Tag: Children

Gaitskill’s Fictions of Disappointment

In “A Romantic Weekend,” a story from Mary Gaitskill’s first collection, Bad Behavior, a man and a woman who are only casually acquainted go out of town for the weekend. The two seem to have met in a ...

Primal Scenes

This past year, Yoplait began airing a commercial, entitled “Mmm,” which features a family—a man, woman, and two children—eating yogurt, producing a chorus of “Mmms” as they ingest. The mother emits ...

The Woolf Girl

Pity the small back of Alan Kurdi, the drowned Syrian boy who washed up on a Turkish beach, child victim of the refugee crisis. His photo went viral, sparked outrage; perhaps it will win an award ...

Can Child Soldiers Be Saved?

Everybody loves stories about child soldiers, it seems, as long as redemption is involved. A memoir about Sierra Leone’s civil war, for example, is not exactly the feel-good stuff you’d expect to see ...

Why Boys Must Cry

In contemporary Nigerian literature, muscular heroes of postcolonial independence have lost their swagger. Today’s patriarchs read like quaint fogies, stomping their feet about government, money, and ...

The Price of Great Art

When someone who made good art is accused of being a Bad Mother, can she ever be remembered as anything but a Bad Mother? In 1992, Mann’s book Immediate Family tapped into collective anxiety ...

Murderous Schoolgirls

While little girls may be made of sugar and spice and everything nice, in fiction the teenagers they grow into are anything but. We are drawn to stories where girls are scandalous, promiscuous, and ...

Falling Faintly: McEwan’s Latest

In 1893, the Scottish writer William Sharp began publishing poetry under the pseudonym Fiona MacLeod. MacLeod’s poems caught the eye of W. B. Yeats, who admired her lyricism even as he disdained the ...

A Head of His Time

Recently longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, John Corey Whaley’s eagerly awaited second novel, Noggin, promises second chances: life after death. Or not death ...

Knausgaard’s Novel Degree Zero

In the early autumn of 1974 three divers working off the coast of Tromøya Island in southern Norway located the remains of an 18th-century Danish wreck. The ship they found, the Fredensborg, sank in ...

Passing Beauty

How do you break a spell? How do you get over the grief of racial, gendered, and childhood injuries? Helen Oyeyemi’s novel Boy, Snow, Bird is not a black-and-white parable but a black-and-blue story ...