Lit-Link Round-up


Sunday Rumpus alum, Laura Bogart’s, Salon piece, “I Choose to Be Fat” has gone viral, with good reason.

And Rumpus gal Antonia Crane in the LA Times, strip-club-consultant extraordinaire.

If you read Margo Rabb’s fascinating “Fallen Idols” in the NYTimes, don’t miss this interesting response to it from Erika Dreifus.

Stunning commencement speech on kindness delivered by George Saunders at Syracuse graduation. These words to live by stand beside the David Foster Wallace “This Is Water” address in their brilliance and humanity. In fact, an anthology of commencement speeches would not be a bad idea if anyone else has hit it out of the park like those two did.

Top paperbacks of 2013 (so far).

Dynamo Lois Alter Mark’s highlights from BlogHer.

Stop the presses! Pat Robertson says something rational and humane on being transgendered.

I admit to a strange sense of humor, but this piece on the death of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl amused the hell out of me. I didn’t realize this was a…thing. Apparently I need to get out more. Also, I can’t watch freaking anything without finding MPDGs all over the place now. Unless I want to go back to old Hill Street Blues reruns or something. God I used to worship Joyce Davenport. She was my childhood idol. No MPDG there. Alas, I have also concluded that I probably present more closely to the PMDG than I do to Joyce Davenport. My JD-wanna-be aspirations have had to bite the dust along with my fantasies about being the girl singer in an all-boy band, despite the fact that I cannot actually…sing. Fucking middle age.

“It’s like Santa, for your vagina!” If you haven’t seen this ad, please swallow your drinks now because otherwise you’ll be spitting on your screen.

I am a sucker for news stories about old people in love. This couple, born on the same day, died a day apart after 75 years together.

The nightmare labyrinth of how copyrights laws affect the availability of books.

Beverly Donofrio’s Slate piece, “Rape Myths,” explores her experience being raped at age 55 and the cultural constructs around whether or not women fight back.

Other Voices Queretaro alum, Ashley Perez, shares her thoughts on “Writing Through Insecurity” on Jaded Ibis’ blog.

The trailer for Kate Maruyama’s Harrowgate. Wow it looks creepy.

Have you been following this response to the Questlove piece? I find the whole decades-long back-and-forth between “white feminism” and women of color both fascinating/pertinent, and yet so disheartening at the same time. On the one hand, it’s beyond ridiculous for Kim Foster to classify a man (of any race) finding a woman hot and wanting to try to talk to her a little bit as “oppression,” considering that…well, clearly our survival as a species is linked to people finding each other attractive, chatting each other up, and relationships sometimes ensuing. On the other hand, I am concerned about the fact that Ebony writer, Jamila Lemieux, thinks it was inappropriate to begin with for Foster (or any woman) to try to interrogate the intersection between racist/unwarranted fear of Black men, vs. a general/archetypal fear and defensiveness many women feel about men, period, given the actual prevelance of violence against women. No, Martin wasn’t shot by some white chick who thought he was going to rape her, so the correlation of this to the Martin verdict is nonexistent, and therefore I can see feeling this is like trying to grab the stage for white feminist self-involvement, sure. But on the other hand, Questlove brought up the way he feels perceived by white women in his piece, and the way Black men are culturally perceived (and the damage misperception can wreak) is in the media right now due to the Martin case…so isn’t broadening the discussion desirable, if done responsibly? It feels almost like saying the aftermath of a shooting isn’t the time to discuss gun control or something. Racism in the more “progressive” factions of the United States is often shrouded in silence; people don’t want to name what really makes them uncomfortable and lay it on the table. Maybe we all need to make each other exceedingly uncomfortable, even if it means saying the wrong things, if we’re going to get anywhere?

I had an E. coli kidney infection last Sunday, and was busy trying not to drop dead. Sorry for the radio silence. Man, it is nice to not be in the hospital…


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 →