marketing tactics and the existence of the Penguin Classics? Is either form of buy-in

An Interview with Book Designer Kate Hargreaves

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Kate Hargreaves is a writer and roller derby skater who also happens to be one of the most active literary book and cover designers in Canada over the past few years, having designed titles for numerous presses.

Review: SARAJEVO ROSES by Rory Waterman

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Sarajevo Roses is a volume packed with journeys, but this is a poet who attends to the enduring as well as the transient, he constructs  gritty, unsentimental pastorals in the noble peasant tradition of Clare, Hardy, Edward Thomas and Robert Frost.

The Silence of the War in The Story of a Brief Marriage

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War is strangely quiet in Sri Lankan writer Anuk Arudpragasm’s debut novel, The Story of a Brief Marriage.The titular brevity refers to the novel’s running time, which takes place over the course of a single day, but the story and its scope are anything but perfunctory.

The Beasts of Kenzaburo Oe’s Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids

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“To them, we were complete aliens.” So begins the first attempt by the unnamed protagonist of Kenzaburo Oe’s Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids to define himself and his fellow reformatory boys in wartime Japan. His last attempt is this: “I was only a child, tired, insanely angry, tearful,

The Unbearable Rancidity of French Letters

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The first woman to be admitted into the French Academy was Marguerite Yourcenar, in 1980. Nowadays, as we’re nearing the Academy’s 400th anniversary, the proportion of women remains dismally low, and the members are overwhelmingly white.