Tag Archives: literature

The Ploughshares Round-Down: Embracing Hard Truths About Writing

Okay writers. My last Round-Down was about the impact of self esteem on our creativity. Several readers asked for a followup about how to cultivate said esteem, and for a half-second I was so on it. But I can’t deny that the news around … Continue reading

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Voice and Chorus: Cristina Henriquez and “The Book of Unknown Americans”

I saw Cristina Henriquez read just a few weeks ago at Book Court in Brooklyn, where my poet buddy, Sally Wen Mao, took me after a long day in the city. Generally, I’m horrible at readings.  I’m the guy seated … Continue reading

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Huizache: The Biggest Little Secret in Texas

As far as literary journal subscriptions go, I only maintain three. I’m one of those writers, and for my sins I mostly miss the great early pieces of writers I come to love years later. This is especially true of … Continue reading

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The Ploughshares Round-Down: Why Louie Is Like Great Literature

Tasha Golden is on vacation from the blog this week, so covering for her on the Round-Down today is the writer Gila Lyons. Gila’s work has appeared in Salon, The Millions, The Morning News, Tablet, The Forward, The NY Press, The Faster … Continue reading

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Walking the Bridge: American Letters From Latin America

When asked whether he saw himself as a Peruvian writer or an American writer in the New York Times last year, following the publication of his newest novel  At Night We Walk in Circles, Daniel Alarcón replied, “Why should I have to choose?” I … Continue reading

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And Then We Came to the End: One Year & Fourteen Books Later

I suck at endings. But that’s something a lot of people say, isn’t it? As if everyone else is really good at quitting a job or relationship or saying goodbye or ending a story. (I’ve never met anyone who claims … Continue reading

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Between Centuries: A Six-Month Perspective

The year is more than half over, which means those of us who attempted New Year’s resolutions have either mastered, given up, or heavily revised them. It also means my year of reading 100-year-old books is halfway finished. It all … Continue reading

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Chainmail Bikinis and Other Sexism in Science Fiction and Literature

If you’ve seen older issues of popular science fiction magazines—think from the 1930s to the 1960s—you’ve seen cover art of half-naked women being abducted by aliens or saved by a ‘handsome’ white dude in a spacesuit. (If you’re lucky, maybe … Continue reading

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Ambiguity: The Boundary Between Psychosis and Reality in Science Fiction

Television culture means that we often lack the depth to deal with ambiguity. The complexity of novels eludes our attention; we often prefer the truncated and clear narratives of sitcoms, where a plot line is fully resolved in forty-three minutes. … Continue reading

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Going On: After the Apocalypse

Do you have a plan in place for what to do after an apocalypse? Survivalists do. Survivalists, mainstream North American culture thinks, are a little weird. They prepare for severe disruptions in the order of everyday life, for carrying on … Continue reading

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