Articles by Sonya Chung

August 6, 2012

Post-40 Bloomer: Mary Costello’s Immaculate Sadness 3

There is much sadness, of the starkly honest and lonely variety, in Costello’s stories. She gets it so right – achingly right – how love and loss are indistinguishable.

June 29, 2012

Post-40 Bloomer: Anna Keesey’s Little Century 3

Little Century is a book I’d recommend to anyone who embraces the dark and bright sides of life with equal gusto.

June 19, 2012

On Loneliness: Art, Life, and Fucking Human Beings 15

There are days when it seems to me that what it is to be a fucking human being is to be lonely; to be in this state of deep sadness and estrangement, and to know that there is something terribly wrong about this loneliness on the one hand, and on the other (in knowing the wrongness utterly), something also potentially beautiful.

May 2, 2012

Post-40 Bloomer: Spencer Reece, The Poet’s Tale 5

We needed such a story. The romance, the sense of “close call.” We need these stories to counter the inevitability of obscurity; we need stories that kindle our sense of hope, and possibility. In truth, I wouldn’t blame fans or journalists for altering or exaggerating the story. I understand why we need it to be as dramatic as possible.

March 29, 2012

Post-40 Bloomers: Harriet Doerr’s Impossible Perfection and Happiness 7

Would a person who was happy for forty-two years write a book?

February 27, 2012

RIP William Gay 3

I am very sad to report that William Gay, whom we featured in our “Post-40 Bloomers” series last fall, died on Friday, at the age of 68.  From Clarksville Online: “At first, I would send a story to the New Yorker and when it came back, I’d send it to The Atlantic, or Harper’s or […]

January 30, 2012

Nine Stories, 16 Years in the Making: Post-40 Bloomer Daniel Orozco 6

Orientation is not about “alienation,” modern-day or otherwise, nor about the effects of a particular cultural transition or economic decline; it’s about loneliness. About the awful, persistent distance between you and me, between me and me, between each of us and the spiritual-whatever in the universe; all of which keeps us wondering what the hell this life is about, and how we will survive it. This seems an important distinction to me, and what has allowed Orozco’s work – some of it 16 years-old – to debut with full emotional resonance.

January 24, 2012

Susie DeFord’s Dogs of Brooklyn 0

Poets, dog-lovers, urban-dwellers, and really, everyone — check out poet and dog-trainer Susie DeFord‘s heartfelt and keen-eyed new book of poems, Dogs of Brooklyn.  Says Vijay Seshadri, DeFord’s collection is full of “wonderful poetic investigations into the life of Brooklyn’s dogs, into their habits, their idiosyncrasies, and their secret longings.”

January 10, 2012

Staff Writer Sonya Chung at Tin House 0

At the Tin House blog, I write about my literary education in independent bookstores  Also, my piece about James Salter appears in Tin House‘s current issue.

December 30, 2011

Post-40 Bloomers: Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, The Last Leopard 6

One indisputable factor that deprived us of more opportunities to luxuriate in Lampedusa’s gifts was a diagnosis of lung cancer at the age of 60. The diagnosis came just a few months after he finished the novel, two publisher rejections already in hand, a third which would arrive weeks before he died in July of that year.