Late Summer’s Exploration of the Past

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
From the beginning to the end of the novel, Luiz Ruffato gives us a moment-by-moment account of his protagonist’s activities, thoughts, and feelings—a stream-of-consciousness narrative in which, as the novel progresses, the character’s memories of the past become more and more prominent.

The Varieties of Black Liberation in The Heart of a Woman

Author: | Categories: Personal Essays No comments
In Maya Angelou’s 1981 memoir, she travels to New York, London, Cairo, and Accra. Everywhere she goes, she meets people who look like her but do not necessarily think like her. Black skin, she realizes, does not immediately equate to kinship, and in fact can mask conflicting understandings of

“Sometimes the poems know things that we don’t know ourselves”: An Interview with Jay Deshpande

Author: | Categories: Interviews No comments
Recognizing the ephemerality of their wisdoms, Deshpande allows his poems to exist as monuments to themselves, that we might return to them in the future and experience their lessons anew.

Gender and the Body in Breasts and Eggs, The Collection, and The Iliac Crest

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Around the world, woman novelists are refocusing narratives about desire, sex, and the body around their own experiences. Some of their stories explore society’s current hang-ups around women’s bodies, some paint a picture of a potential world full of guilt-free pleasure, and some explode the idea of gender determined

Loneliness and Parasocial Relationships in The Woman in the Purple Skirt

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Natsuko Imamura's 2019 novel reads at first glance as a fairly straightforward psychological thriller, with voyeurism is at its center. Imamura, however, also explores a deeper psychological entanglement, stemming from a desire to connect when social interaction feels like an insurmountable barrier.

The Contrapuntal Possibilities in me and Nina

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Monica A. Hand’s 2012 poetry collection is a polyphonic celebration of the multidimensionality of the self. The musician Nina Simone’s echoing impact and the poet’s own life as an artist and Black woman operate as countermelodies, playing across many emotional registers.

Death as the Villain in Pet Sematary

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Beneath the waking nightmares, reanimated children, and mythological Wendigo, Stephen King’s 1983 novel is about a fundamental and universal experience: grief and the fear of death.

Matthew Specktor’s Tender Ode to Failure in Always Crashing in the Same Car

Author: | Categories: Book Reviews, Nonfiction No comments
Matthew Specktor’s memoir is an intimate investigation of one man’s imperfect life.

“We are both the colonized and the colonizers”: An Interview with Paisley Rekdal

Author: | Categories: Interviews No comments
In her recently published book, Paisley Rekdal argues that, in accepting our dual condition, the adventurous artist, regardless of race or other identity, must be willing to brave criticism; she insists that all creative writers, both fledgling and veteran, search within to find their own ethics of literary invention.

The Garbage of Our Time

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
A. R. Ammons's 1993 book-length poem, a meditation on excess and waste as the defining trait of our species, anticipated the worst conversations one wishes were avoidable: climate change and a non-hyperbolic global destruction.