The Power of the Vignette in Mrs. Bridge

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Evan S. Connell’s 1959 novel is composed of 117 neat vignettes that function in several ways: as a social critique of the era’s lust for conformity, as an aesthetic choice representing the psychology of his protagonist, and as an attempt to explicate time's relationship to a forward-looking, consumptive lifestyle.

The Meaning of Home

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In her 2016 memoir, Tsering Wangmo Dhompa travels to Tibet after a lifetime away. As a refugee, Dhompa has lived in Nepal, India, and San Francisco, but it is her return that leads her to consider what home means to an exile—it is the center of loss, rediscovery, and

Cultish’s Exploration of Manipulative Language

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People are often mystified about how anyone could get involved in a cultish group, or may vaguely think that “brainwashing” was involved. Indeed, while we might feel safer if there were more esoteric or arcane tricks being used, Montell argues that cults bewitch followers exactly the same way that

Women in Myths

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In such ancient stories as The Odyssey, women, who are often archetypes and who typically exist in the margins, are enlivened when their stories are told by contemporary writers, freeing them from their limited roles

Enduring Love

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Betsy Bonner’s new memoir offers no solutions for the gap between the idea of unconditional love and limited human experience. Less an exorcism than a tribute, it strives to make every stylistic quirk mirror the halting but deeply-felt contours of her relationship with her sister.

Memory, Mediocrity, and Gentrification in Zone One

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Combining elegant craft and clairvoyant perspective with tropes of the zombie novel, Colson Whitehead unsettles our conception of what it means to be human, to connect with each other, and how we understand what defines us as individuals.

The Threshold of Memory and Return

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Confronting the manifestations of trauma in individual people and larger communities, the nonlinear form of Iman Humaydan’s 2012 novel exposes the importance of living with complexity despite its accompanying discomfort in the context of the Lebanese Civil War and beyond.

“We’re standing on the edge of the cliff”: An Interview with Lauren Groff

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Following the conclusion of her Climate Visionaries project undertaken with Greenpeace, Jason Katz speaks with Lauren Groff about writing climate fiction, her climate-related work, and talking to our youngest about climate change.

We Wish You Luck’s Writerly Campus Novel

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There is something thrilling about a campus novel, the way its borders close around a defined perimeter and an alluring clique. Caroline Zancan’s entry to the genre, set at a premier low-residency MFA program, pushes the campus novel into such an academic, writerly realm that it takes on the

Dybek, Shalamov, and Condensed Milk

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The transformation of milk into preserved milk is a magic trick of sorts, a way to extend the life of a perishable product. Although in very different ways, Varlam Shalamov’s “Condensed Milk” and Stuart Dybek’s “Pet Milk” are interested in considering man’s ability to do the same.