First, Brandon Hicks illustrates the silly and circular patterns of being a romantic.
Then, in the Saturday Essay, Amanda Choutka reminisces about her adolescence and growing up with an autistic younger sibling, whose favorite program was Jim Henson’s The Muppet Show. Each episode becomes a kind of nostalgic touchstone for specific moments from a bittersweet past. When her sibling grows up and the muppets make a comeback, Choutka is forced to construct a new identity for herself.
And Joe Meno’s new novel, Marvel and A Wonder, is the topic of the Sunday Interview with Margaret Wappler. The book, which began as a short story, distills some of the author’s experiences with male role models of an older generation. Meno and Wappler discuss Vietnam, Faulkner, and Toni Morrison, and the difficulty of writing a sympathetic villain. “But for you to understand [a] character you disagree with or don’t understand at first,” Meno argues, “you have to have this protracted, sustained experience with him.”