Every morning, before breakfast, I spend an hour writing about the previous day in a notebook. My diary is a patchwork of inner life, full of gaps and skipped fragments of routine and Knausgaard-ish struggles. But it is not only a book of written recollections. It’s also a trunk
The aftermath of war and displacement is often a diaspora, the literal scattering of a group’s seeds far from the tree of origins. However to call that wrenching of branches, as was discussed in Part I of this series (Mirrored Crisis: What Jeffrey Eugenides’s Middlesex can show us about today’s
Reading is a cognitive experience and written language can elicit in the brain an array of sensory perceptions. A description of an apple pie once made me put the book down so I could bask in its warm smell. But what the brain does most readily is see. It’s
How does one apply the adage show don’t tell to the interior of the mind—a vast expanse one inhabits daily, but never sees? While Pixar’s Inside Out turns the subconscious into a playful and sometimes dark adventure, literature must rely on language—pacing, syntax, and form matching function. In the early
Taking up the mantel of memory and elegy is no easy task, but Janice Lee’s new book Reconsolidation: Or, it’s the ghosts who will answer you embraces the ghosts. The text is not so much a reflection on writing, loss, memory, and death, but a twisted projection of those
We moved to Pittsburgh from the Northeast almost two years ago for my husband’s job. I tell people here I’m new to the city, usually as a way of explaining that it’s new to me, that my mental map is hazy and lots of references still slip right past.
I’m talking here of memory’s difficulty. Difficult not in the way I have to wrack my weak brain to remember what happened, but in the way I’m forced to face that time I let my brother, bleeding from the mouth, run the mile home alone. Difficult in the way
I stand in the middle of a Plaza. A market is in front of me. To my left, down a narrow street, is a small restaurant, Mario’s, which serves lunch until it runs out of the day’s specials. If I walk to my right, I can make my way