Essays Archives - Page 5 of 104 - The Millions

February 3, 2017

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

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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

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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

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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

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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’ 16

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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.