Recent Articles

February 4, 2016

The Steamin’ Demon 0

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“Every atom of my blood, form’d in the soil of this earth, runs hot / As I wheel through this snaked monster of steel, The Steamin’ Demon.” Ride The Steamin’ Demon at Six Flags with Walt Whitman. Pair with our own Michael Bourne’s piece on how Whitman saved his life.

February 4, 2016

Good News! China Miéville Has Written a Bad Book 12

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What is news, as Tim Parks points out, is that the ascendancy of economic considerations over artistic ones in the publishing industry has led to “a growing resistance at every level to taking risks in novel writing.”

February 3, 2016

Words & Symbols 0

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Mairead Small Staid writes on the history and poetics of the ampersand, “a logogram masquerading as a letter, a letter that is also a word—like a and I and even o, but no—a letter that is only a word, the plainest word of all.”

February 3, 2016

Secret Space 0

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Recommended Reading: Over at Aeon, Tiffany Jenkins writes about the importance of secrets for a child’s development and in children’s literature.

February 3, 2016

The Big Book I Was Waiting For: Alexander Chee’s ‘Queen of the Night’ 0

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You feel, as you read, that you are being swept away by this delicious plot and voice, and that the novel wants to be read slowly — is actually smarter and deeper and more intricately constructed than can be appreciated at its decidedly propulsive pace.

February 3, 2016

Literary Street Art 0

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Emily Smith discusses the place of zines in contemporary American politics, over at Ploughshares. As she puts it, “Zines, like street art, are allowed critical power through anonymity—a function newsstand periodicals simply can’t perform for the sake of reputation or the sacrifice of advertisers. In this way, zines are small-scale democracies.”

February 3, 2016

PEN Literary Awards Shortlist 0

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PEN America has announced the shortlist of this year’s PEN literary awards. The 2016 finalists include Millions contributors Angela Flournoy, Katrina Dodson, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and David L. Ulin, among others.

February 3, 2016

Language, the Savior 0

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At The Guardian, Jhumpa Lahiri recounts the path that led her to write her latest book in Italian, one of the most anticipated books of 2016. As she puts it, “A week after arriving [in Rome], I open my diary to describe our misadventures and I do something strange, unexpected. I write my diary in […]

February 3, 2016

Reality Turned to Cliché: On ‘Trump: The Novel’ 2

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The premise is just too broad — crude and adolescent. The details with which she draws her character — the hair, the wife, the tan — feel overblown and cartoonish. There’s no room for subtlety or irony.

February 2, 2016

The Purpose of Punctuation 0

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Recommended Reading: Artist Nicholas Rougeux removes all the letters in a text and meditates on the punctuation that is left on the page.