Essays Archives - Page 20 of 104 - The Millions

January 21, 2016

The Art of Anonymous Intimacy: My Life as a Reluctant Landlord 1


We would decidedly not meet the tenants in person. This was business in the modern world: we would be decent and respectful landlords, responsive but disembodied. Nothing more nothing less.

January 20, 2016

Death and Heirs: A View from the San Francisco Housing Market 13


Listed for $338,000, at that moment the lowest price in the city, the house was called a “contractor’s special;” two of its three bedrooms were qualified on the listing agent’s half-assed flier as “legality unknown.” When we went to the open house, the same agent eyed my eight-months-pregnant stomach and advised me to cover my mouth and nose before stepping inside.

January 19, 2016

Worlds Upon Worlds: On Growing Up Book-Rich 7


This year, my resolution is simple: to drink profusely of the written word. I will pass along good books; I will write reviews; I will read excerpts in my classes with my students. I will work to cultivate in my community a love for reading.

December 29, 2015

My First Book: Adventures in Learning to Read Japanese 2


All readers are familiar with the sensation of falling into a book. By their very nature, books invite you to immerse yourself in the world they have constructed. When it comes to a book in another language, however, such immersion feels both familiar and alien.

November 25, 2015

The Filmable Miss Highsmith 8


What is it that keeps drawing filmmakers to the fiction of Patricia Highsmith?

November 20, 2015

Alone Together: At Book Riot Live 0


Tucked up in the corners of convention centers, these bookish cons are full of people skipping out on all the programming to read, a curious sort of collective solitude on display.

November 17, 2015

Atlas of Interest: On the Hidden Life of Marginalia 4


Marginalia is a flash of insight or anger, ossified, trapped in literary amber where it can be retrieved for a later reckoning.

November 13, 2015

The Art of the Strange Writing Exercise 8


We need to shake things up in the creative writing classroom. We need to remember that writing is a messy, fractured, intensely personal pursuit that must not be neutered by the institutional needs of our classrooms. One solution is to embrace the strange; one method is to imbue the strange into writing exercises.

November 11, 2015

How the West Was Lost 7


In the end, Ivan Doig & Co. come to very different conclusions about How the West Was Lost, but they share a sense that the loss is as irreversible as it was wrong-headed.

October 30, 2015

Elena Ferrante Names the Devil and Slays the Minotaur 14


Ferrante validates women’s experience in a way that recognizes our common humanity. Her work distinguishes between who we are and the imprint of social class and origins. It may seem a stretch to consider Ferrante in the same breath with Proust, Faulkner, and Dickens, but I’m convinced of her stature as one of the greatest writers and artists of this or any other time.