Articles by Hannah Gersen

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.

April 7, 2016

Gluten-Free Proust 1

Anything is tasty when you haven’t had dairy, gluten, refined sugar, corn, potatoes, processed foods, or alcohol for several weeks.

March 14, 2016

Doing Laundry with Marcel Proust 3

Marcel’s questions about Swann’s life and his love affairs are essential questions of childhood: what is love, what is sexual desire, what is society, what is class, what, in short, are these mysterious forces that are shaping life but which no one alludes to directly?

February 18, 2016

Another Mask: On Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘In Other Words’ 1

I started Jhumpa Lahiri’s new memoir expecting to find a story about the joys and struggles of learning Italian as an adult, and as a writer. But Lahiri did not write the book I was expecting — and which I think many other readers might be primed for. Instead, she has written an elegant, if somewhat oblique, memoir about creative crisis.

February 9, 2016

The Proust Book Club: The View From Age 38 4

Proust was 38 years old and in poor health when he started writing. He knew he did not have any time left to waste. He believed — as it turned out, accurately — that he was writing on deadline.

January 26, 2016

The Proust Book Club: An Introduction 15

And so, here I am, 10 years (!) later, trying again to finish one of the best novels I’ve ever read, possibly the best novel I’ve ever read. (I’ll know for sure when I finish.)

December 12, 2015

A Year in Reading: Hannah Gersen 0

I read a galley of this book in February. When I first started reading it, I thought: This is the book I’ve been waiting for. And then I thought: I should review it. And then: No, I love it too much.

November 30, 2015

The Millions 2015 Gift Guide for Readers, Writers and the People Who Love Them 1

Welcome to The Millions 4th Annual Gift Guide! As usual, we’ve got gifts sure to delight all the writers and readers in your life, and maybe something for your niece—the one you don’t know that well, but who apparently likes books.

August 31, 2015

How the Brain Forgets: On Penelope Farmer’s ‘Charlotte Sometimes’ 0

I recommend Charlotte Sometimes wholeheartedly, and for those of you who may have read it as a child, I recommend returning to it, if only because rereading is one of the only forms of time travel available to us. What seems forgotten is only waiting to be rediscovered.

July 31, 2015

The Unwritten Profile: On The End Of The Tour 13

Perhaps the biggest compliment I can give to The End of the Tour, the new film about a five-day interview between the writer David Foster Wallace and Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky, is that I finally started reading Wallace again.