nonfiction Archive

Indigenous Taiwanese Lit: From One Island Comes Global History

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The deeper you go into reading indigenous literature the greater your understanding of the human condition. Such is the case with Indigenous Writers of Taiwan: An Anthology of Stories, Essays and Poems. In these contemporary and compelling pieces we see beyond skin color, religion, and geographic location by placing

The Food Memoir: Harking Back to Childhood

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One of the most profound depictions of memory in literature is immortalized in Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. The Madeleine Moment, as it is often called, exists in Proust’s seven-volume novel, where the narrator is swamped by memories when he dunks a madeleine, a sort of cake,

In Bookstores Near You

In 1995, Dennis Covington’s breakout book, Salvation on Sand Mountain (Addison-Wesley), told the story of his immersion into the world of snakehandling, faith healing, and the fervent religious sects of the Appalachians. Back then, his search for renewal was triggered when, as a stringer for the New York Times,

The Autobiography of the Imagination: Toward a Definition

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The autobiography of the imagination writes itself, one could say. It writes every time we write, every time we dream or daydream. It is its own captain’s log, the transaction and receipt. It reveals the self to make the self into a stranger, twisting the I to wring out

Weathering/Writing the Storms

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In an episode of Master of None, Dev and Arnold walk home from a mostly uneventful night out at a bar. One remarks how cold it is. The other says it’s supposed to be nicer the next day. Dev acknowledges how cliché and potentially banal the topic at hand

“Different Paths Up the Same Mountain”: An Interview with Adele Kenny

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Adele Kenny’s poems speak from the head and the heart, giving thoughtful scrutiny to the moments that move us—whether to wonder or to grief. She is the author of more than 20 books of poetry and nonfiction, including What Matters, winner of the 2012 International Book Award for Poetry,

Morphology of the Essay: Ander Monson, Claudia Rankine, Eula Biss, Leslie Jamison, & Maggie Nelson

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According to Wikipedia, a keystone is “used figuratively to refer to a central element of a larger structure […] that locks the other elements in place and allows the whole to be self-supporting.” With a stone archway, the form is inherent, or predetermined. First, there is the abutment, then

Review: THE CITY AT THREE PM: WRITING, READING, AND TRAVELING by Peter LaSalle

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The City at Three PM: Writing, Reading, and Traveling Peter LaSalle Dzanc Books, December 15 2015 280 pp; $15.95 Buy paperback We read travel writers for a variety of reasons, but often it is for the vicarious thrill of the journey, somewhat akin to schadenfreude in that we can

On Context & Omission: Alain de Botton, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John McPhee, and Claudia Rankine

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Craft talks regarding omission lean heavily on Hemingway’s Iceberg Theory, what John McPhee recently called, “or, how to fashion critical theory from one of the world’s most venerable clichés.” Aside from the obvious trimming of superfluous language or gratuitous scenes, it could be argued that omission, in one extreme,

10 Inspiring Books on Women’s Lives

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I never tire of learning about other women’s lives and how they were forged.  How does one construct a passionate life?  Or articulate the way one survives the throes of it?  What art can be made from mess?  My first two books circled these questions in different ways, and