Tag: Fiction

Slavery Was No Opera

“This was no love story,” Nikky Finney cautions us in “Pluck.” The poem from her 1995 collection, Rice, is a repudiation of Hollywood’s insidious fantasies about sex and American slavery. Prompted by …

Our Migrant World

Within the rhetorical toolbox of contemporary political discourse, the language used to characterize international migration, refugee crises, and border crossings might fairly be called impoverished ...

The Murder of Theory

Reports of theory’s death have been greatly exaggerated, but new villains keep on attempting its murder. Those who would vanquish abstraction with description, trade jargon for vernacular, and ...

Great Aspirations

Chetan Bhagat is possibly the most successful Indian English novelist ever, having sold over seven million copies of his books over a relatively short career. But he is largely unheard of in the ...

Cursed Masculinity

Masculinity is a curse. This, at least, is the driving conceit behind Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s Ugandan epic, Kintu, published in Kenya by the Kwani Trust in 2014, and in the US by Transit Books ...

Empathy Is Not Enough

Almost 30 years ago, education researcher and children’s literature scholar Rudine Sims Bishop introduced an analogy that has been widely embraced by the librarians, teachers, artists, and scholars ...

Wild States of Being

A lacquered blue cube and a cat named Labes: these nonhuman characters shed unforgiving light on human frailty in the wrenching new novel by Italian writer Domenico Starnone, Ties, scrupulously ...

Future Shocks

“The future’s not what it used to be,” sings Mickey Newbury in his 1971 hit of the same name. His song frames this witticism in romantically personal terms, but the insight has broad applicability ...

American Storyteller

What makes American life meaningful? Apple products? Cat videos? Torrential pornography? The prospect of a lavish retirement? The senior prom? Forestalling your plunge into poverty? Prescription ...

Last Comic Standing

Why is a good novel like a joke? Before you think too hard, relax: there’s no single punch line here. I’m simply drawing attention to what might be a fruitful comparison. Like a joke, a good novel ...