When I worked as a waitress to make money for college, I kept thinking about the tin can where the family of Betty Smith’s novel put “half of any money they got from anywhere.” One crisis after another forces them to empty the can. I knew a similar frustration.
D. Wystan Owen’s beautiful debut collection is a book to treasure. The ten quiet stories are linked by place, but they are also linked by Owen’s great fascination with understanding the weight of the past on the present.
Kunzru’s novel offers a chance to revel in the hubris of white boys. As such, it is a revenge story.
Literature that reflected the queer experience seem a shared resource, and a public one for those who knew how to look for it. But books can act as more than a mirror—aren’t they also a window?
Feminists have long attempted to “take back” feminine mythological figures and reconceptualize male-centric myths, but Analicia Sotelo’s poetry collection goes further, not only subverting feminine stereotypes but also challenging the common wisdom of the symbolic “feminine.”
As poets and readers of poetry, we might ask ourselves how our poetry provides a kind of sanctuary from violence or else offers us a place to work through our fraught reactions to a world in which school shootings can happen.
Lil Wayne’s book, a collection of journal entries made while he served a prison sentence, offers access to the stream of consciousness produced by an imprisoned mind.
Mavis Gallant’s “Mlle. Dias de Corta” unfolds more like a novel than a short story. It’s a second-person address to a tenant the narrator, an aging, xenophobic French widow, had twenty years before—a young actress, Alda Dias de Corta, whom the widow took in “for companionship rather than income.”
Writers, like all artists, experience things twice—once in the moment, and again when attempting to draw out the details of what has happened to bring a work to life. In the digital age, however, many experiences have been stripped of vibrancy.
The Alamo is a physical manifestation of Stasi-like doublespeak, a celebration of white mediocrity, white insularity, and the deep need to claim victory at all costs despite thorough defeat—a strategy for decentering truth not unlike the modus operandi of the Trump administration or its lackeys.