Author Archive

The Parasitism of Memory in Burnt Sugar

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Avni Doshi’s Booker shortlisted 2019 novel wonders if, since our minds can distort our memories into unrecognizable things and still have us believe them as truth, it is apt to say they overtake us, a sort of parasitic recall designed to humor us through our lives.

Heather Christle’s Portrait of Crying

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Heather Christle’s 2019 book is a beautiful study of one of humanity’s most universal experiences, its fragments acting as tear drops that, when collected, turn it into one very good, very emotional cry.

The Modern-Day Myth of The Good Life

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What makes these “Back to the Land” social media influencers so much like Helen and Scott Nearing is that both talk about the self-sufficient life as if it is something that is achievable to everyone. But what each of these people fail to say is that behind every “good

Handiwork and the Making of Motherhood

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“When my son was born, I became obsessed with making. It was as if his coming into the world flipped a switch somewhere inside of myself that compelled me to create things with my hands.”

Birds as Metaphor in Birds of Maine and Big Questions

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What Michael DeForge and Anders Nilsen have managed to do is highlight some of humanity’s best traits—and reflect them back to us through the use of these flighty, flittering creatures. Life is beautiful, they seem to be pleading. Take a moment to look at things from a different perspective.

The Uneasiness of Lispector and Klassen Children’s Stories

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What makes Clarice Lispector and Jon Klassen so appealing as storybook writers is that both of them make attempts at creating a world in which children aren’t shielded from complex situations.

Remembering Monica Berlin

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“Something I think about often is how you once said that sometimes when you write a letter, the person you are writing to may never write back. Perhaps what you were quietly teaching us about was grief.”

Hidden Mother’s Maternal Haunted House

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Laura Larson’s 2018 book analyzes images of babies held still for pictures by their mothers, who remain cleverly disguised from the eye of the camera themselves. “These images remind me of dressing up as a ghost when I was a kid,” writes Larson, and she’s right.

The Remarkable Staying Power of Hisaye Yamamoto’s Seventeen Syllables

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Perhaps what is most striking about Hisaye Yamamoto’s stories is how easily they could be written by a Japanese American author today, though many of them were written over fifty years ago, so focused are they on issues of race and the gendered expectations of women that still exist.

Alice Hattrick’s Redefinition of Illness

Alice Hattrick’s new book redefines how we think about the body’s relationship to pain, in the process providing us with a new way to understand what it means to be chronically ill.