Essays Archives - Page 2 of 92 - The Millions

July 8, 2016

Claiming Kolkata as My Own 2

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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 1

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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 4

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

July 5, 2016

Fighting and Writing: Books that Break Us 4

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The writing game, like the fighting game, mostly ends in breakage.

July 1, 2016

Namesakes 2

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Anahi was a princess and political agitator who the Spaniards burned at the stake for being a witch. She accepted her fate honorably; instead of screaming out in pain, she prayed, asking God to save the Guayaki people.

June 30, 2016

Colonial Con Man 0

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It was the dawn of American know-how and hucksterism, when a newly minted citizen could pursue his or her destiny to be someone else entirely. And being someone else was Stephen Burroughs’s specialty.

June 29, 2016

Feels Like the First Time: On Discovering Writers 2

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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 3

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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.