Weekend Rumpus Roundup


First, in the Saturday Essay, Alana Hauser remembers the evil spirit from David Lynch’s eerie TV drama, Twin Peaks. The “parasitic” spirit, named Bob, is “a frightening reflection on the pervasive reality of male violence.” Hauser looks to the shocking ruthlessness of Uma Thurman’s character in Kill Bill for a feminist reply to Bob’s personification of male violence.

And Wendy Willis examines Melissa Kwasny’s poetry collection, Pictographs, named after old cave drawings in Montana. They function in the book “as a kind of glossary for the deep mysteries.” The collection, Willis asserts, “does not flinch or hedge its bets by even nodding at irony. It is utterly earnest…”

Meanwhile, Brandon Hicks illustrates a family haunting in “Mom, the Family Ghost.”

Heather Partington reviews Jen Grow’s collection, My Life as a Mermaid, and Other Stories. Grow’s stories address the ways that women negotiate the abstract nature of class struggle. Her “deft writing” creates “a world that is both sad and beautiful.”

Meanwhile, our skepticism of psychics serves as a starting point for the Sunday Essay. But when Penny Guisinger’s dogs vanish, her desperation leads her to call a series of psychics—first Cassie and Rita, then Kaimora and Sandra. When a miscarriage and a troubled marriage compound her challenges, Guisinger is forced to confront her own lack of control.

Read more of Max Gray at Big City Sasquatch or follow him on Twitter @City_Sasquatch. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Encounters, Mount Hope, Conte, tNY.press, and English Kills Review. He co-hosts the etymology podcast Words For Dinner and is a graduate of the Rutgers-Newark MFA program. More from this author →