The Small Tragedies of Claire Messud’s The Emperor’s Children

9/11 is the catalyst to launch the characters of Claire Messud’s 2006 novel from their delayed adolescence into the sobriety and cynicism of adulthood among New York’s intellectual elite.

Donna Zuckerberg’s Not All Dead White Men and Red Pill Reductionism

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During the final years of Obama's presidency, Zuckerberg hoped her new book, in shedding light on how the Internet’s “manosphere” abused ancient texts, might expand how scholars of the classics study contemporary uses of the ancient world. Then, a few days after submitting her first draft, Donald Trump was

Queerness in Everyday People: The Color of Life

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Alexander Chee, Dennis Norris II, and Brandon Taylor, each in their own literary style, paint queerness as an out-of-body experience.

The Lake on Fire, by Rosellen Brown

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In response to her novel, The Lake on Fire, Rosellen Brown has been compared to both Jane Austen and Tillie Olsen.

The Shallows by Stacey Lynn Brown

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Though each of these poems embodies the heaviness of illness, their beauty is evinced in the pauses, the generous white spaces to be found in this book of poems.

Womanhood in A. E. Stallings’ Like

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In Stallings’ new collection of poetry, women are immersed in what it means to be a mother, and to see oneself growing older.

How Can We Be Happy in a World Full of Suffering?

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Olivia Laing, in her new novel, writes of a feeling that resonates: “She felt blank. She felt blank and mildly hysterical, she was itching to do something but it wasn’t clear what.”

Anne Garréta and the Grammar of Desire

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The initial image of the sphinx in Garréta’s first novel seems to haunt the project of each of her subsequent books: a chimera-like assemblage of parts (the exact composition of which can vary) that remains enigmatic, that resists understanding.

Disappearing Distinctions in Cristina Rivera Garza’s The Iliac Crest

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With rich, corporeal symbolism, Rivera Garza not only demonstrates how gender classification and the language that serves it disappear marginalized voices from literature and marginalized bodies from the world, but also asks how this tiered disappearance might be tempered.

Silence in Poetry

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Three recent collections of poetry do justice to the complex relationship between silence, narrative, and the tacit relationships out of which language is born.