Weekend Rumpus Roundup


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.”

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 →