Photography Archive

Your Connected Notebook: The Instagram of Eileen Myles

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Eileen Myles is a poet, novelist, performer and art journalist who ran a write-in candidacy for president twenty-five years ago when the bulk of our presidential candidates were straight, white, male, and wealthy. But you wouldn’t know any of this from their Instagram page, where their bio reads, simply,

Postcards from Unexpected Places

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Like long handwritten letters and atlases, postcards descend from another world now deemed impractical. They belong to the world of Denis Breen in James Joyce’s Ulysses and Loyal Blood and his travels across the American West in Annie Proulx’s Postcards. Ruth, in Lorrie Moore’s story “Real Estate,” finds the

Concretizing the enemy

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  Words have always coveted pictures for how immediately they can stir us. I think of the photograph of the South Vietnamese child who’d been sprayed by napalm. No word alive can match it. It was the photo on the cover of every magazine in 1972, which “probably did

Review: SWEET CARESS by William Boyd

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Sweet Caress William Boyd Bloomsbury, September 15, 2015 449 pp, $28 Buy here Sweet Caress is the newest novel from the acclaimed William Boyd, author of notable works such as Any Human Heart and A Good Man in Africa. The novel centers on Amory Clay, one of the first

Do-Overs: Four Strong Female Protagonists

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Historical Fiction isn’t just a man’s world. In fact, several recent historical novels have featured, successfully, stories of bold women who defied odds. In April, I moderated a panel of these writers at the LA Times Festival of Books. Their novels are vastly different, but each presents an old story—a

Between Optimism and Pessimism: How to Set Our Baby Monitors?

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Pessimism is not particularly hard. I thought of this last month when I spent an hour in my brother’s kitchen near the baby monitor through which I could hear my poor twenty-two-month-old niece hacking up phlegm. After an hour I began to mistake this noise for the wind, or

Walking to Write

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It should be no surprise that walking relieves stress and anxiety and increases creativity, but now a recent study at Stanford University has found that walking, even for just ten minutes, increases creativity by sixty percent. (Apparently, there was no difference between walking outside and walking on a treadmill in

The Ploughshares Round-Down: Waiting on a Job? Grad School? Publisher? Wait Better.

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Okay Writers. Confession: my last couple months disappeared in helpless Waiting: to hear from an interested publisher, to hear about grant funds, to get word on research, jobs, schools, where the hell I’ll be living in six months… It’s excruciating. And I’m not alone. Thousands of you are sending

The Suburbs: A Multimedia Extravaganza!

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Okay, for my final post about the suburbs (probably), I say enough about books. Let’s talk about what’s really important: TV, movies, music, and even a little art. On The Tube TV is lousy with images of the suburbs these days, but of course it always has been.  Recently,