Author Archive

Cultural Legibility in America’s Dark Chapter

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What does it mean to be culturally legible? And what does cultural legibility mean with regard to writing about or from within one’s own culture?

Can Twitter Make Trauma Generic? And If So, What Should We Do About It?

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As a writer, I've been thinking about the importance of our trauma—the needle-pushing trauma of the #MeToo movement, of the interrogation of "post-truth," of the existential crisis necessary for confronting something like climate change, or the stories beyond the body counts of the drug war in Mexico.

Rodrigo Hasbún’s Affections: Identity in a Post-Truth Era

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It’s perhaps because of the invisible currents that inform "post-truth" that I’m finding myself reading and rereading Rodrigo Hasbún’s Affections, which is hands down my favorite book of 2017.

Before the Storm and After, Houston Still a Poet’s City

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Houston is a poet’s city. I’d say more so than a fiction city, or a playwright’s city, or even a petroleum city for that matter (though, of course, it’s all of those things too).

Why Culture Cops Are Bad for Writers of Color

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The biggest fear of most professional writers I know is drawing the ire of the internet. This is especially true among writers of color I know. Our literary communities are no exception to the dark allures of destructive, righteous outrage.

You Can’t Trust Anybody in Elvira Navarro’s A Working Woman (And What That Says About Us)

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Elvira Navarro’s A Working Woman, translated by Christina MacSweeney, interrogates the psyche of characters mired by the Spanish economic crisis and the realities and lies they build around themselves in search of catharsis.

Examining Our American Disillusion With Alberto Fuguet

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I’ve been thinking too much about reality entertainment lately. It was inevitable that I would find myself reading Alberto Fuguet’s The Movies of My Life this summer, and I’ve been wondering: how does a country cope with disillusion? Or rather, how does a person deal with its dissolution?

Why Latinx Writers Should Decenter the Narratives That Have Been Weaponized Against Us

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Just last week, I received maybe the first piece of editorial advice that I felt compelled to flat out reject: that Latinx writers have a moral obligation to not write stories in which Latinx characters are portrayed in the context of the drug war or violence or anything else

Editorial Argonáutica: A Tiny Interview With Efrén Ordóñez

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Editorial Argonáutica is the brainchild of Efrén Ordóñez and Marco Alcalá, both accomplished writers and translators in their own right who decided in 2015 that the world needed a publishing house that would be global in its outlook and that would celebrate the translation and promotion of writers whose

Beyond War: Jorge Argueta’s Poetic Memoir and Moving Beyond Displacement

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As with other non-fictional accounts and ruminations on the Salvadoran civil war, Argueta is not afraid to look the violence and trauma of the war in the eye with Flesh Wounds: A Poetic Memoir.