Death and Remembrance in Hamnet

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Maggie O’Farrell’s 2020 novel shows the painful reality that transformation and remembrance go hand in hand. This isn’t comforting—how can it be?—but to remember, to practice remembrance daily, shapes a person.

Mapmaking and Living Nations, Living Words: An Anthology of First Peoples Poetry

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Joy Harjo’s signature project as the twenty-third U.S. Poet Laureate is one of mapmaking: gathering poems by forty-seven Native Nations poets in a cartography of voice. This poetic map acknowledges other maps of colonial violence and erasure, and while poetry can offer no full answer to the pain, it

The Artful Arrangement of 300 Arguments, Heating & Cooling, and The Crying Book

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Sarah Manguso, Beth Ann Fennelly, and Heather Christle show that what may at first look like fragments are instead distillations of memories, emotions, and experience—made stronger by their brevity and turned into something whole through their painstaking arrangement.

Hope in the Apocalypse

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Octavia Butler and Yoko Tawada balance the pain of life in a post-apocalyptic future with stories of human resilience, offering readers some spark of hope in a future that seems hopeless.

The Crane Wife’s Interrogation of the Self

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CJ Hauser's interrogation of familial and cultural stories reveals as much about what it means to love someone else as it does about what it means to love a narrative. Ultimately, this leads her inward, turning the force of her questioning toward the unexpected shape of her own life

Temporality and Memory in The Man Who Could Move Clouds

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Rojas Contreras’s memoir intertwines family relationships and legacies, political conflicts and oppressions, and the expansive realm of healing, identity, and magic into a magnificent, mesmerizing memoir.

The Gap Between Knowing and Understanding in On Bullfighting

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A.L. Kennedy’s layered exploration of the corrida de toros is a revelation of knowing the problem and not understanding what must come next.

Silvia Ferrara’s The Greatest Invention: A History of the World in Nine Mysterious Scripts and the Power of Written Language

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At times of injustice and tragedy caused by senseless human actions, it is helpful to recall the revolutionary power of writing from the broad perspective of the history of human existence.

Writing Death

“I never got the privilege to grow old with, or even get a chance to say a proper goodbye to, Pompilio or HS, and they never got to see some of the beautiful things I’ve somehow managed to. But writing about death lets me take my ghosts with me.”

The Embodied Narrator in How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America

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Clint Smith’s new book is an examination of memory through an examination of sites that represent our country’s collective memory of slavery. He makes an important and effective call for us to examine how we remember our past, and how central our historical memory is to our existence today.