Tag: Trauma

The Model-Minority Bubble

Perhaps the most famous shopping trip in American literature can be found in Don DeLillo’s 1985 novel White Noise. Wounded by a colleague’s unflattering assessment of his appearance, Jack Gladney ...

Louise Erdrich’s Hard Facts

Early on in Louise Erdrich’s most recent novel, LaRose, the priest on the reservation articulates a worldview that encapsulates an enduring theme of this novelist’s work: “some people would try their ...

“The Sandman” at 200

In 1816, only four years after the Brothers Grimm brought out a collection of fairy tales carefully selected and edited for the use of children, E. T. A. Hoffmann published his “Nutcracker and Mouse ...

The Afterlife of Agent Orange

“All wars are fought twice,” writes Viet Thanh Nguyen in Nothing Ever Dies, “the first time on the battlefield, the second time in memory.” Even decades after the first war ends, the second war can ...

Tales of the Interwar

Today, the once-provocative suggestion that we live in an age of interminable warfare has become a truism. The claim often takes the form of an observation about the post-9/11 syndrome that drives an ...

Disability Narratives

Ask most people living with a disability to name their least favorite question and “what happened to you?” will be high on the list. “Wanting to educate yourself about disability and learn more is ...

Live Through This

I used to refer to my dark times as the IWTDs, when the mental refrain I want to die so dominated my thoughts that I took to writing the acronym in the margins of books I was reading. It was a huge ...

Sex, Violence, and “The Vegetarian”

The verdict is in. Han Kang’s The Vegetarian has not only received glowing praise from British and American literary supplements; it has become the first Korean novel to be shortlisted for a Booker ...

Orange Alert

In our post-9/11 era, the phrase “national security” has become all too familiar. A simple Google search yields over 361,000,000 results, ranging from the National Security Council homepage to op-eds ...

Life After Wartime

Fisher House looks like any other suburban American home: a well-manicured lawn; a kitchen stocked with Girl Scout cookies, Maseca, and ice cream; a living room with a flat-screen TV and children’s ...

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 ...

Sexuality, Counterfactually

Larry Kramer’s The American People, Volume 1: Search for My Heart is not all that interested in the history of sexuality. At first glance this might seem an odd assertion to make about a novel that ...

Modiano’s Memoryscapes

Patrick Modiano’s reputation as a writer of wartime Paris was sealed in 2014 by the Nobel Prize, which recognized him “for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies ...”

The Stranger’s Voice

The Sympathizer, Viet Thanh Nguyen’s riveting debut novel, is a chronicle of war wrapped in a spy thriller and tucked inside a confession. It is also a political satire, a send-up of Hollywood, and a ...

China at World’s End

In a galaxy far away, but close enough, an intelligent alien civilization finally realizes that its planet orbits around three suns instead of one. They face the classic three-body problem of ...