Posts Tagged: the new yorker

“The Disjointedness of Life”

By

For the New Yorker, Peter Moskowitz talks to poet Tommy Pico about anger, juxtaposition, and inheritance:

He told me that he uses poetry to square two identities that don’t fit together well: being a poor, queer kid from the rez, and being a pleasure-seeking, technology-addicted New Yorker who would rather chase the boys he meets on apps than think about centuries of pain passed from one generation to another.

...more

Riding the Underground

By

The Underground Railroad has always fascinated Americans, and recently it has exploded in popularity, with books, TV shows, and even representation on United States currency. But does the mythologized version of the Underground Railroad live up to actual history? In a recent New Yorker article, Kathryn Schulz examines recent media incarnations of the Railroad:

But, as more recent work has made clear, they should also incite our curiosity and skepticism: about how the Underground Railroad really worked, why stories about it so consistently work on us, and what they teach us—or spare us from learning—about ourselves and our nation.

...more

Wealth and the American Dream

By

Two recent novels, The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney and Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty by Ramona Ausubel, explore privilege and entitlement, and what happens when wealth disappears. It can be hard to feel sorry for trust fund kids when you live paycheck to paycheck, but:

From some distance, it’s a parable about the current age, in which an increasingly fraught vision of American prosperity abuts the realities of stagnation and loss.

...more

This Week in Short Fiction

By

Irish author Danielle McLaughlin didn’t start writing fiction until 2010, but in the years since she has amassed an impressive collection of writing awards, including the William Trevor/Elizabeth Bowen International Short Story Competition, and has twice placed stories in the New Yorker.

...more

Raw Material

By

Our VW van had a Porsche engine, other modifications that made it good for tough Mexican roads.

Gorgeous photographs accompany Lucia Berlin’s own account, with an introduction by Cressida Leyshon, of her travels in Mexico, drugs, and family life. Memories are ordered as episodes, or “sketches,” and readers of her short stories will find great resonance between the forms.

...more

At Heaven’s Gates

By

At the New Yorker, Richard Brody shares a eulogy for director Michael Cimino:

Cimino’s life work is a cinema of mourning, an art of grief, a nightmare of memory that finds its sole redemption in ecstasy—the heightened perception that transforms experience into a grand internal spectacle, which finds its own embodiment in Cimino’s own profound visual imagination.

...more

Trump Alchemy Examined

By

“Get more, that inner music seems to be telling him. Get, finally, enough. Refute a lifetime of critics. Create a pile of unprecedented testimonials, attendance receipts, polling numbers, and pundit gasps that will, once and for all, prove—what?”

George Saunders patrols the Trump campaign trail and notates the surreal political phenomena known as “The Donald.” Here is what he discovered.

...more

The Evolution of Adrienne Rich

By

Over at the New Yorker, Dan Chiasson marks the publication of Adrienne Rich’s collected works with an examination of the incredible arc of her life and career. And instead of condemning her many transformations as a kind of flightiness, he reminds us how admirable it is for a person to be able to change as they learn and grow:

Perhaps no American poet who started in the mode of accommodation so abruptly broke ranks, inventing for herself a new kind of discipline whose ethical rigors demanded fresh forms.

...more

This Week in Short Fiction

By

This week, Karen Russell of Swamplandia! fame has a new story in The New Yorker that unearths the self-deceptions beneath what we often think is love, and also unearths a body. In “The Bog Girl,” a teenage boy named Cillian digs up the 2,000-year-old body of a girl that has been perfectly preserved by a peat bog and then, with Russell’s classic flair for the imaginative and the creepy, falls immediately in love with her.

...more

The Important Queerness of Frog and Toad

By

At the New Yorker, Colin Stokes lauds the classic Frog and Toad’s “amphibious celebration of same-sex love” and discusses the ways in which it may have been inspired by Arnold Lobel’s life experiences:

Lobel never publicly discussed a connection between the series and his sexuality, but he did comment on the ways in which personal material made its way into his stories… Knowing the strains of sadness in Lobel’s life story gives his simple and elegant stories new poignancies.

...more

Imagining the Past

By

Over at the New Yorker, Lucy Ives writes about how some recent works of fiction challenge conventional definitions of historical fiction by “offer[ing] a past of competing perspectives, of multiple voices.” Citing works by Danielle Dutton, Marlon James, and John Keene, Ives notes:

These fictions do not focus on fact but on fact’s record, the media by which we have any historical knowledge at all.

...more

The Moment of Change is the Only Poem

By

In poetry words can say more than they mean and mean more than they say.

Over at the New Yorker, Claudia Rankine writes about the transformations Adrienne Rich underwent in search of ethics and the willful “I,” from the brief attempt at objectivity in her earliest poems to her refusal of the National Medal for the Arts, and the constant urgency and relevance to the here and now in her poetry.

...more

When Life Gives Critics Lemons

By

In the New Yorker, Richard Brody laments how little coverage there is of independent film in mainstream media. If film culture is to change for the better, he argues, critics need to step out of their comfort zone and focus less on wide releases:

It’s up to critics and editors to acknowledge what was already clear in 1969—the realm of movies, their substance and their distribution, has changed drastically, and the practice of criticism needs to catch up with it.

...more

The Psychic Sasquatch

By

Most libraries have limited physical shelf space, so if they want to purchase new books for their collections, often they have to remove some old ones. Two librarians, Mary Kelly and Holly Hibner, know this can be a tough pill for book lovers to swallow, so they’ve been working to bring attention to the issue through their blog, Awful Library Books:

They often feature books with outlandish titles, like “Little Corpuscle,” a children’s book starring a dancing red blood cell; “Enlarging Is Thrilling,” a how-to about—you guessed it—film photography; and “God, the Rod, and Your Child’s Bod: The Art of Loving Correction for Christian Parents.”

...more

Poetry in Paradox

By

The title of experimentalist poet Rosmarie Waldrop’s new book, Gap Gardening (New Directions), is “classic Waldrop, a phrase that asserts its meaning by undoing itself,” writes Dan Chiasson for the New Yorker. Waldrop is among those who “track the nanotech of language, the little words that bind big concepts,” and simultaneously spin off memories, questions, mysteries, and paradoxes. 

...more