Post-40 Bloomers Archives - The Millions

July 7, 2016

It’s Complicated: On Amy Gustine’s ‘You Should Pity Us Instead’ 1

by

Gustine treats her characters — and thus her readers — with dignity and compassion. Our complications, she demonstrates with each story, may drive us and often damage us, but they’re important.

May 4, 2016

Does Becoming a Mother Mean Immolation? 2

by

Know the Mother is a welcome antidote to the fetishization of motherhood that tends to reach its obscenely sugar-coated peak in the month of May.

April 6, 2016

Awaiting the Next Revival: In Search of Isabel Bolton 0

by

Isabel Bolton has fallen into obscurity a second time. How and why does this happen? What accounts for the failure of a work to catch hold, in spite of outstanding reviews?

March 10, 2016

What’s So Civil About War, Anyway? On Occupation and Rebirth 1

by

Andrea Molesini’s novel offers up the other side of the well-worn battle story — the tension of a quiet occupation, in which the veneer of civility remains in place, like a shattered mirror whose shards of glass need only a tap to come cascading down.

June 24, 2015

Small Victories, Large Discoveries: On Fishes, Ponds, and Finding Open Spaces 1

by

That not all good or great art is recognized is easy to forget. We can too readily entrust tastemakers of the day — the Academie of 1874 France, A-list publishing houses and magazines, even the Twitter kings and queens — to point us to ideas, works, and forms that are worthwhile.

June 18, 2015

A True Radical: Mary Daly, Desire, and Exuberant Feminist Ethics 4

by

She found the lectures stifling, but the intellectual demands bracing. She called it “seven years’ ecstatic experience interspersed with brief periods of gloom…a sort of lengthy spiritual-intellectual chess game.”

April 14, 2015

Punk Rock Indeed: The Two Sides of Viv Albertine 3

by

She picks up a guitar because that’s what a music-loving art school girl does, with no illusions about becoming a musician. “Mick and I go to Denmark Street to choose a guitar. I’ve got no idea what to look for. I might as well be going to buy a semi-automatic weapon.”

February 20, 2015

Secret Lives: Katherine Heiny’s ‘Single, Carefree, Mellow’ 2

by

Almost a quarter-century after the day that Roger Angell called you with the news that he wanted to publish your story, a book with your name on it is at last out in the world and bringing you acclaim that surprises you.

February 5, 2015

Yahya Frederickson in Yemen: The Gold of the Wayfarer 1

by

“I’ve learned to see that people are not their governments. People are people, with the same hopes, dreams, fears, and feelings as anybody else. And isn’t this realization — that people are not their government — something that we’d want people in other countries to realize about us?”

January 15, 2015

Agnes Martin’s Perfection: Now and Not Yet 4

by

Who was this reclusive Agnes Martin, and from where do these so-called “inspired” paintings come from? Who is the person generating these canvasses of quiet beauty? The average person finds comfort in narrative; in comprehensible cause and effect.