Literary Hub17 min read
Death And Dying In The Canadian Arctic
The following is from Nowhere Magazine‘s 2016 print annual. * The flight to Cape Dorset, an Inuit community on a small island in the Canadian Arctic, was due to depart in minutes, but Inuit elders were still checking in with battered suitcases, swoll
Literary Hub6 min read
How Tango Rewired My Brain… and My Body
The tango studio was in an ordinary office building, on the second floor. I had only just enrolled myself, and now I stood in one of several rooms walled off by dark pink curtains, strapping on a pair of grandmotherly pumps. The maestro entered, heel
Literary Hub7 min read
Richard Flanagan On Social Media And The Death Of A Private Life
This piece originally appeared in Financial Times. I know little about ghostwriting, other than having once, nearly 30 years ago now, ghostwritten a ghost, my subject having shot himself three weeks into our work on his memoirs. On our last day toge
Literary Hub17 min read
Reading Through the Notes for Peter Matthiessen’s Would-Be Autobiography
Sometimes I feel that Peter Matthiessen is the most underappreciated of recent American writers. I am biased, because he was my uncle and my godfather, but I think he should be mentioned in the same breath as Saul Bellow, William Styron, Philip Roth.
Literary Hub16 min read
New Poetry by Indigenous Women
In my Mojave culture, many of our songs are maps, but not in the sense of an American map. Mojave song-maps do not draw borders or boundaries, do not say this is knowable, or defined, or mine. Instead our maps use language to tell about our movements
Literary Hub5 min read
Writing Wisdom from Anne Carson: “It is Very Fun to Delete Stuff”
Anne Carson is unique in the literary world. First of all, no one knows what to call her—she’s a poet, a verse-novelist, an essayist, a scholar, a translator, a professor, an experimenter, an inventor of forms. She is almost blindingly brilliant, bot
Literary Hub4 min read
Dana Schwartz: Writing a Book Did Not Change My Life
I did not lose 15 pounds after writing a book. I still go to bed mentally cursing the pouch of fat that has taken up residence beneath my bellybutton that ends up laced with the red marks of too-tight jeans. My bedroom did not magically become cleane
Literary Hub13 min read
A Close Reading of the “Censored” Passages of The Picture of Dorian Gray
“There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book,” wrote Oscar Wilde in the preface to the 1891 edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray. “Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.” Of course, even as Wilde wrote these words, he knew t
Literary Hub9 min read
Chelsea Hodson: Trying to Write Down Life Before It’s Too Late
I think I wrote it, in a way, to try to find you. –Jesse to Celine in Before Sunset I’m trying to think of the hole in my bathroom ceiling as something besides a metaphor, but I can’t—when I feel hopeless, I turn things into other things. How could
Literary Hub6 min read
Why Soccer Is The Most Universal Language On The Planet
Soccer is a language, probably the most universal language on the planet. It is spoken more widely than English, Arabic, or Chinese and practiced more widely than any religion. In 1954, the French soccer journalist Jean Eskenazi wrote an essay on the
Literary Hub10 min read
Loitering in 7-11 with Convenience Store Woman Author Sayaka Murata
An editor, two fans, and an author who just wrote a novel about convenience stores walk into a 7-11 on a windy day in March. The store is in Tokyo, not far from the Imperial Palace. The author is Sayaka Murata, who became one of the most famous women
Literary Hub4 min read
Why Do We Love Reading About Cheaters and Schemers?
If one of the pleasures of fiction is vicarious experience, then it is perhaps logical that readers should be drawn to books about breaking the rules. Confronted with any prohibition in day to day life, it is the most natural response to imagine acti
Literary Hub4 min readTech
Librarians Will Guard Your Privacy With Their Lives
Like most people, a majority of my time online is spent either replying to emails or waiting for someone to email me back or wading through a metric ton of reply-all messages because someone decided to cc everyone with a meme I’ve already seen a thou
Literary Hub5 min read
Writers of the Zodiac: Playful Gemini? You Have a Way With Words
The symbol representing Gemini, a pair of twins, seems to perfectly encapsulate what most people associate with the sign—duality (or, if we aren’t being poetic, two faced-ness). This symbol originates from the myth of Castor and Pollux, also known as
Literary Hub1 min read
American Sonnet for My Past and Future Assassin
Our sermon today concerns the dialectic Blessings in transgression & transcendence. We’re on the middle floor where the darkness We bury is equal to the lightness we intend. We stand in the valley & go to our knees On the mountain. One rope pulls a b
Literary Hub9 min read
Ahmed Saadawi Wants to Tell a New Story About the War in Iraq
The “flash” came to Ahmed Saadawi at a morgue in Baghdad. It was 2006, and he was working as a reporter for the BBC’s Arabic service, covering a war that was tearing apart his homeland and killing his people. “I saw many dead bodies,” Saadawi says ma
Literary Hub6 min read
How to Write Across Difference
I won’t rehash all the recent debates about cultural appropriation in literature. (A quick flashback montage would show a YA author stripped of her Kirkus star after backlash to a perceived “white savior narrative”; Francine Prose holding aloft an ol
Literary Hub8 min read
Dear Book Therapist: How Do I Survive My C- Marriage?
Do you have a problem? Do you want a book to help you solve it? Book Therapist is Rosalie Knecht, LMSW, a licensed therapist and author of the novels Relief Map and Who is Vera Kelly? (Tin House, June 2018). She will be taking questions monthly for L
Literary Hub6 min read
What Happens When Your Tenant Won’t Stop Renovating Your House?
The following is from Vikki Warner’s Tenemental, a memoir recounting her time as a young landlord renting out a three-story home in Providence, Rhode Island. One morning, I heard a lot of noise downstairs—sounds of furniture being moved, stuff being
Literary Hub5 min read
The All-Too Human Cost of Appalachia’s Fracking Boom
The “Appalachian problem” doesn’t seem to me to be political, economic, or social. I believe it is a spiritual problem and its name is greed. –Our Appalachia: An Oral History, edited by Laurel Shackelford and Bill Weinberg Four hundred million years
Literary Hub4 min readSociety
How Do You Queer the Romantic Comedy?
Meet. Lose. Get. That’s the established formula for a romantic comedy. It’s the slightly more starry-eyed variant to the classic three-act structure of just about everything else: Conflict. Crisis. Resolution. Other rules are at play, too. Love is a
Literary Hub5 min read
Djuna Barnes: “The Most Famous Unknown of the Century!”
When I was an undergraduate at Cornell University I received a grant to travel to the University of Maryland, where the Djuna Barnes archive is housed at the Hornbake Library. I was a senior then, 20 years old, and the grant was awarded in support of
Literary Hub7 min read
Meet the Woman Spearheading Inclusivity in UK Publishing
Mainstream British publishing is changing—slowly—thanks to tireless individuals who continue to question the status quo, and who prove, by their actions, that just because things have been done a certain way forever it doesn’t mean they have to stay
Literary Hub5 min read
Technostalgia: From Analog to Digital, Memories in Technology
I’m a child lying at the foot of my parents’ bed. Translucent dust motes float in a sunbeam cast above me, rising and sinking and wheeling off of one another. I have recently been taught about molecules, that all the things in the world are made up o
Literary Hub4 min read
Porochista Khakpour On Learning To Own The Discomfort Of The Body
I have never been comfortable in my own body. Rather, I’ve felt my whole life that I was born in the wrong body. A slight woman, femme in appearance, olive skin that has varied from dark to light, thick black curly hair, large eyes, hands and feet to
Literary Hub7 min read
11 Powerful Books to Read on Father’s Day
The problem with writing a book about one’s father is that he’s either going to read it, or choose not to, or else he has died and will never have the option. Each of these scenarios is fraught with its own quicksand pits of apprehension, second gues
Literary Hub10 min read
When Fatherhood and Your Debut Novel Coincide
No one had ever needed to get something to me so quickly that they were compelled to send someone biking across lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. But after I sold my first novel, this ocassionally happened. A sweaty cyclist would buzz my door
Literary Hub5 min read
What We Loved This Week
Finally, in danger of actually collapsing under the combined weight of other people’s recommendations, I started reading Javier Marías’s A Heart So White this week. It is brilliant, if not exactly subway reading—better to read when there’s silence, n
Literary Hub13 min read
The Sound of Black Voices, The Sound of My Father
I. Who Will Build this Ark of Bones ? Once upon a time I had a house full of cousins, convivial aunties, resounding uncles with gold belt-buckles and big happy teeth, a black grandmother who washed my hair in the sink and taught my mom how to cook gr
Literary Hub6 min read
Growing Up a Preacher’s Daughter
Our silver was engraved with the letter W, which I naturally took as a sign that my family and I were special. True, I also thought that the moon followed me when we drove at night and that, if I could just get the design of my paper wings right, I w
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