Author Archive

Speaking of Megaphones: Why Reading Literature Now Might Be Useful

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I could spin many narratives for why I wanted this series. Instead I'll be honest with you: it was mostly for my own sanity. Maybe you've got a better handle on this than I do, but my way of engaging with our daily media does not feel particularly healthy,

A Gift of Sorts

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This story starts in the tall-walled house of a local poet. Aluminum foil trays of lasagna. Iceberg lettuce. Wool ties, snug dresses. We are all here together to celebrate the visitation of the poet Edward Hirsch. He has just read from his most recent collection, titled GABRIEL, an elegy

How a Polar Bear with an Axe in its Head Might Save You: Two Stories by George Saunders

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The Inner Hornerites finally have chance to strike back. They've been taxed and belittled, imprisoned in a Short-Term Residency Zone, their friend Cal disassembled by Phil's Special Friends before their eyes.

The Bricklayer, the Atheist, and David Foster Wallace

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There is this wonderful pseudo-parable in Infinite Jest, about 150 pages in, that a State Farm claims agent, murrayf, shares through internal Interlace-System email with his friends at work.

The Problem of “Make It New,” the Help of Joy Williams

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At whatever point "Make it new" became a phrase so canonically removed from its creator that it began to reach the minds and ears of young writers years before they'd ever pick up Pound's poetry, a particular fine-edged damage was done.

George W. Bush and the Literary Double-Take

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I'll come clean: I was supposed to write a different post for you, called something like "On the Emotional Incompetence of George W. Bush."