Essays Archives - Page 10 of 103 - The Millions

August 18, 2016

Octogenarian Hotties 21


Publishing’s abiding obsession with fresh voices ignores a curious fact about our current literary scene: a startling number of the finest writers at work today are not twentysomethings; they’re eightysomethings.

August 17, 2016

Instagram and the Pornification of Food 0


Pornification is when desire, rather than its object, becomes the primary drive for consumption.

August 15, 2016

Clothes in Books and Ways to go Wrong 15


The meanest thing Kingsley Amis ever did to a woman was to put Margaret Peele in that green paisley dress and “quasi-velvet” shoes in Lucky Jim.

August 12, 2016

British Humiliation and ‘The Cursed Child’ 2


Bollocksing things up in front of your peers and suffering a metaphysical death from embarrassment is a fundamental part of the British human condition, if one that is downplayed in the fan worship abroad.

August 10, 2016

Dear Any Soldier: Vonnegut during Wartime 7


I learned about fiction from a box of Kurt Vonnegut books, Operation Desert Storm, 1991. The scene was sand, and tent, and swelter, and blast concussion, and a small, unopened box.

August 9, 2016

Teenage Dream: Life on the Pageant Circuit 0


We learned how to wave (one from the elbow, two from the wrist). How to eat soup (dip the spoon away from you, it looks less greedy). How to sit down (edge of the chair, legs angled to one side, ankles uncrossed). How to close a door (behind you, without turning around to look).

August 8, 2016

Still Searching: Poets on God 1


How do we discern a writer’s religious beliefs? When does the private belief inform the public art?

August 5, 2016

The Agony and the Ecstasy of Door-to-Door Activism 0


People are selfish. People like barbecue. Cat sweaters are underrated. That’s pretty much all you needed to know to survive this job. 

August 3, 2016

Aeneas, My Grandfather, and the Memory of War 1


What Aeneas holds out to his men and to himself is the possibility that just maybe they will have a life like my grandfather’s — the one thing that could make such suffering bearable. A life filled with family that grows across generations, defined not by the pain of the past but by the peace of mind that, with enormous luck, comes once the intensity of war’s fury has receded.

August 1, 2016

“One More for the River”: On Writing Challenges 1


Mine has been a life full of writing projects that are large and grandiose in design, even if they aren’t ultimately grand in execution.