Essays Archives - Page 20 of 98 - The Millions

May 14, 2015

A Girl and Her Books: On the Loss of Sweet Briar College 9


Sofia could live her entire life in a library and never be tired of books, of the smell of ink on paper, the weight of a book in her hand, or the things you learn in their pages.

May 14, 2015

Breakfast: A Love Story 3


Literature and breakfast are both slow arts. Early morning arts that unfold while the world is still groggy and optimistic.

May 8, 2015

All the Years Ahead: On Committing Literary Suicide 5


Killing one’s self is a hell of an occupational hazard. But I’ve come to believe that writing can also be a way to resist suicide.

May 5, 2015

Before You Start: Introductions, Forewords, and Prefaces 2


A preface is an ars poetica for a book, for a literary life. A preface often feels like the writer sitting across the table from the reader, and saying, listen, now I am going to tell you the truth.

May 4, 2015

High Style and Desperate Love: On the Life and Work of Eileen Chang 5


Chinese readers can’t forget her; most Western readers have never met her. This year, on the 20th anniversary of her death, the NYRB edition of Chang’s Naked Earth provides an opportunity for new readers to fall in love.

April 27, 2015

The Value of Writing Programs: On Why I Don’t Have an M.F.A. 27


The question shouldn’t be whether or not getting an M.F.A. is a worthwhile for those privileged enough to agonize over the cost. Instead we should ask: how can we better support people who want to write?

April 21, 2015

Creating the Literary World of the Future: A Response to VIDA’s Recommendations 11


The message that what women are writing isn’t important or serious enough is not a new one. It is as old as literature itself. And its persistence has everything to do with how women’s literature is treated in college and university classrooms and, in turn, how it is treated in the literary world.

April 20, 2015

The Uneasy Woman: Meghan Daum, Kate Bolick, and the Legacy of Ida Tarbell 2


How should a female person be? The question occupied hundreds of printed pages a century ago and still does today.

April 16, 2015

How Will I Live? Fame, Money, Day Jobs, and Fiction Writing. 15


What happened in those eight missing years to make a well-reviewed, commercially successful author fall so far so fast? Heartbreak? Rehab? Addiction to designer shoes? Easy: She took the wrong day job.

April 13, 2015

Portraits of Human Nature: Anthony Trollope at 200 2


Trollope gives us the cad who is not quite entirely caddish, the woman who works hard to maintain a prudent marriage without forgetting the imprudent one she had wanted. Nothing could be less like Dickens’s stark portraits of saints and fiends moving through a black-and-white world in which the roads to perdition and redemption, though possible to miss, are nonetheless clearly marked.