Articles by Sonya Chung

October 16, 2014

Ruthless, Beautiful, Dangerous, Comforting: How It Is in the World of Tove Jansson   1

Literarily, I am about 11 years old — falling in love over and again with that secret understanding, the deep solace that odd, lonely children typically find in books about odd, lonely children. This is my best explanation for why the adult stories and novels of Tove Jansson have captivated me so fully.

October 3, 2014

Please, Oh Please: On Madam Secretary and the Ladies of TV     6

I want my Secretary of State to be clear that, for as long as her job description includes tending to ISIS, then tending to ISIS is more important than the PTA.

August 28, 2014

On the Nightstand: On Deciding What to Read Next 16

Of the mess of books that has been unsystematically scattered throughout my home, and my life, which ones will make it to the nightstand? In what order will they be stacked? Perhaps most importantly: how will I decide?

July 24, 2014

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s Burst of Sicilian Sun 0

When I read Lampedusa the sun bursts up indeed, thawing all of that deeply seeded “puritanical horror,” and reconciling life forces that, as Lampedusa attempts to show us, were never meant to be opposed.

June 13, 2014

Mad Men: It’s All About Family Values 3

If Mad Men is itself a kind of advertisement — a reflection and dramatization of our deepest desires, the ones we didn’t know we had — then its message is both timeless and markedly modern: family is everything; we are hungry for family; your “real” family are, simply, the people who actually know you.

May 15, 2014

Paolo Sorrentino: Old is Young, and Late is Late 2

I mention Sorrentino’s age — his relative youth, for an artist so accomplished — because what I have found most intriguing in his work is the character vehicle he’s chosen, time and again, for his explorations: the aging male in his unlovely twilight.

May 7, 2014

Emerging Writers Fellowships — Asian American Writers’ Workshop 0

Emerging writers, check it out: the Asian American Writers’ Workshop is accepting applications for TWO emerging writers’ fellowships (fiction and nonfiction), $5000 plus mentoring and work space.  May 16 deadline, more info here.

April 17, 2014

Sergei Dovlatov: Gravity, Levity, and Love 3

A few years ago, when I first starting reading and writing about Dovlatov, I focused on the wickedly humorous side of Dovlatov’s deadpan. But a few years later, and a few more books into his body of work, I find myself more interested in that earnestness and regret — in Dovlatov the evolving man and artist, who crafted and, yes, honed a version of himself in his fiction that was just distorted enough to be true.

December 15, 2013

A Year in Reading: Sonya Chung 1

It is Duras’s great accomplishment that, by the end of The Square, I am convinced that these two minds and souls are not only fully real, but that they are me.

October 16, 2013

Interview With Charles McNair 0

Over at Bloom today, a lively Q&A with Charles McNair, whose Pickett’s Charge was the subject of Kevin Hartnett’s recent review here.  In particular, McNair takes us through the harrowing blow by blow of his road to publication, the “sophomore jinx story” from a Pulitzer Prize-nominated author.