Is there a writing life than can safely dispense with categories like identity and commitment, which count so much in how we live now?
Lives & Histories
Past Editor: Deborah Cohen
Magnificent Wreck: Samuel Taylor Coleridge at 250
How to interpret Coleridge’s voluminous patchwork of triumphs, fragments, stolen snippets, and unrealized plans? Does any larger pattern emerge?
“Once It Is Written, It Is Forgotten”: Kate Zambreno on Hervé Guibert
“So I must begin again, when I only have months left to write it.”
Homeland Security Theater
These new DHS-funded graphic novels want to train citizens to be critical readers of all kinds of information, except their own propaganda.
Small Nations, Big Feelings
In the 1930s, Americans fell in love with Czechoslovakia and Spain; today, it’s Ukraine. What happens when one finds a “second mother country”?
The War with Inflation and the Confederacy
During the Civil War, the Lincoln administration demonstrated that a progressive agenda and effective anti-inflationary measures could overlap.
“The War Conquers You Not Only Physically”: Darya Tsymbalyuk on Plants and Humans in Ukraine
“Love and Beauty Their Prison”: Talking with Carolyn Dever on Michael Field
“The diary has challenged every category of literary analysis for me.”
My Mother’s Book, My Grandmother’s Life
“I always thought that the challenge of writing my grandmother’s story was capturing her singular voice. Rereading her emails, I remember why.”
“We All Belong to the Same War”
Female journalists in Vietnam returned, like the soldiers, nursing wounds that their countries would refuse to acknowledge.
Ditching the “New Yorker” Voice
“What does it mean to self-narrate? What does self-insight look like?”
Can We Repair the Past?
For the righting of historical wrongs, to simply transfer property continues to perpetuate violence. True reparations require far more work.
Hiding in Plain Sight: Talking Aquifer Depletion with Lucas Bessire
“The everyday ways that people challenge environmental destruction can be quite powerful.”
Thy Face Tomorrow
What does it take to live without the ability to smile or move half of one’s face? For that matter, what does it take to live at all?
Reading Patients, Writing Care
A palliative-care physician’s memoir foregrounds the affective aspects of attending to patients as an avenue to political activism.
Longing for the Writer’s Space
How should readers and scholars look on the tangible traces writers leave behind?
E. B. White’s “Plain Style” @75
It might seem self-evident that White the author practiced what Strunk and White the style gurus preached, but the truth is more complicated.
Surviving Hard Times with al-Hariri
Forget traditional “heroes.” The protagonists of some centuries-old stories are social climbers and tricksters, even cheats and cowards.
Karen Carpenter’s Afterlives
Everyone knows that feeling when a song—written by someone else in some other place or time—sees you so completely in the present. But how does that happen?
“There’s a passage early on in Book 2 that’s so smug, so macho (in a literary way), that’s so—ugh! I can’t explain it.”