This week, Guernica has a new story from author and veteran Odie Lindsey, whose debut story collection about soldiers coming home from war, We Come to Our Senses, will be published by W.W. Norton later this month. Included in the collection, “Bird (on back)” picks up in the middle of a disintegrating relationship between an unemployed diorama artist and his vibrant but terminally ill girlfriend, who before they met contracted a sexually transmitted autoimmune disease from a soldier on leave....more
Posts Tagged: Guernica
…while poems often proceed by way of large imaginative leaps, I found that prose urged me to stay put longer and extrapolate more.
At Guernica, Christopher Kondrich and Tracy K. Smith talk about differences between poetry and prose, and writing grief and memory in Smith’s memoir Ordinary Light....more
The circus was small, a little tent in the center of a field, but of course we didn’t know it was small, we didn’t know there were bigger circuses in other places. We didn’t even know there were other places.
As part of Guernica’s bimonthly series “The Kiss,” graphic novelist Kristen Radtke has an illustrated story about a visit to the circus when she was a kid....more
At Guernica, Tana Wojczuk shares her personal story of seeing Shakespeare performed as a child and her eventual realization and understanding of Shakespeare’s humor, and defends the importance of seeing Shakespeare’s works on stage:
This is one of the reasons it was important to see Shakespeare performed, and not just to read him.
At Guernica, Jennifer Sears talks to Mary Gaitskill about her recent novel, The Mare, emotional accessibility, love that crosses social norms, and the challenges—technical and empathic—of developing a characters very different from herself. Gaitksill credits the body, her own, for both truth and compulsion:
My head will talk to itself all day and all night if I let it.
Over at Guernica, Kyle Lucia Wu talks with Stephanie Danler about her new novel, Sweetbitter, and how Danler’s personal experiences as a young woman living in New York City and working in a restaurant overlap with those of her protagonist:
There is this moment when you cross the bridge or you land at JFK where you’re starting over from zero.
Understanding tennis as aesthetic phenomenon involves returning to that word Wallace insists on using in his discussion of Federer: beauty.
At Guernica, Greg Chase discusses the new collection of David Foster Wallace’s essays on tennis, String Theory, in which tennis is investigated as an art form in light of Kant’s aesthetic philosophy on words like “beauty” and “genius.”...more
This was the trouble with bringing a gun to work: you couldn’t stop thinking about it.
This understatement comes from “Rutting Season,” a story by Mandeliene Smith in this week’s new issue of Guernica that flirts with every office worker’s worst nightmare—or secret fantasy—while exploring the divide between the public persona and the private self....more
The grief story: it’s sympathetic, moving, and even cathartic when done well. It’s also a trap for clichés, overwrought metaphors, sticky sentimentality, and hyperbole. Add that to the ubiquity of the grief story, and you get a subject that can be damn tricky to write well....more
At Guernica, Sara Nović condemns the linguistic dismissal of American Sign Language and questions the overwhelming primacy of spoken English. She attributes this erasure of Deaf culture not only to widespread misconceptions about disability, but also to the insatiable American desire to steamroll all forms of difference it encounters:
No savior narrative can be extracted; no hearing person gifted language, or schools, to America’s deaf people.
For Guernica, Elisa Gabbert explores the incorporation of emoji into language and fiction. Gabbert also addresses the idea of diachronic translations, i.e. translating fiction from one historical era to another, and what place hyper-specific contemporary technology like emoji have in fiction....more
At Guernica, Elizabeth Karp-Evans interviews John Freeman, the founder of the literary journal Freeman’s, on freelancing, his goals for Freeman’s, and cultivating narratives:
Narratives are individual; after that they become myths because you need to abstract a narrative to make it apply to many at once.
Last December, a group of feminist activists from all over the world met and discussed a new women’s solidarity movement. The full discussion, with an introduction by Eve Ensler, is up now at Guernica.
Now is the time for women to write a different story, grown from the everyday struggles and experiences of those who are most often at the receiving end of disastrous policies and ventures, who clean up the messes and transform the destruction, who build the secret shelters, rescue the raped, stand for the dead, hold town halls for the voiceless, and give presence to the invisible.
Sarah Galo interviewed Molly Crabapple for Guernica. They talked about race, violence, innocence, and narrative voice:
Lately, I haven’t been putting myself into my work that much, because I’ve just found the stories of the people I’m talking to much more interesting than my reactions to them.
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....more
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.
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.
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....more
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.
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....more
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....more
Guernica has an excerpt from an upcoming collection of letters and interviews by Elena Ferrante, Fragments: On Writing, Reading, and Absence, featuring some beautiful prose on the origins of writing, some slant-eyed answers to questions of identity, and brutal melancholia brought on by her work....more
On Thursday, Guernica’s October issue went live with a fantastical tale of childhood by Sofi Stambo. “A Bunch of Savages,” which was chosen by Aimee Bender to win the Disquiet International Literary Program Award in fiction, follows a maybe gypsy, definitely poor family in Stambo’s native Bulgaria during communism....more
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....more