Articles by Hannah Gersen

March 3, 2017

What Marcel Proust Taught Me About Characterization 2

Literary characters are like long distance friends. Your perception of them is brief, but intense.

February 14, 2017

Women Seen and Heard: A Hollywood Trend Worth Celebrating 29

To be a woman in a movie, you’re probably straight, and you’re probably white. You’re probably quite thin with great skin and a large wardrobe. Your living space is probably very clean and well decorated. You’re probably smiling. Or laughing. If you’re crying, you look really beautiful while the tears stream down your face, and men fall in love with you.

December 11, 2016

A Year in Reading: Hannah Gersen 10

The day after the election, in an attempt to find some equilibrium, I returned to In Search of Lost Time. The scene I read happened to be one in which Baron de Charlus misreads a social situation and as a result, loses the person he loves most dearly. His error is a familiar one: he doesn’t observe or even suspect the simmering resentment of someone else.

November 28, 2016

The 2016 Millions Gift Guide for Readers and Writers 0

This Irish whiskey, “gently spiced with a burst of ginger and butterscotch,” is perfect for those dark nights of the soul, when the words won’t come, or the rejection notes just won’t stop coming.

November 8, 2016

Layered in Sleep with Marcel Proust 0

As you might well expect from an invalid, Proust brings a wealth of personal experience to the subject of sleep.

September 21, 2016

Living in French: The Millions Interviews Lauren Collins 0

The better my language skills get, the more I’m aware of, the more I’m able to penetrate. It’s fantastic. It’s been unlocking this secret cave full of riches I could never access before. It’s a midlife gift — both as a person and as a reporter.

August 31, 2016

Proust Book Club: On Reading Recklessly 2

In real life, it would be hazardous to take on another person’s point of view so completely, but in reading, you can be reckless.

July 7, 2016

Bill Cunningham’s Proustian Eye 1

Cunningham often said he was looking for beauty, and he believed that it could be found anywhere. Like the great novelists, he taught us how to see other people, and the world.

June 2, 2016

In Which Marcel Proust Anticipates a Minor Mid-Life Crisis at My 15-Year College Reunion 0

It wasn’t until midway through lunch on the second day, while nursing a bit of a hangover, that I realized that my vision was compromised.

April 15, 2016

Black Berets Unite: In Praise of Pretentiousness 25

A partial list of things labeled pretentious in my home town: indie rock, foreign films, mobile phones, vegetarian diets, keeping one’s maiden name, carrying bottled water, wearing all black, drinking wine, reading The New York Times, dressing androgynously, taking self-portraits, drinking Starbucks, practicing yoga.