Collective Despair in Ana Blandiana’s Five Books

Author: | Categories: Book Reviews, Poetry No comments
The poems in Romanian poet Ana Blandiana’s collection offer an uncensored, searing reality of the poverty that Communism created, depicted as an imagistic tragedy from the perspective of those who suffered through it.

Doing Nothing and Eat, Pray, Love

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Elizabeth Gilbert’s 2006 memoir explores a restlessness she spends her sojourn contending with. It is a restlessness brought on by a rift that has formed between her mind and her body, a restlessness shared by all of us who were raised on the lap of the Protestant work ethic.

Imagination and Repetition in Chronic Illness Memoir

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
The aesthetic project of chronic illness memoir is inescapably tied to its political project. Within the wider genre, we might discern a politics of repetition.

The Queer Power of Fairy Tales

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
In a country in which “fairy tales predetermine reality,” the protagonist of Katya Kazbek’s new novel’s re-creation of a folk tale allows him to engineer his queer liberation.

Authenticity and Artifice in The Candy House

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
At its most fundamental level, Jennifer Egan’s new novel is about stories, about how humans are inclined to shape information into narrative.

Desire and Destruction in Kate Folk’s Out There

Author: | Categories: Book Reviews, Fiction No comments
Kate Folk’s narrative voice makes even the strangest, most self-destructive desires seem reasonable. Her stories exist between the strange and the familiar, and the ambivalence that characters feel about what they’re doing or what’s happening to them makes them feel all the more real.

Sara Lippmann’s Turns in Jerks

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Even though the characters in Sara Lippmann’s second story collection are often stuck in their lives, a sense of life, of possibility, of creation, runs throughout the book, uniting its stories as one. Lippmann focuses on the unexpected and on the surprising in order to focus on life.

“Women carry so much of this love and its afterlife”: An Interview with Megan Mayhew Bergman

Author: | Categories: Interviews No comments
The stories in Megan Mayhew Bergman’s third collection deal with the idea of inheritance—what parts of themselves women bequeath to their children, to one another, to men, and what’s left once those parts are given away.

A House Between Earth and the Moon’s Technology Tension

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Rebecca Scherm’s approach to technology is both familiar and alien to us. Our devices pull us further apart from one other. Yet this sense of hyper-connection is still connection. Read through the register of family, the relational potential for technology gets even murkier.

Finding Home in An American Sunrise

Joy Harjo’s 2019 collection accesses the painful memories and losses that so many of her people have suffered. But the strength of her poetry goes beyond just recounting the pain.