Posts Tagged: Guernica

This Week in Short Fiction

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This week, we have two stories of time machines and space stations, but mostly of people who clean up messes. Amber Sparks’s second collection of short stories, The Unfinished World, published on Monday by Liveright, is a vivid and imaginative blend of sci-fi and fantasy, magical realism and surrealism.

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Out, Out, Bill Clinton!

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In her op-ed “Hillary in History,” published November 8, 2015, New York Times columnist Gail Collins notes that “when it comes to women winning political office, there’s a long line of wives in the cast of characters.” She calls Clinton a “perfect transitional figure,” representing the intersection of the power behind the throne and the ambition to wield that power herself.

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The Brilliant Translator

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Over at Guernica, Katrina Dodson interviews Ann Goldstein, Elena Ferrante’s translator, about the mysterious Italian writer, the final Neapolitan novel, and the meaning of life:

Whether you’re a writer or not, you can imagine looking at your life and thinking, “What have I done?” What she’s doing in these books is asking, “What does my life mean?” She’s using that concrete image of being a writer and having a friendship, but she’s investigating the meaning of life.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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It’s December, that magical time of year when newspapers and websites across the globe unveil their “Best of the Year” lists. Valeria Luiselli has been all over them with her innovative novel The Story of my Teeth, and lucky for us, this week Guernica gifted us a new Luiselli short story, “Shakespeare, New Mexico,” translated by Christina MacSweeney.

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The Ivy Halls of Racism

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Larissa Pham writes about racism and Yale for Guernica:

This tension is not new. It is a product of the systemic racism built into the institution, as ubiquitous as the architecture that characterizes the place in our shared consciousness. “Everyone who enters Yale is reminded that they’re in an environment that is a product of centuries of classism and racism,” Cynthia Hua, who graduated earlier this year, told me.

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Adapting to Eco-Futurism

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Ben Mauk interviews Pinar Yoldas for Guernica about her ecological-themed visual art, part of a style Yoldas has dubbed “eco-futurist” (rather than the more current trend of “cli-fi” art). Where some environmentally-conscious writing and art views humanity’s effects on nature as the end of an ecosystem, Yoldas uses the state of an ecosystem as a starting-off point for how nature will adapt and evolve in response to human interference.

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Graphic Novels, Fatherhood, and Asian-American Culture

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I feel like I’m just a hair’s breadth away from a consensus that what I do is horrible.

Guernica has a wonderful interview with graphic novelist Adrian Tomine, whose latest book Killing and Dying was recently released. Tomine talks about the difficulties of capturing the subject matters of race and fatherhood, all while meditating on the challenges of writing through the comic form.

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Writing Better Diverse Books

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But between publishers’, readers’ (audiences!), editors’, writers’—and, it turns out, MFA students’—definitions, the term “immigrant fiction” has become a muddle, a catchall phrase to describe anything that appears “non-American,” foreign in some way.

Bix Gabriel writes for Guernica on what we categorize as “immigrant fiction” and the limitations of under-defined genre.

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Moshfegh author phot credit Krystal Griffiths

The Rumpus Interview with Ottessa Moshfegh

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Ottessa Moshfegh discusses her first full-length novel, Eileen, betrayal, self-aware narrators, and the catalytic properties of friendship. ...more

The Dilemma of Wartime Journalism

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At Guernica, Richard Falk discusses journalism during the Vietnam War and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and how remaining ‘objective’ is actually being biased by turning a blind-eye to suffering:

I came to realize that the journalistic ethos as applied to foreign policy was indifferent to the wartime suffering of the enemy population and a humanitarian catastrophe of massive proportions.

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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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