Author Archive

The Ebb and Flow of Women’s Friendships in Fiona and Jane

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Jean Chen Ho’s wonderful debut is a book that is built on memory, a book that speaks to the importance and difficulties and richness of friendship between women over time, a book that braids its form and content together to create meaning.

Two Boston Commons at Twilight

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Susan Minot’s story “Boston Common at Twilight” shares its title with a Childe Hassam painting. Although the former does not directly mention the latter, there are many ways that the works are linked, and seeing these connections underscores the themes that run through the story and allows the viewer

The Joy of Reading Slowly

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I have become a far better reader over the last year and a half because of learning how to read more slowly. Perhaps most importantly, though, I once again love to read.

Hao’s Exploration of Language

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As Ye Chun’s new collection builds, drawing and exploring the lives of Chinese women, the importance of language to communicate, to understand, and to dream is illustrated again and again.

Life and Death in Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket

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Hilma Wolitzer’s new story collection is brimming with life and humor, and yet death is ever-present, leading the book forward to its final, inevitable conclusion.

Dybek, Shalamov, and Condensed Milk

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The transformation of milk into preserved milk is a magic trick of sorts, a way to extend the life of a perishable product. Although in very different ways, Varlam Shalamov’s “Condensed Milk” and Stuart Dybek’s “Pet Milk” are interested in considering man’s ability to do the same.

The Transfer of Power in The Lying Life of Adults

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Elena Ferrante often uses objects in her fiction to explore relationships and time, but she also uses them as objective correlatives; while the bracelet in her 2019 novel serves as a way to move the reader through the plot, it is also clearly identified as an object, one that

The Parallel Narrative Arc in Memorial

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In Bryan Washington’s first novel, photos are used, in part, to consider how we use images to communicate. They also work together to create a narrative arc that echoes the arc of the book itself.

Reading Two Groff Companion Pieces

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Two of Lauren Groff’s recent stories share an interest: exploring the relationship between domestic violence and masculinity. Each story acts as a mirror for the other, the differences often pointing up the similarities and allowing the two pieces to connect in subtle and nuanced ways.

The Bass Rock’s Layered Use of Setting

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The use of place in Evie Wyld’s third novel underscores the constant nature of violence against women—that unchanging and immoveable landscape—and yet the capacity for women to band together in order to fight back shows that there may, indeed, be better days ahead.