Author Archive

How Two Young Black Poets Are Making Sense of the World

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The art of literacy may not be aggressive, but as Madison Petaway and Akilah Toney, two poets included in a recent New York Times feature, show, it can be assertive, assured, and bold.

Possession and Loss in Gone to the Forest

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The fictional, nameless nation in Katie Kitamura’s 2012 novel is a country of men obsessed with possession. They care to possess land, money, women. What use these things might be to them is hardly of any interest. The main thing is to own them, to overpower them, and only

Nature Prevails in Ruthie Fear

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Maxim Loskutoff’s new novel, out tomorrow, is an exploration of man’s complicated relationship with the highest form of authority—nature.

Untold Stories in Last Call on Decatur Street

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Iris Martin Cohen’s new novel is a reflection, a condemnation, and a compassionate call to action; it is the story of how we can start to open our eyes to see better and do better.

Black Boyhood, Black Fear

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When I first read Kiese Laymon’s “City Summer, Country Summer” essay, it seemed a sweet, nostalgic comparison of Black culture in New York City to Mississippi. On second read, however, I saw that what united the two boys within was more than their age or the color of their

Emma Cline’s Fairy Tale Gone Wrong

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To Cline’s Evie, a young girl whose parents are too preoccupied with their respective post-divorce transformations to truly see her and support her, leaving the mild, mind-numbing safety of her small-town and stepping onto a cult leader’s ranch is like stepping into a fairy tale world.

Reading The Book of Men

Nano Shabtai’s 2015 book feels especially personal to me. For the past three years, I’ve been working on a memoir about how the world of relationships is experienced through the eyes of a woman who is often troubled by sex but has been instructed her entire life to prioritize

The Bittersweet Flavor of Influence

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Jonathan Fine’s recently published personal essay asks how one separates one’s own work from all that precedes it. How does one escape the anxiety of influence when influence is literally all around?

Too Much Life

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In Kevin Scott Magruder’s debut novel, humanity faces a temptation as old as Greek mythology: the gift of immortality. A new experimental drug, Amaran, has been released that halts the aging process and cell deterioration. This gift, however, comes with some strings.

How About This Weather?

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It can be easy, under certain circumstances, to imagine that catastrophe is worlds away. Just as it is easy, from the comfort of the East Coast, to relish in the warmer-than-usual winter and pretend like there are no fires consuming the wildlife of Australia or endangering the children of