Tag: Family

Mother Courage

The summer I turned 17, in the springboard pause between high school and university, I began working as a nurse aide in the geriatric rest home and hospital run by my mother.

Fathers of Empire

There is a moment early on in Hazel Carby’s Imperial Intimacies when she writes about the ways her mother Iris—as a Welsh woman—refused Englishness but still embraced Britishness. This is revealed in her mother’s dismay that ...

Imperial Couplings

Hazel Carby’s Imperial Intimacies explores the couple, and intimacy, as foundational historical categories in postcolonial and decolonial studies. At the heart of her narrative lie Carl, a Jamaican ...

Homing Empire

Family memoirs are a special kind of historical offering. They have the power to tell fine-grained stories of the past, of epochal events—wars, migrations, empires—and to intricately connect them to ...

Adoption Anxieties

Given the overall paucity of novels about interracial adoption, it is striking that no fewer than three were published in 2017. In general, reviewers warmly received Shanthi Sekaran’s Lucky Boy, Lisa ...

Japan’s Isolation 2.0

The taxi driver who took me from Tokyo train station to my hotel had turned his cell phone sideways, like a television, and propped it up on the dashboard of his car. He was watching a historical ...

Ireland’s Uneasy Monuments

“History,” writes Fergal Keane, “began with my father’s stories.” These were stories of Oliver Cromwell’s murders, of the dead of the Irish Famine, of wars of ...

Keyword of the Week: Mothers

It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday! If you know a mom who loves to read, send her this week’s Public Bookshelf. It features four of our favorite PB articles about motherhood, including a review of Alison ...

Lin-Manuel Meets “Moana”

Disney’s new animated film, Moana, with songs by Hamilton genius Lin-Manuel Miranda, arrived last weekend to great expectations. Would it keep Disney’s musical franchise afloat? Would it continue ...

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 ...

All About My Mother

In her canonical 1939 essay, “A Sketch of the Past,” Virginia Woolf wonders how a coherent past may be reconstructed from countless angles, styles, and past selves. How do we choose from so many ...

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 ...