Author Archive

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 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.

W. S. Merwin’s Ancestral Memory in Victoria Chang’s The Trees Witness Everything

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Almost every poem in Victoria Chang’s new collection gets its title from a W. S. Merwin poem of the same name. Both poets seem to believe in the idea that history and life are really just ongoing cycles designed to propel us forward, just as they also keep us

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.

Women’s Rage

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Claire-Louise Bennett’s new novel stirs up all the women in literature who have been sealing their anger away, letting it churn undisturbed at the center of themselves.

The Time of Girlhood in Sarah Manguso’s Very Cold People

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Sarah Manguso is obsessed with time. In her latest book, she returns to the concept, illuminating the complete lack of protection for young girls from a world that’s desperate to objectify and sexualize them as soon as possible.

The Fanfiction of A Little Life

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Fanfiction pummels its readers with emotion, nearly overdosing us on joy, love, sex, and sorrow until we are left feeling exposed. It’s this rawness that fanfiction readers crave, and it’s this same rawness that Hanya Yanagihara brings to the literary world with her 2015 novel.

Pop Song and the Literary Breakup Album

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Larissa Pham’s new collection reads like a beautiful, literary breakup album, each essay operating as its own track. By the time you’ve turned the final pages, you want nothing more than to flip the metaphorical album over, drop the needle, and begin again.

Searching for My Grandmother in The Heart Mountain Sentinel

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When my grandmother was a girl, she slept with a knife underneath her pillow. The soft brutality of this detail rushes to the forefront of my mind every time I recall her face. I’m pulled in by the image of her small body afraid but ready to fight.