Author Archive

Translating Genderqueerness

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Genderqueerness is futuristic at its core, which is why you’ll come across many genderqueer characters in speculative fiction. But translation creates friction: gender identities meant to be ambiguous or kept secret until the reveal of an unexpected twist come up against other linguistic systems, as well as translators’ preconceptions.

Literary Canons and the Reckoning of National Heritages

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In both France and the United States, literature has always been a prime site for these struggles over memory—what gets remembered, and how.

Who Speaks For the Trees?

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Poets, novelists, and artists of the Anthropocene are using their art to reveal the ties that bind us to that hazy concept of “nature,” and they often start with its most potent symbol, the tree—the embodiment of extreme strength and extreme vulnerability.

Edens and Heavens in Louise Glück’s The Wild Iris

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The gardens that compose Glück’s 1992 Pulitzer-winner collection feel at times too beautiful, too lush, to be real, if reality means possessing a terrestrial existence. But they are not exactly Edens: they are not in nor of heaven—at least not the heaven the gardener imagines.

Authority, Authenticity, and Representation

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Thinking about #ownvoices within the broader framework of literature suggests that we acknowledge where our representations come from and who controls them—and that we strive to rectify the distortions and erasures generated by centuries of marginalization by always paying attention to whose voices get to be heard.

“As a writer, what history or current events do I have permission to write about?”: An Interview with Jihyun Yun

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Weaving together her experiences of womanhood, of her Korean-American heritage, of her place within diaspora, poet Jihyun Yun goes beyond simple dualities, privileging instead what remains irreducible in the face of neat labeling.

Death in Literature: Predicted, Quantum, and All-Too-Human

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Literature, as a territory of creative speculation, appears especially attuned to tracking our ever-evolving relationship to death and its consequences on how we lead our lives, how we relate to others, and how we cultivate any sort of moral compass.

Monique Wittig’s Language Beyond Gender

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Reading Wittig as abstract (and using abstract as a means of being subtly anti-feminist) is misreading her: her whole point is to restore the body within the text.

The Resurgence of the Witch’s Tale

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Witch-hunting, Silvia Federici has written, developed in a world where communal relations were crumbling under the emergence of capitalism; from that moment on, the witch was the woman who escaped and defied patriarchal authority—and for this, she has always had to be punished.

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.