Essays Archives - The Millions

March 27, 2017

Escaping the Waste Land: On Flannery O’Connor and T.S. Eliot 2


Eliot delivers the ruins. O’Connor preserves them, navigates them, and then, inspired by Catholicism, discovers in them an original form of grace.

March 24, 2017

John Morris and His Astonishing Century 0


My inventory led to an unassailable conclusion: not all that much has changed in my lifetime, really, and certainly not in the fundamental ways my grandfather’s day-to-day life changed.

March 23, 2017

My Body Is Mine 0


When I started to dance again I insisted silently to myself it was just about the money, but the moment I stepped back in the club, the moment I slithered into my favorite piece of sheer pink lingerie, brushed black mascara onto my eyelashes, and slipped into my eight-inch platform shoes, I felt relieved. I felt home. I was addicted.

March 21, 2017

The Man Behind the Masks: On Nabokov’s Forewords 4


After all the humorous huffing and puffing, all the tricks and traps and underhand maneuvers on the author’s part, the forewords exist, after all, to locate the English-language versions of Nabokov’s books within the context of a person in exile.

March 20, 2017

Chasing Hemingway’s Ghost in Havana 0


In Havana, the spirit of Hemingway endures, much like the architecture of the city itself, a fading reminder of what was and what might have been.

March 16, 2017

American Contrasts: Poe and Emerson 1


The Transcendentalists wrote to bring light and hope to the world; Poe showed that light makes shadows.

March 15, 2017

Abortion and Fiction 2


God may have His opinions, but in literature — as in life — human judgment and stigma seem to prevail.

March 13, 2017

Comfort Food: The Importance of Reading Aloud as Adults 1


Reading a story aloud is a way to take care of someone, a kind of caretaking that isn’t overbearing or smothering, and doesn’t feel like babysitting.

March 10, 2017

Another Shade of Darkness: The Life and Work of Beryl Bainbridge 2


Bainbridge had no airs about her; she enjoyed nothing more than having a drink or three at her local pub with a friend, or bumming smokes from a young interviewer while explaining how she was trying to quit by puffing on her foul cabbage-leaf cigarettes. For her, being a writer was simply about the end product, not the person behind it.

March 9, 2017

Writing Against Yourself: On Leonard Michaels’s Nachman Stories 1


Regardless of how we evaluate a book’s success, it is gratifying and noteworthy to see a artist pushing against his or her own inclinations and instincts.