writing Archive

“There’s only one subject. That’s the trouble”: DeLillo and Saunders in 2017

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The first paragraph I wrote after reading Saunders’s essay felt exhausting. Every sentence felt vague and hollow. But good: a feeling akin to my physical therapist standing beside me, correcting the form on my squats. Painful but good when I got it right.

A Fractured America with a Missing Center in Joan Didion’s SOUTH AND WEST

The political and cultural moment of SOUTH AND WEST's release could not have been foreseen, but through her narrative disappearing act, Didion leaves us to make sense of what we read to find its central purpose.

The Art of the Twitter Essay

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Twitter is maybe one of the most ideal places to watch a draft shape itself into a finished essay—a public place for us to learn the bones.

Disappearing Acts: On Wilderness and Writing

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Most people get lost accidentally, a few get lost by necessity. There is hardly a story more compelling to me than the latter—that of the individual so primordially unsatisfied with civilization that wilderness is their only consolation.

On Movement: the Writer as Walker

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Many writers have explored the pleasures of walking, including the likes of Virginia Woolf and Amy Hempel. There is a whole canon that depicts and analyzes the connection between moving through geographical terrains and mental ones.

Why the Girl Rules the World

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It’s hard not to notice the word girl writ large on book covers and film posters everywhere. It’s also tough to ignore the flurry of opinions on whether titular appropriation of the word is sexist and offensive or just smart marketing. Turns out the word is surprisingly flexible.

Stories are Never Neutral: Disability, Representation, and Autonomous Press

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From childhood, we’re taught to see ourselves as others see us. We learn to synthesize “Head, shoulders, knees and toes” into a whole through a complex process of self-identification. We see who and what we’re taught to see, a looping phenomena that means we’re literally made up of story.

Fiction Responding to Fiction: Raymond Carver and Jonathan Durbin

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Raymond Carver’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” is the classic titular story in his collection published in 1981. The original story, entitled “Beginners,” was famously edited by Gordon Lish, and it is longer, containing more hope and introspection.

Planetary Poetry

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It’s a comet, no it’s a planet, no it’s not a planet, yes it is. What is it about Pluto that so draws us to it? Is it that Pluto is so far away? Or is it just that we always pull for the underdog? Over the past few

Notes on the State of Virginia: Journey to the Center of an American Document, Query VI

This is the fourth installment of a year-long journey through Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia. You can read previous installments here, here and here. ** Query VI: “Productions mineral, vegetable and animal” A notice of the mines and other subterraneous riches; its trees, plants, fruits, &c.