Critical Essays Archive
If Hawkins’s workers struggle with their materials or the limits of their strength and stamina, Chang reveals a different antagonist through the figure of the boss, firing workers at will and propping up the corporation.
As a writer and botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer weaves lyric storytelling with science, gleaned from both Western institutions and the indigenous wisdom of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation to which she belongs.
Over the course of the fragmented, deeply imagistic book (which Kang has described as a narrative poem), whiteness expands beyond solid objects into concepts and sensations, its every iteration part of an adjacent world in which her sister is not dead and it is she, instead, who is absent.
When I worked as a waitress to make money for college, I kept thinking about the tin can where the family of Betty Smith’s novel put “half of any money they got from anywhere.” One crisis after another forces them to empty the can. I knew a similar frustration.
Kunzru’s novel offers a chance to revel in the hubris of white boys. As such, it is a revenge story.
Literature that reflected the queer experience seem a shared resource, and a public one for those who knew how to look for it. But books can act as more than a mirror—aren’t they also a window?
Feminists have long attempted to “take back” feminine mythological figures and reconceptualize male-centric myths, but Analicia Sotelo’s poetry collection goes further, not only subverting feminine stereotypes but also challenging the common wisdom of the symbolic “feminine.”
As poets and readers of poetry, we might ask ourselves how our poetry provides a kind of sanctuary from violence or else offers us a place to work through our fraught reactions to a world in which school shootings can happen.
Lil Wayne’s book, a collection of journal entries made while he served a prison sentence, offers access to the stream of consciousness produced by an imprisoned mind.
Mavis Gallant’s “Mlle. Dias de Corta” unfolds more like a novel than a short story. It’s a second-person address to a tenant the narrator, an aging, xenophobic French widow, had twenty years before—a young actress, Alda Dias de Corta, whom the widow took in “for companionship rather than income.”