Reading the Body in Second Person

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The works of Daisy Johnson and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie demand a close look at the inherent sense of intimacy within the second-person perspective, forcing us to consider how we read the body in this mode of storytelling.

When Rap Spoke Straight to God by Erica Dawson

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Readers must view Dawson's book-length poem from an intersectional lens—regarding the impact on the narrative voices of the white gaze, the male gaze, and the gaze of the self—in order to fully experience its nuances.

Worker by Gary Hawkins, The Boss by Victoria Chang, and the Exploration of Work in Poetry

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If Hawkins’s workers struggle with their materials or the limits of their strength and stamina, Chang reveals a different antagonist through the figure of the boss, firing workers at will and propping up the corporation.

The Alchemy of Science and Storytelling

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As a writer and botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer weaves lyric storytelling with science, gleaned from both Western institutions and the indigenous wisdom of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation to which she belongs.

Grief and Transformation in Han Kang’s The White Book

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Over the course of the fragmented, deeply imagistic book (which Kang has described as a narrative poem), whiteness expands beyond solid objects into concepts and sensations, its every iteration part of an adjacent world in which her sister is not dead and it is she, instead, who is absent.

Student Debt and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

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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.

Other People’s Love Affairs by D. Wystan Owen

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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.

Whiteness in Hari Kunzru’s White Tears

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Kunzru’s novel offers a chance to revel in the hubris of white boys. As such, it is a revenge story.

The Queer Act of Reading

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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?

Ariadne’s Journey to Consciousness in Analicia Sotelo’s Virgin

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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.”