Recent Articles

January 8, 2015

A New Modesty 0

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Recommended reading: The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on the new modesty of literary criticism and the complicated relationship between texts, critics, and politics. For more on the balance between art and politics, look no further than Jonathan Clarke‘s Millions essay, “Alive with Disagreement and Dissent.”

January 8, 2015

Champagne and Whiskey 0

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Recent Year in Reading alum Rebecca Makkai writes about the difference between publishing your first book and your second book for Ploughshares. Let’s just say it’s the difference between champagne and “all the whiskey.” Pair with Zhanna Slor‘s Millions interview with Makkai in which they discuss that second book, The Hundred-Year House. 

January 8, 2015

Loneliness, Interrupted: Edith Pearlman’s Honeydew 0

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Pearlman repeatedly thrills us by opening up secret worlds, and it’s because of the exquisite care with which these worlds are formed that we come to care deeply about her people (“characters” just doesn’t cut it).

January 8, 2015

“Against Explanation” 0

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“I don’t know how to give more of myself than a poem. Every poem I write is more accurate than anything I can ever tweet about it: my interior life, and its struggle and desire to converse with the exterior world.” Tarfia Faizullah writes for Poetry‘s blog about why she doesn’t want to explain her […]

January 8, 2015

Murakami’s Advice 0

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Have a question? A problem? A query about cats? Haruki Murakami has answers and advice.

January 8, 2015

Loser on the Moon: On Leonard Cohen, Fandom, and Posterity 9

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What is it about Leonard Cohen that not only commands my interest but can also set off no small burst of emotion? Something else, too: what exactly is my legitimate stake in someone else’s posterity? Even as a fan.

January 7, 2015

The New Western 0

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“The presentation of himself as a damaged outsider, barely holding on, ups the dramatic ante, though it does seem at odds with the accomplished, balanced, commanding prose he appears able to muster with every sentence — not to mention his prestigious awards and teaching stints.” On Charles D’Ambrosio’s Loitering.

January 7, 2015

New Before It Was Old 0

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In the past ten years, we’ve seen many attempts to construct a taxonomy of the hipster, which is why it’s refreshing to come across a novel account of the term’s origins. At The Atlantic, Karen Swallow Prior makes a convincing case that T.S. Eliot, in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, invented the “cuffed-trouser urbanite on the […]

January 7, 2015

No Humans, Please 0

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Richard Adams might be the only prominent author to make his name with a novel in which all of the main characters were rabbits. In The Guardian, he talks with Alison Flood about his classic Watership Down, explaining that he first came up with the plot while telling his children a story on a car ride.

January 7, 2015

Those Who Left Us: Select Literary Obituaries from 2014 2

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Once again last year we lost great talents from every precinct of the literary world. Here is a selective compendium of the how a few of them lived, when they died, and the books they left behind.