Essays Archives - Page 2 of 101 - The Millions

February 10, 2017

Write the Things That Burn: The Poems of Alejandra Pizarnik 0


Pizarnik, whose ubiquity in 20th-century Latin-American literature is indicated by the fact that many critics refer to her simply as “Alejandra” or “A.P.,” has not, historically, been on a first-name basis with English-reading audiences

February 8, 2017

Checking Out: Dispatches From the Sea-Cave Suite and Elsewhere 0


After a nice long think in the grotto shower, I resolved, once back on dry land, to conduct a survey of recent, or recently reissued, novels that make their home, so to speak, in hotels.

February 7, 2017

Lydia Davis and Jhumpa Lahiri Learn New Languages 3


We’ve been searching texts for a connection to another person or community for more than 4,000 years. This is what Davis and Lahiri wanted. It is likely the reason why you are reading this right now. And in this desire for connection, every reader, across time and place, is intimately linked.

February 3, 2017

The Devils, Damsels, and Discipline of Jorge de Sena 1


The Prodigious Physician continues to resonate in our time in the way it celebrates equality between women and men, sexual freedom over prudery, reason over fanaticism, and the individual over the state.

February 2, 2017

Ghost Stories 1


A controversial homebirth midwife; a woman cop who took six bullets as she helped stop a terrorist attack; a young woman making the best of life despite a disfiguring disease. Those are the kinds of people I have ghostwritten books for.

January 31, 2017

How Mark Twain Invented the Wild West 1


Twain’s claim to having created the first modern cowboy is borne out of only a short scene that occurs on the periphery of Finn’s story — a nugget of gold nestled in the middle of the book.

January 30, 2017

For the Love of the Books 2


In the world that I grew up, books — at least certain books — were seen as something dangerous, something to be wary of and keep at a distance if possible.

January 27, 2017

Paper Laurels: On a More Diverse ‘Best American Short Stories’ 15


The New Yorker’s loosened grip on the Best American series offers the potential for up-and-coming writers and writers of color, and for less-commercially viable fiction, to be seriously considered for the anthology.

January 26, 2017

A Going and a Return: On Becoming a Mother and ‘The Power of Myth’ 1


The word midwife means “with women.” And, in the hours after giving birth to Thea, I felt profoundly grateful for the women — and they were all women — who’d been with me throughout the pregnancy, labor, and delivery.

January 25, 2017

Fertile Ground: On Anne Raeff’s ‘The Jungle Around Us’ and Claire Louise Bennett’s ‘Pond’ 2


To be a woman is to arrive at a wilderness with a destination in mind but no map, the sprawling vagueness before you both a challenge and a threat. When there are so many ways to be, and so many pitfalls to encounter, women learn the topography by stumbling over it, step by step, the foibles as necessary and inevitable as the ascent.