Anyone who made it through high school English can probably recall reading a story or two about young protagonists finding themselves in the absence of parental guidance. From whence does this orphan trope come? And why? Is this what all of us innately fear—the state of being in charge of our destinies, the only ones […]
This week, Karen Russell of Swamplandia! fame has a new story in The New Yorker that unearths the self-deceptions beneath what we often think is love, and also unearths a body. In “The Bog Girl,” a teenage boy named Cillian digs up the 2,000-year-old body of a girl that has been perfectly preserved by a […]
It’s not that the books that get someone into the “serious reader” club are all or even mostly by men these days. But the books that get you kicked out of the club are almost exclusively written by women. Hannah Engler writes for Book Riot on “women’s literature” and the still-unevolved stereotype of the Woman Reader.
At the Guardian, A.D. Miller wonders why writers struggle to describe the “bonds” of friendship in fiction. What he finds is that close friendships are often difficult to “rationalize” because they limit access to common literary tropes: Friendship denies writers the shortcuts they enjoy in the portrayal of other ties. A certain amount of invisible magic […]