Tokyo Ueno Station’s Anti-Stereotypical Portrayal of Homelessness

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Yu Miri directly tackles homelessness in Japan in her 2014 novel, focusing on the memories and reflections of the ghost of a homeless migrant manual laborer, Kazu, as he wanders through the titular park, which had been his home.

The Dangerous Age’s Repudiation of the Marriage Plot

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Women are often confined in stories to “erotic narratives” that generally lead to the altar; menopause marks the end of the tale. This plight for a woman in mid-life is evident in the enactment and repudiation of the marriage plot in Karin Michaëlis’s 1910 novel.

The Joy of Reading Slowly

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I have become a far better reader over the last year and a half because of learning how to read more slowly. Perhaps most importantly, though, I once again love to read.

The Plague of Structural Inequity in The Fall of the House of Usher

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It is not simply that wealth makes escape from pandemic at least (somewhat) possible. It is Poe and Flannagan's understanding of the structural nature of the violent intersection of class privilege and disease.

The Unmemntioable’s Exploration of the Sublime

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In Erín Moure’s 2012 collection, she spreads the ashes of her mother, who was subject to the abject violence that took place during World War II, in a village near the Davydivka River in what is now present-day Ukraine. The word “tragedy” feels inadequate to describe these experiences.

Svetlana Alexievich’s Verbatim Theater

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In her exploration of the Chernobyl disaster, Svetlana Alexievich dramatizes history—as she insists, we can only understand events of this magnitude by recasting them on a human scale.

The Terror of Racial Intimacies

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What does it mean to examine the possibilities of deep friendship—love, even—through the lens of a queer interracial reckoning with our silences? To opt for a kind of witness that exposes the violence of intimacies, a form of “domestic” violence that exists between black/brown and white people?

Reading Palestine

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As a translator, I am often asked about contemporary Palestinian literature, and find myself, a liberal Jew from Israel currently living in the US, at an embarrassing loss. Recently, I found my foray into contemporary Palestinian writing.

A Joint Interview with Brenda Miller and Julie Marie Wade

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The eleven essays that make up Miller and Wade’s new collection emerged through an email correspondence the two writers exchanged over the course of four years—an associative, improvisational game of call-and-response that played out in their inboxes.

The Woman in The Woman in the Dunes

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Kobo Abe’s 1962 novel delineates one man’s experience of unjust capture and imprisonment, and the shifting lines between purpose and absurdity that experience foregrounds. Taken as a purely existential novel, the centrality of this figure and his experience can easily remain unchallenged. Yet, he isn’t alone in his imprisonment.