This week, in a story by Akhil Sharma that will leave you devastated, an Indian woman in an arranged marriage wakes one day to discover that she loves her husband. “If You Sing Like That for Me,” originally published in the Atlantic in 1995, is available this week at Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading in conjunction with the release of Sharma’s short story collection, A Life of Adventure and Delight, which collects this story and seven others that focus on the lives of Indian protagonists as they negotiate relationships and the difficulties of the human heart....more
Posts Tagged: Recommended Reading
The PEN America World Voices Festival, a weeklong international literary festival that focuses on human rights, is ongoing in New York City this week, and this year’s theme of gender and power seems more pertinent and urgent than ever. While over 150 writers from across the globe gather at the festival to bridge borders through the power of words, Electric Literature has opened its Recommended Reading archives to those of us who can’t be in NYC, offering eleven short stories and a poem that examine gender’s power and its bonds, that question its limitations and celebrate its liberation....more
In a political climate in which undocumented immigrants are painted as criminals and rapists and half the country is crying for deportation, this week’s story reminds us that immigrants are fathers who love their daughters, who work hard and send money home to dying mothers, who will go to the ends of the Earth for their loved ones—they are normal Americans with normal hearts, just like the rest of us....more
This week at Recommended Reading, PEN America offers an excerpt from Brazilian author Noemi Jaffe’s novel Írisz: as orquídeas, which is remarkable for many reasons, one of them being that this is so far the only opportunity to read part of the Portuguese-language novel in English translation....more
New motherhood: it’s common but totally strange, completely natural yet weirdly alien, a beautiful miracle and absolutely disgusting. It can also have some strong effects on a woman’s perception of self and identity, as Helen Phillips (The Beautiful Bureaucrat) explores brilliantly in her story “The Doppelgängers,” chosen by Lauren Groff at Recommended Reading this week....more
Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading has put out its 200th issue, and to celebrate, they’re watching television. Or, thinking about watching television by revisiting the 200th episodes of classic sitcoms: J. Robert Lennon on The Cosby Show, Rob McCleary on The Love Boat, Morgan Parker on The Jeffersons, and Téa Obreht on Frasier....more
Editing. It’s the most reviled step of the writing process. It’s where we do the backbreaking work of word-weeding, where we must dissociate from ourselves enough to see our work objectively, where we’re forced to kill our darlings. It’s the dark place between writing and publication, mostly characterized by bloodshot eyes and crippling doubt....more
You can count on One Story as a sort of literary sieve, distilling story-sized servings of up-and-coming writers we should know, and soon enough will know, if we don’t know them already. Next week, One Story will host its annual Literary Debutante Ball, a party thrown in honor of those who’ve published stories with them and whose first books were born this year....more
She’d been ready to do her part for the war effort. Out of appreciation and gratitude and patriotism. All those hours on that terrible ship. Now what Seymour wanted was love, and she couldn’t possibly give that to him.
For Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading series, Ann Beattie highlights “At the Fairmont,” a short short by Rumpus columnist Peter Orner about a woman meeting her husband as he returns from navy service in World War II....more
I think that most of us believe that time doesn’t really exist outside of the school. Or at least we act like it does not. This is to say, we know that in theory there was life before the school and that there will be life after the school if we can ever get out.
“But what if there were no one around with whom to reach an agreement about the meaning of a word? What if the thing you’re trying to express can’t really be understood by anyone else?”
Sarah Gerard looks at Wittgenstein, marital rights, and translation in her review of the new edition of Clarice Lispector’s The Passion According to G.H....more