Essays Archives - Page 4 of 103 - The Millions

January 30, 2017

For the Love of the Books 2

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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

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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

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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

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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.

January 25, 2017

How Should We Grade Creative Writing? 13

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We should give creative writing — this weird, beautiful art that has the power to stir souls — the academic respect it deserves. We owe it to our students.

January 24, 2017

Distilling Narratives into Images: Iké Udé’s Nollywood Portraits 0

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In talking about Nollywood, emphasis is often placed on the density and quality of cinematic output. But I will posit that the industry itself mimics the rooted tradition of the land (or lands) that now make up Nigeria.

January 24, 2017

The Physical Book Will Surely Endure: But Will It Endure for the Right Reason? 8

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As an empirical matter, reading on a tablet cannot remotely approach the sensual literary experience offered by an old-fashioned book. The latter is, I’d venture, intrinsically more pleasurable than the former, not unlike the intrinsic difference between high quality toilet paper and the sandpaper stuff used in bus stations.

January 23, 2017

‘A Walk in the Woods’ vs. A Walk in the Woods: On Reading as a Substitute for Experience 4

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Reading is an incredible thing, but it’s a poor substitute for life.

January 20, 2017

The Age of Fiction: How Donald Trump Rewrote My Life 64

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Trump’s campaign brought the prevalence of sexual assault into the open, and then brushed it away. It felt like a nation turning its eyes on victims and asking what my male friend asked me: Are you sure? You’re not sure. Anyway, it doesn’t matter. There are other issues. Turn the page, tear it out, write it better.

January 18, 2017

What We Talk About When We Talk About Boycotts 35

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People are mad as hell about the rise of the so-called “alt-right.” But how do we try to harness this anger productively? Successfully boycotting S&S is not going achieve what many of us really want — which is to boycott 2016.