A Phrase That’s Been Stuck in My Head for Four Years, Recalled: On Ted Chiang’s Exhalation
In his column, Jonathan Russell Clark re-examines the work of Ted Chiang, using it as a lens through which to understand today’s AI discourse.
Beautifully Ruined: A Case for Re-visiting Kate Braverman’s Lithium for Medea
Punk! Real estate! Venice Beach! Myriam Gurba re-introduces readers to Kate Braverman’s cult classic Lithium for Medea.
A Biography’s Tale: On Anthony Burgess by Roger Lewis
Columnist Jonathan Russell Clark proves that sometimes, the best biographers can’t stand their subjects.
Homes and Haunts: Colson Whitehead’s The Colossus of New York
In Jonathan Russell Clark’s latest column, he writes about Colson Whitehead's The Colossus of New York and tries to summon some love for Colombus, Ohio.
Holding Life Lightly: Crybaby Will Dry Our Tears
Miah Jeffra reviews Cheryl Klein's fertility and cancer memoir "Crybaby", an exploration of cancer, fertility, eating disorder, queer desire, and the self.
Lady Mondegreen’s Jungle
In 1954 Sylvia Wright, an editor at Harper’s Magazine, wrote a piece for the magazine in which she recalls her childhood. Her mother would read the Scottish ballad “The Bonnie Earl o’ Moray” to her. Here is how young Wright heard the opening lyric: Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands, Oh, where hae ye been? They […]
Extra-metatextuality: A Review of Chuck Klosterman’s The Nineties: A Book
In his book "The Nineties", Chuck Klosterman is not interested in what’s conventionally understood or easily graspable but in the layers that either exist deep underneath or hover loftily. It’s what makes his essays and books so fun—it allows us to reconsider accepted wisdom.
Notes on Imagined Places: From Tim’s Creek to Santo Domingo
This imagined town in North Carolina, where all of Kenan’s stories take place, is home to preachers, farmers, Black and white people, the rich and poor. In this town lives a queer Black boy, Horace Cross, whose life is being shrunk by the social boundaries delimiting his desire, the same machinations of shame and disregard that turn many young Black queer people into ghosts of themselves.
Mushrooms Talk to Her: A Conversation with Bett Williams
I first did mushrooms with a green-haired mermaid. It was Halloween, we were at an off campus party, and the sea creature invited me to climb into the back of her Bronco with these magic words: “I love your work.” By “work,” she meant the diary entries I posted online, which were mostly about cigarettes […]
Nonprosecutable: A Review of Shiori Ito’s Black Box
Through personal narrative, journalist, survivor, and activist Shiori Ito examines rape culture in Japan.
Spelling Cyphers: A Review of Long Division by Kiese Laymon
The most interesting mystery novels don’t announce themselves as such. There is no murder to solve or culprit to apprehend. Rather, events which have no obvious explanation unfold and an air of ambiguity surrounds them. Kiese Laymon’s novel Long Division belongs to this category of mystery.
Embodied is an Intertextual and Intersectional Masterpiece
I could go on and on about these collaborations, but I don’t have enough space here to describe how wonderfully, gloriously, and lovingly enthralling they are. There are poems about birth and the body, stories of misogyny at a university and of grappling with a miscarriage. These works explore heritage, family, gender, love, and in the case of the inimitable Diane Seuss, tits. Altogether, they typify the robust state of contemporary poetry.
Her Taste For Speed: Rachel Kushner’s “The Hard Crowd”
The Hard Crowd offers us a portrait of Kushner through her preoccupations, obsessions, concerns, affinities, and distastes. Her writing on others is always writing about the self and in this sense, she is always doing donuts, flashing the lens externally so as to make an entire revolution, pointing the eye inward once again.
Crying in H-Mart: Grief, Hunger, and Healing
In rock musician Michelle Zauner's memoir "Crying in H-Mart", food is not just a vessel to memorialize her mother but a touchstone for accessing her Korean heritage.
A Good Top is Hard to Find: Revisiting the S&M Classic Leash 20 Years Later
In Leash transgressive sex functions less as a subject, or site of guaranteed liberation, and more as a framework to explore how power moves through us, trapping us even as it promises to liberate us. In the age of pink-washed internet activism, DeLynn’s writing is a prescient reminder that any radical transformation of our sex lives, much less society, will never be painless.