Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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First, in the Saturday Interview, Deesha Philyaw talks to celebrated writer Darryl Pinckney about his latest novel, Black Deutschland, and drawing inspiration from Christopher Isherwood’s The Berlin Stories. Pinckney describes Berlin as “a somewhere not everyone wanted to bother with.” Racism in American history caused many to flee to Europe because it was “a personal solution to a mass problem,” Pinckney says, “like passing for white.” They go on to discuss his friend and influence Susan Sontag; Paris, love, and the differences between fiction and memoir.

Then, the Sunday Essay offers a hopeful excerpt from Bernadette Murphy’s forthcoming memoir, Harley and Me: Embracing Risk on the Road to a More Authentic Life. Reeling in the aftermath of her divorce, Murphy travels with a cadre of marine biologists to study the regenerating coral reef in French Polynesia. She swims with sharks, brushes off disease-carrying tropical mosquitos, and snorkels the reef, learning in the process how to welcome your fear:

Lean into what scares you with all your might. Throw your body into that turn even when it feels like it will kill you. Push yourself in the direction of your fears.

And let yourself soar free.


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 →