Lit-Link Round-up


I woke Friday morning to the news that Emily Rapp’s son, Ronan Louis, had died. Ronan had Tay-Sachs, but the “expected” nature of a death does nothing to soften a blow when someone is not yet even three-years-old. Emily’s dear friend, yoga teacher and writer Jennifer Pastiloff, wrote a piece for Ronan on Facebook that I asked to share with Rumpus readers and that serves as today’s Sunday essay. If you would like to help other families struggling under the blow of Tay-Sachs, please give to NTSAD here.

A Valentine’s Day love song of sorts to Regina Spektor, on The Weeklings.

17 Essential Essays by female writers that everyone should read.

A very good reason to endeavor never to be famous and then die early? So that Katie Roiphe can’t write about you on Slate. Actually, I jest. This piece, in which Roiphe points out that the “Daddy” in Sylvia Plath’s most notorious poem, might also refer to her mother seems…well, honestly, sensible on most levels. More to the point, “Daddy” probably did–and should–harken more than any one individual figure in Plath’s life, and take on both imaginative and archetypal proportions for both her and the poem’s generations of readers. I’m not sure why there is a firestorm of rage at Roiphe about this except in the sense that she perhaps miscasts this question as a binary when it’s more likely a question with multiple answers. Which is the nature of writing that survives beyond its author, generally speaking, anyway.

Guernica’s “Erotica” issue looks seriously kick ass.

Going to AWP? Well of course you’ll want to come play with The Rumpus. And there’s also this ridiculously awesome little thing I’m co-throwing, with James Greer of Guided by Voices playing music, and readings by Jillian Lauren, Rob Roberge, Joshua Mohr (whose new novel, Fight Song, dropped last week), Tyler McMahon and more.

Pablo Neruda is being exhumed to ascertain whether a medical practitioner may have given him a fatal injection. Yeah, I’m serious.  Check it out here.

And while we’re at it, this from Neruda:

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, 

in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

Wow. If we exhume him, will he give us some more? Or shouldn’t that have at least been his tariff to rest in peace?


Gina Frangello is the author of four books of fiction and a forthcoming memoir, Blow Your House Down. Her novel A Life in Men (Algonquin 2014) is currently under development by Netflix as a series produced by Charlize Theron’s production company, Denver & Delilah. Her most recent novel, Every Kind of Wanting (Counterpoint 2016) was included on several “best of” lists for 2016, including Chicago Magazine’s and The Chicago Review of Books’. She has nearly 20 years of experience as an editor, having founded both the independent press Other Voices Books, and the fiction section of the popular online literary community The Nervous Breakdown. She has also served as the Sunday editor for The Rumpus, and as the faculty editor for both TriQuarterly Online and The Coachella Review. Her short fiction, essays, book reviews, and journalism have been published in such venues as Salon, the LA Times, Ploughshares, the Boston Globe, BuzzFeed, the Chicago Tribune, the Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and in many other magazines and anthologies. After two decades of teaching at many universities, including UIC, Northwestern’s School of Continuing Studies, UCLA Extension, the University of California Riverside Palm Desert, Roosevelt University, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago, Gina is excited to be a student again at the University of Illinois-Chicago’s Program for Writers, where she has returned to complete the PhD she left unfinished twenty years ago. More from this author →