Posts Tagged: The Millions

Digging for Characters: A Conversation with Sonya Chung

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Sonya Chung discusses her latest novel The Loved Ones, the mental space required to wander around fictional worlds, and looking back at her childhood.

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Aziz Nesin’s Ghost

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This week, the Turkish government has jailed a prominent politician who is referred to fondly as “Kurdish Obama” and shutdown Cumhuriyet, a popular newspaper. Amid these distressing developments, Kaya Genç looks towards books and history in her profile of 20th century Turkish humorist Aziz Nesin at The Millions. Nesin, who Genç compares to Christopher Hitchens and […]

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A “Girl” and Her Mother

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At The Millions, Naa Baako Ako-Adjei discusses reading Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl” through the lens of her relationship with her own mother growing up, and her new understanding of the story fifteen years later: In my rereading of “Girl,” I also realized that I never noticed how transgressive the story is. The mother’s liturgy about behaving […]

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Elena Ferrante and the Picture on the Back Cover

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Essayist Marie Myung-Ok Lee’s obsession with author photos leads to authorial reflections on gender, representation, and what writers owe the public in “Occupy Author Photo: On Elena Ferrante, Privacy, and Women Writers” at The Millions. Starting with her own experiences and branching out to Mary Oliver, Sarah Howe, and eventually Elena Ferrante, she calls for […]

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One More Time

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At The Millions, Shivani Radhakrishnan reviews Mauro Javier Cardenas’s novel The Revolutionaries Try Again, which takes a Soviet Montage-esque approach to budding and dissipating revolutionary impulses: You’re never directly informed about what counts as revolution and who in particular is trying to achieve it. Instead, The Revolutionaries Try Again dissects a decade of Ecuadorian austerity […]

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Navigating French

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Over at The Millions, Hannah Gersen interviews Lauren Collins about her memoir, When in French; learning a foreign language; and writing about herself. As Collins recalls: I wanted to describe the terrain of French, the kind of landscape and its physical features and its hills and valleys. I was thinking of it that way. To […]

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Coming Home to Proust

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At The Millions, J.P. Smith describes the singular effect that Marcel Proust has had on his growth as a writer: This isn’t a rambling, stream-of-consciousness book of memories lost and found; it’s a novel with a subtle and solid architecture, where in its last volume, Time Regained, the shape of the work comes finally into focus.

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Structure as Lightning Rod

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Writing for The Millions, M.C. Mah turns over all the cards in the deck on structure in storytelling. He gathers words of wisdom—and many metaphors—from luminaries like John McPhee, Borges, Vonnegut, and George Saunders, and then links the contemporary “horoscopic style” of structuring to an “anxiety about a better way to tell a story…” possibly […]

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It Was a Joke

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In an essay on author authenticity for The Millions, Alcy Levy examines Percival Everett’s satirical novel Erasure—about a black author whose own satirical novel is taken seriously—in light of recent literary identity shake-ups such as James Frey and Michael Derrick Hudson, who changed his name to Yi-Fen Chou to get a poem published: This exposes a major […]

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Ragtime and the Mysterious Teenage Highlighter

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At The Millions, Jacob Lambert shares a letter written to an unknown teenager who annotated and “ruined” his secondhand copy of Ragtime. Lambert expresses bewilderment over the passages that the teenager highlighted, and provides his own insights in response: Chapter three ends with the sentence “And up through the slum alleys, through the gray clothes hanging listlessly […]

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Fappetizers

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When does food porn become a problem? For The Millions, Davey Davis looks at the spread of the pornographic sensibility to Instagram cuisine: The cumshot is replicated in Instagram food porn, not with the actual consumption of the food but rather its literal destruction by human hands. With these hands, croissants are torn apart, sandwiches split […]

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Private Belief vs. Public Art

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For The Millions, Nick Ripatrazone explores Eyewear Publishing’s new anthology, The Poet’s Quest for God, and explains why poets “need God”: How do we discern a writer’s religious beliefs? When does the private belief inform the public art? When it comes to political views of writers, we prod and we conjecture with pleasure. When it comes to […]

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A Brief Relationship with Writing

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At The Millions, Bryan VanDyke reflects on his experience writing several unpublished novels, and how these manuscripts helped motivate him to write the draft of his first published work in less than a week: My grad school mentor, the brooding and kind-hearted author David Plante, would sometimes refer to unsuccessful books as “one more for the […]

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How to Write Wilderness

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At The Millions, Mary Catherine Martin responds to the flaws she found in Dave Eggers’s representation of the Alaskan wilderness in his most recent novel, Heroes of the Frontier. She explains why writers who “write wilderness” have a responsibility to understand the great outdoors before putting pen to paper: If there’s anything wilderness can teach you, […]

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Wild Water Kingdom

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If anything, the private spaces of the Monterey Bay Aquarium are even more magical that the public ones. The exact same aesthetic sensibility that pervades the viewing galleries—clean, calm, scientifically sound, technologically advanced—also characterizes the service corridors, which is nice because it appeals to my sense of symmetry. But does it actually matter? Does it […]

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The Desire for Distraction

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For The Millions, Mike Broida revisits David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, arguing that the work’s claims about addiction and the media presaged the influence of “television culture” on the digital age: The final “joke” of Infinite Jest is that the book is intended to be almost as endless and mirthful as the addictions it depicts. To miss the desperate worshipping hidden […]

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Writers Who Burn Their Own Work

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We burn old love letters and photographs to be reborn. The action of burning is often a process. Find a match or a lighter. Put the papers in a container or can or shove them in a fireplace. There are so many moments along the way when we can have second thoughts, when we can […]

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