Posts by: Dawn Pier

Goodbye to…Earth-Shattering Sex?

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The Atlantic gave the Rumpus’s own Sari Botton, Melissa Febos, Mira Ptacin, and Cheryl Strayed a chance to delve deeper into their contributions to the anthology “Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York.”

In a roundtable discussion with Marie-Helene Westgate, they discuss what it’s like to leave a city that, as Westgate puts it, “is a human entity unto itself: one capable of offering earth-shattering sex, endlessly stimulating conversation, and eventual transcendence, too.”

Hear their takes on questions like: “Is there a sense that leaving New York…constitutes a failure of character?” and more—and be sure to check out our two excerpted chapters from the book, one by Elisa Albert and one by Melissa Febos, right here on the Rumpus.

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The Stockholm Syndrome of Sexual Assault

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For SlateAmanda Hess examines yet another first-person confessional: sexual assault victim Jenny Kutner’s essay “The Other Side of the Story,” published in  Texas Monthly.

The power of Kutner’s story is that it lends insight into a particular type of victimization—the kind that happens when the victim doesn’t see herself as one.

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Rockwell and the Law of Opposites

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In the New Yorker, Lee Siegel sheds light on the oft-seen contradiction between artists and their art in her review of Deborah Solomon’s biography “American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell.”

In contrast to his idealized paintings of happy hetero Americans, Rockwell is described as a depressed, compulsively obsessive, and “a repressed homosexual.”

You might call this condition of artistic creation the law of opposites, which can be a displacement of identity, as in the case of the gay composers and actors of yesteryear, or a transmutation of identity.

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Thanksgivukkah Reading

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Over at WNPR this week Maureen Corrigan offers up a “Literary Escape Plan” from holiday stress.

The Borsch Belt-style Pilgrim jokes and mishmash recipes (turkey brined in Manischewitz, anyone?) are flying around the Internet; but since Jews are frequently referred to as “the People of the Book” and Pilgrims pretty much lived by the Book, Thanksgivukkah seems to me like the quintessential (stressful) family holiday to celebrate by escaping into a book.

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“I am Malala” Book Banned

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The LA Times reported this week that sixteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai’s memoir I Am Malala, has been banned from over 40,000 schools in her native country of Pakistan.

The book (co-written with British journalist Christina Lamb) describes Malala’s transformation into a vocal advocate for girl’s education rights while living under Taliban rule and the attempt by a member of the that organization to assassinate her.

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Lou Reed’s Discobiography

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This week in The New Yorker, Nick Flynn writes a poem about Lou Reed. There have also been some other great articles about Lou Reed.

“Discobiography” might sound like the title of a cheesy 70s memoir, but according to Erich Kuersten it’s the perfect name for the genre in which Lou Reed’s Great American Novel resides.

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When are we done telling our story?

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Most authors know that revealing intimate autobiographical secrets in our work can have a polarizing effect on our lives – old relationships are transformed or shattered, new ones born through the inevitable connections created.

In OUT, Alysia Abbot describes how publication of her memoir, Fairyland, about being raised by her gay father, opened a Pandora’s box of new information about both her parents.

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