Posts Tagged: Guernica

This Week in Short Fiction

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Revise your summer reading lists, ladies and gentlemen, because this week brought us new issues of Guernica and Asymptote to bump to the top of the pile. Asymptote delivers more of its consistently stunning literature in translation, including a haunting story from the late Uruguayan author Mario Levrero about a very, very strange house. 

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Stop Measuring the Humanities with Dollar Signs

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Even though liberal arts degrees are actually good for business, Matt Burriesci (author of Dead White Guys: A Father, His Daughter, and the Great Books of the Western World) believes that supporters of the humanities should lay that argument to rest:

A liberal arts education … may not teach you how to change your oil or program a website, but it prepares you to learn any skill, and most importantly, to question how any task is performed, challenge conventional wisdom, and introduce new processes.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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On Tuesday, Knopf released In the Country, the much-anticipated first book by Mia Alvar. The story collection follows characters uprooted by the Filipino diaspora trying to find homes elsewhere or trying to come home again. Born in the Philippines and raised in New York City and Bahrain, Alvar is familiar with that search.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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This is the week of fantastical fiction, of the weird and the magical, of re-imagining fairy tales and urban legends, of making the familiar strange and the strange familiar. On Tuesday, a new edition of Angela Carter’s seminal 1979 story collection The Bloody Chamber was released to mark what would have been Carter’s 75th birthday, had she not passed in 1992.

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Writing War From Afar

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It was a really big deal for me that a Sri Lankan publisher picked it up. I didn’t grow up there, and I didn’t go through [the war], so there’s always been a question of legitimacy. When I was at the Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation (VONA) workshop in 2011, I had these tremendous concerns: “I’m Sri Lankan, and I’m writing about the war, but I live in America.

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Secrets of a Literary Agent

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Guernica speaks with literary agent Chris Parris-Lamb, who built a career around selling Chad Harbach‘s debut novel The Art of Fielding for a reported $665,000. Since then, he has sold novels like Wolf In White Van and coming later this year, City of Fire, a 900-page tome for a rumored seven-figure sale.

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A Writer By Any Other Name

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For all her artistic clout, critics continue to dismiss Miranda July as “cutesy” and “twee,” labels that reflect an inability to distinguish between her work and her persona. Over at Guernica, Tin House editor Rob Spillman argues in defense of whimsy:

Part of the reason that some find July’s literary success so galling is that she is not simply a novelist; she is “Miranda July” a continuingly evolving conceptual art project, as well as the writer, director, and star of two movies.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Alissa Nutting has given us the story of a woman with a transparent panel covering her beating heart. Her story, “The Transparency Project,” arrived via Guernica online post on Tuesday. This story revives the playful Nutting of her 2010 story collection, Unclean Jobs for Girls and Women, after her departure into the darker world of a teacher seducing her students with her 2013 novel, Tampa.

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Plot Isn’t Everything

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At Guernica, Rebecca Saleton, the editorial director of Riverhead Books who has worked with the likes of Hillary Clinton and Peter Matthiessen, talks about her experience in publishing over the last 30 years and how she still believes that readers are, in fact, interested in ideas:  

We can get so carried away with the idea that story is everything that we can forget that people actually want ideas too.

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The Efficacy of Words

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The truth is that the horror of being eaten outpaces the horror of death by any other means. Microbe, animal, another human: being consumed feels sharper, entirely visceral. But why?

Over at Guernica, Lance Richardson writes on Peter Gorman’s Ayahuasca in My Blood: 25 Years of Medicine Dreaming, an ethnographic account of his experiences  in the Amazon.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Every good story is rooted in conflict, and most of us learned the different types of conflict in our high school literature classes like clockwork, year in and year out: man v. man, man v. self, man v. society, man v.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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On Tuesday, Guernica published “Walking on Water,” an excerpt from Payem Faeli’s 2010 novella, I Will Grow, I Will Bear Fruit… Figs. In this excerpt, translated into English by Sarah Khalili, Faeli provides a meditative taste of the novella’s wandering narrator, a young boy in search of a name.

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The Literary Underground

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Raphael Allison, at Guernica, fuses together his experience at this year’s MLA conference in Chicago with the subculture of the modernists in order to discuss the “crisis in the humanities”:

Mods and literary academics are caught between the allure of wildness, ingenuity, and nonconformity and the desire for some sort of stability, recognition, and achievement.

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We Respectfully Decline

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At Guernica, Alexandria Peary observes a fine but lethal distinction between being declined and being rejected, a difference that had very real effects on the literary ambitions of nineteenth-century female writers. While to decline a submission implies thoughtful deliberation over that particular work, rejection is an all-encompassing denouncement of something larger: a category or, in this case, a gender:

Women writers in the nineteenth century—when creative writing really got going as a possible profession—faced more rejections than declines, though probably more than a spoonful of dejection.

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What We Talk About When We Talk About the American South

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The latest issue of Guernica is out, and it’s a doozy. The special issue—the first of 4 such issues funded by a Kickstarter campaign—takes on the American South. Features include novelist Kiese Laymon in conversation with his mother on language and love in the South (check out our own interview with Laymon here) and Rumpus contributor Lincoln Michel‘s essay “Lush Rot,” on the deep roots of Southern Gothic tradition.

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Do Writers Also Have to Be Protesters?

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Pankaj Mishra has always been a politically outspoken writer, so when Mo Yan, who has defended the Chinese government’s censorship, won the Nobel Prize, Mishra was the last person anyone expected to defend him.

But he did, asking, “Do we ever expose the political preferences of Mo Yan’s counterparts in the West to such harsh scrutiny?”

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“I Am an Alien”

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Moving to the US as a person of color isn’t easy, even when you do everything completely above-board, come from a nation friendly with the US, and arrive with a respectable family in tow.

Toni Nealie discusses her experience coming to America from New Zealand in an essay for Guernica:

My iris is captured in a biometrics file with the U.S Immigration Service….My deep brown eyes, the eyes that have held the gaze of my beloved, the eyes that look like my mother’s, that my newborn sons searched for and struggled to focus on: these are now U.S territory.

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