Essays Archives - Page 19 of 109 - The Millions

July 18, 2016

White Lives Matter: On Nancy Isenberg’s ‘White Trash’ 7

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Isenberg appears to have decided to write a history of poor white America and then persuaded herself that poor black America was only tangential to her story.

July 15, 2016

Group Therapy: Was It Really a Game? 0

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Group Therapy represented a time when my family was still together, played games together. When we opened up. Got in touch. Let go. Were free. I find myself replacing things from my childhood, item by item, in the hope the child returns.

July 14, 2016

Sweet Bitterness: Why We Need More Novels About Work 11

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It’s the one novel I’ve read this year that takes work seriously, that balances decadence with an honest day’s work.

July 12, 2016

At Home in Potatoland: On Joan Didion, Nostalgia, and Walt Disney 1

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I won’t speak ill of nostalgia: mine or anyone else’s. I won’t condemn those who spend their hard-earned money and fast-vanishing time on hallucinations, convincing or otherwise.

July 12, 2016

Malcolm X and the Model Minority 1

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Until then, racism had meant slavery and water fountains. I now saw modern corollaries to Malcolm’s arguments everywhere: the cartoonish mascot of my elementary school Cherokee Lane, the maddening inferiority I felt around white kids despite how deeply vain I was, my mother shooing me out of the summer sun so I wouldn’t get darker, the lack of makeup that matched my skin.

July 11, 2016

Sleeping Beauty 1

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I’m about to go through a very awkward stage that will in fact not be a stage but my way of life from here on in and I’m going to need your daughter by my side to hold my hair when I’m drunk and sick and embarrassed over some boy.

July 11, 2016

‘Infinite Jest’ in the Age of Addiction 17

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In the new century, our nationwide desire to be tuned out, euphoric, and entertained seems to go beyond both medium and function.

July 8, 2016

Claiming Kolkata as My Own 3

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As much as I was disappointed by Kolkata, I was disappointed also by myself. Why was I unable to see what writers I admire so obviously see? What do Jhumpa Lahiri, Amitav Ghosh, and Amit Chaudhuri see that I don’t — that I can’t?

July 8, 2016

Martin Seay’s ‘The Mirror Thief’ as Explained by Martin Seay 2

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So when I recognized Martin Seay from across the room at a party a few weeks ago, I was just tipsy enough to go over and say, “I’m Janet, did you write The Mirror Thief?”

July 5, 2016

Burn after Reading: On Writerly Self-Immolation 5

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Burning is a slow, ritualistic death. Why not simply throw away a manuscript?