Iowa Archive

An Interview with writer Yu-Mei Balasingamchow

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Yu-Mei Balasingamchow is a fiction and nonfiction writer from Singapore. Her stories appear in the anthologies From the Belly of the Cat (2009) and Let’s Tell This Story Properly: Commonwealth Short Story Prize Anthology (2015), as well as in the journal Mänoa. Her nonfiction work includes Singapore: A Biography (2009), co-authored with Mark Ravinder

The Place of Zines in Contemporary American Politics

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Zines straddle the border between Fluxist market-dodgers and the reputably tainted world of self-publishing literary dropouts. The difference between a zine and that 50 Shades of Grey-inspired alien erotica novel is function and intention. A zine works as a platform for writing and art that’s too provocative, political, or

Rereading GILEAD on the Eve of the Iowa Caucus

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Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead became my favorite novel a decade ago. I read the first half the book in Iowa City and the second half the book in Wichita, Kansas, which undoubtedly brought the narrator’s prairie landscape to life. I lived the book in solitude, existing with Reverend John Ames

Literary Enemies: Marilynne Robinson vs. Flannery O’Connor

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Literary Enemies: Flannery O’Connor vs. Marilynne Robinson Disclaimer: Marilynne Robinson has no enemies. I hope you’ve never compared Marilynne Robinson to Flannery O’Connor, but I can see how you might have been tempted. There’s Iowa, first of all, and if it weren’t a proper noun I would have capitalized

Lit GIFs: The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

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It’s winter here in Iowa, which makes my Floridian self wish for seasonal time travel. Unfortunately, the closest I’ve come to realizing this dream is watching Back to the Future and reading H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine.

Pioneer Girl

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Pioneer Girl Bich Minh Nguyen Viking Adult, February 2014 $26.95 304 pages Genre: literary mystery With reference to: Little House on the Prairie And: immigrant lit & ethnic lit And: restlessness vs. belonging Also: Manifest Destiny & Utopia Concerning: Lee Lien, jobless English PhD And: a (possibly) very well-travelled

Literary Boroughs #21: Iowa City, IA

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The Literary Boroughs series will explore little-known and well-known literary communities across the country and world and show that while literary culture can exist online without regard to geographic location, it also continues to thrive locally. Posts are by no means exhaustive and we encourage our readers to contribute in the comment section.

The Neruda Case

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The Neruda Case Roberto Ampuero Riverhead, June 2012 352 pages $26.95 Pablo Neruda has a problem: he’s ancient and dying of cancer, but he yearns for an ex-lover who may—or may not—have given birth to a long-lost daughter. As he faces death (“the old woman with the scythe”) he