Essays Archives - The Millions

June 29, 2016

Feels Like the First Time: On Discovering Writers 0

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When you see a beautiful stranger across a crowded room, the spark fires and you won’t forget the moment.

June 28, 2016

William Gaddis and American Justice 8

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‘Frolic’ is full of a neurotic vernacular of Americana that purls and perfectly personifies the sue-happy, media-soaked years during which Gaddis constructed it

June 28, 2016

There Is No Handbook for Being a Writer 1

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I’m not 22 or even 42 and do not have the benefit of time, but I do have one advantage.

June 27, 2016

Breathless and Unexplainable Dread: On This Summer’s Horror Fiction 0

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The best horror fiction accounts for the heart’s profound sensitivity — its vulnerability to alarm and suspense — and the best horror writers understand that the heart, as much as the mind, is able to gauge and comprehend the forces, processes, shadows, and shapes of fear.

June 27, 2016

Habitual Line-Steppers: Tracing Paul Beatty’s Influences 5

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This was long before the power and reach of social media, decades before “Black Twitter” became a sounding board for people of color. And yet, by episode three, on the strength of word of mouth alone, there wasn’t a black or Latino teenager I knew who was missing a new Chappelle’s Show every Tuesday night.

June 23, 2016

Well Fed: Breastfeeding in Literature 4

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For the first months of my daughter’s life, when I was nursing a lot more often and for longer sessions, I depended on TV and books to keep me sane.

June 23, 2016

Beyond Digital vs. Print: On How We Consume Media 1

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Miscellaneous trivia feeds a different part of our selves than an intentionally-crafted story, regardless of length or format — two minutes or two hours, text-based or visual, GIFs or emojis, ephemeral Snapchats or six-second looped Vine videos.

June 22, 2016

An Attack on the American Experiment: On Gay Clubs and Orlando 1

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I spent many boring hours in gay clubs, but I liked them because they were unsafe. You don’t learn anything in safe spaces.

June 21, 2016

Love, Concisely: Revisiting Mary Robison’s ‘Subtraction’ 0

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25 years after its release, ‘Subtraction’ stands out as a high-wire act of the novel form — taut in expression yet rich with humanity, expertly crafted and unfairly neglected.

June 17, 2016

An Intimacy That Is Absolute: On (Reluctantly) Becoming a Father 10

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New husbands and dads, formerly the street-fighting men of my 20s, stood on patios with plastic monitors clipped to their belts, refusing to answer my questions with anything but swallows of beer.