Articles by Hannah Gersen

December 14, 2014

A Year in Reading: Hannah Gersen 0

I’m aware that this post is exactly the kind of writing I tried all year to avoid: Here I am, piling onto another writer’s already excellent criticism and observations. Please relish my hypocrisies.

December 1, 2014

Beyond Bookmarks: 10 Gifts For Readers 3

For the past few years, The Millions has offered a holiday gift list for writers. This year we’d like to give readers their due, with a list of bookish treats. Because where would writers be without readers? Also, let’s face it: discriminating and avid readers can be as difficult to shop for as cranky writers.

November 28, 2014

Her Well-Spent Adulthood: On Meghan Daum’s ‘The Unspeakable’ 2

In its own, understated, comic way, The Unspeakable is a very ambitious book, one that attempts to chart a personal evolution, while at the same time acknowledging that the idea of personal growth is at best absurd.

November 12, 2014

Writing Out West: On Charles D’Ambrosio’s Loitering 2

What I admired most about these essays is the way each one takes its own shape, never conforming to an expected narrative or feeling the need to answer all the questions housed within. D’Ambrosio allows his essays their ambivalence.

October 20, 2014

One Long Country Song: What Friday Night Lights Taught Me About Storytelling 7

I watched Friday Night Lights in real time, as it aired. I wonder if it would have been as much of an influence if I had “binged-watched” all five seasons back-to-back in one or two months’ time. Instead, the show stretched out over the course of five years, 2006-2011, which for me were years when I had to throw out most of the fiction I wrote.

September 24, 2014

Scraps of Prayers: On Eimear McBride’s A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing 2

Yes, this book actually gave me nightmares. And yet I did not want to stop reading it.

August 13, 2014

The Sublime and the Odious: On Joseph Luzzi’s My Two Italies 1

My Two Italies is a hybrid memoir, both a recollection of personal experience and growth and also a scholarly look at the long-standing divide between Italy’s north and south — the north characterized by wealth and culture, and the south by poverty and crime. For Luzzi, the divide is personally felt.

July 30, 2014

Should We Talk About The Weather? Frankenstein, Fear, and the “Year Without Summer” 1

Wood sees the eruption of Tambora and its devastating after-effects as a case study for rapid climate change, arguing that the years post-Tambora offer “a rare, clear window onto a world convulsed by weather extremes, with human communities everywhere struggling to adapt to sudden, radical shifts in temperatures and rainfall.”

May 6, 2014

What To Expect When 30 Women Write About Giving Birth: On Labor Day: True Birth Stories by Today’s Best Women Writers 0

There’s nothing watered-down about the stories in this volume: they are blunt, wistful, confessional, wise, loving, sorrowful, witty and sometimes eerie.

April 22, 2014

Short Stories, Italian Style: On Francesca Marciano’s The Other Language 2

A new dress, a change of scene, a spontaneous invitation: Marciano understands that these are the superficial actions people take in order to get at the deeper impulses they cannot name.