When stories transport me, they usually do it inside a character’s body, and the farther afield the story is taking me, the more important the physical details of the characters’ experiences become.
The affair in Lorrie Moore’s story, “How to Be an Other Woman,” starts with a meet cute on a bus: “A minute goes by and he asks what you’re reading. It is Madame Bovary in a Doris Day biography jacket.” Moore’s story is more playful than Flaubert’s, but she
Rapture Sjohnna McCray Graywolf Press; April 2016 72 pp; $16 Buy: paperback | Kindle “Father and Son by Window,” the opening poem in Sjohnna McCray’s debut poetry collection Rapture, has an ephemeral feel; the poem rises like a plume of smoke. “You sing, soft winds and blue seat,” it begins, a
Joyce Carol Oates’s story “The Lady with the Pet Dog” is a clear response to Anton Chekhov’s classic story “The Lady with the Little Dog.” Almost 75 years separate the two stories, and Oates, though her modifications, clearly modernizes the story, retelling the story through a feminist lens. Chekhov’s
There have already been many great essays of 2016, but what really stuck to me this month was Scott Korb’s “Good For You” in the Winter 2016 issue of the Virginia Quarterly Review. The essay spans a lot of life’s bigger touchpoints—cancer, spirituality, parenting, aging and the prospect of
Mayhem: Three Lives of a Woman Elizabeth Harris Gival Press, October 2015 140 pp, $20 Pre-order here In the opening scene of this exquisite first novel by prizewinning short fiction writer Elizabeth Harris, a young farm wife in a black cloche hat and rummage sale dress climbs out of
Jehanne Dubrow’s latest collection of poems, The Arranged Marriage, tells a difficult and moving story about the poet’s mother and her early life. The narrative gradually comes into focus for the reader through a sequence of beautiful, haunting prose poems—narrow blocks of words the poet likens to “newspaper columns”
Bless her heart. That’s what people say in my southern neck of the woods to be half genuine, half patronizing. And that’s exactly what I want to say about Blanche Ebbutt, author of Don’ts for Husbands and Don’ts for Wives, pocket-sized self-help books originally published in England in 1913.