Essays Archives - Page 79 of 88 - The Millions

February 26, 2009

Baseball Oasis: A Story of Chicago’s Winnemac Park 4

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I wrote the following piece in 2005 when I was in graduate school in Chicago. It was fun to research and write, but I never had the opportunity to do anything with it. However, with baseball season just around the corner, and this correspondent already getting excited, it seemed like a reasonable moment to dust […]

February 19, 2009

The Rise and Fall of the Baltimore Examiner 14

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Sara Michael is a Baltimore-based writer who spent two and a half years as a reporter for the Baltimore Examiner, most recently covering health and science. She has also covered technology for a national trade magazine, and earned her master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School at Northwestern University. For more on Sara and […]

February 18, 2009

Mary, Je T’Aime: Literary Portraits 12

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Like more conventional forms of romance, the first great literary love of my life began with a look. Young readers of Playboy have similar experiences, I believe, with centerfolds: a precise moment – the turning of a page to reveal a face (more likely a body) that haunts the young man for the rest of […]

February 16, 2009

Diagramming the Obama Sentence 56

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In a Slate piece published back in the fall, Kitty Burns Florey took on the unenviable task of diagramming the utterances of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Florey, the author of Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog, clearly has a unusual predilection for sentence diagramming (which I’m pretty sure the Army Field Manual prohibits as a form […]

February 10, 2009

A Girl’s Guide to Becoming an Intellectual: Susan Sontag’s Journals 3

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There’s an abundance of literature that tells teenage girls, as well as some of us older ones too, “how to.” Within, she discovers what makes guys tick, how to tame unruly skin, and lessons on looking good. Image, image everywhere, and this no doubt is practiced and perfected within her Facebook profile, and among her […]

January 26, 2009

Willa Cather, the Greatest American Novelist? 6

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I’ve sampled Willa Cather recently after a knowledgeable friend suggested she might be a sleeper candidate for the greatest American novelist. Well, after reading My Antonia and The Professor’s House I have to say, I don’t see it. There are particular things about both books that did not grab me, but to sum up my […]

January 22, 2009

Culture and Vigilance: Look for the Whimper, Not the Bang 3

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As media business models falter, from The New York Times to the big book publishers, the calamity that seems to have overtaken the public imagination is one of sudden extinction. In Michael Hirschorn’s “what if” piece in the Atlantic Monthly, he asks, But what if the old media dies much more quickly? What if a […]

January 8, 2009

New Yorker Fiction by the Numbers: The Many Stories by the Few 4

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Earlier this week we took a qualitative look at recent fiction in the New Yorker, and now, with help from a Millions reader, we’re going to take a quantitative look. Last year, Frank Kovarik, who writes and teaches English in St. Louis, sent us a spreadsheet that he has used to catalog New Yorker fiction […]

January 8, 2009

The Last of Her Kind: Women Authors and the Novel of Ideas 1

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This guest post comes to us Sana Krasikov. Sana is the author of the short story collection One More Year. Recently, in response to the launch of Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, Outliers, the literary critic Germaine Greer posed the question of why women don’t write more books about “Big Ideas.” Reaching back in time to […]

January 1, 2009

A Reading Resolution 5

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I don’t put much stock in the New Years resolution – I don’t think you need the calendar to dictate self-improvement – however, I will acknowledge (and have acknowledged in the past) that the dawning of a new year does seem like an opportune moment to try out something new. In fact, The Millions was […]