Tag Archives: Ploughshares Playlist

A Playlist for John Henry Fleming’s Songs for the Deaf

John Henry Fleming’s forthcoming story collection, Songs for the Deaf, is full of haunted characters: haunted by the deaths of loved ones, memories of lovers, knowledge of truth. The range of characters—aliens, bigfoot look-alikes, cloud readers, floating girls—lends itself to … Continue reading

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AWP Award Series: Julian Hoffman’s The Small Heart of Things and Andrew Ladd’s What Ends

Recently, I put cream cheese, Nutella, and orange zest between two pieces of bread and cooked it up like a grilled cheese. A little butter, a hot pan. Grilled cheese is tried and true. It doesn’t need improvement. But I … Continue reading

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Two Deserts by Julie Brickman: A Ploughshares Playlist

After a detour into the Land of Internet GIFs, I’m back on the music train, bringing you tunes to accompany Julie Brickman’s new story collection, Two Deserts, released the first of this month from Hopewell Publications. Brickman’s stories examine the … Continue reading

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“A Powerlessness That Was Kind”: A Playlist for Aimee Bender’s The Color Master

I have to admit that this was one of the tougher playlists to put together. Aimee Bender’s latest collection, The Color Master, does not easily lend itself to non-ephemeral song. It’s a collection that drops hints. In the opening story, … Continue reading

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Similar Bravery: A Playlist for Rick Bass’s “All The Land To Hold Us”

The first time I met Rick Bass, in early 2010, I was sick as a dog. Iowa State University had invited him to participate in its annual Wildness Symposium, during my first year in the MFA program. In the middle … Continue reading

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Red Moon Rising: Playlist for Benjamin Percy’s Red Moon

In my last post I talked about my love of zombies—the blank stares, the hyperfast sprinting, and the social allegory of the undead—and my less-than-love for the resurgence of swoony vampires. In light of the revival of such classic horror … Continue reading

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Book vs Movie: World War Z (A Ploughshares Playlist)

First things first:  Did you all know that Max Brooks, author of World War Z (basis for the newly released movie of the same title), is Mel Brooks’s son? Neither did I. Moving on. I’ll be honest. I’m not so … Continue reading

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Fitzgeraldpalooza!

This month Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby came out in all it’s extravagant glory. One thing I especially love about the film is its soundtrack. Setting the story to a backdrop of current music (Jay-Z, … Continue reading

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“He Had Crossed to Arrive There”: A Playlist for Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities

Every time I read Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities I get something different from it.  Like NPR’s Eric Weiner writes, “I leave it, again and again, and yet never discover it—never really know it.” This latest reading, for me, boils down … Continue reading

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“Look Who Made It:” A Playlist for Karen Russell’s Vampires in the Lemon Grove

To me, a new Karen Russell book is literary Christmas. Her new collection tells the stories of characters doing their best to conquer insurmountable odds: addiction, enslavement, the aftereffects of war. The stories explore the strengths and frailties of people; … Continue reading

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