Tag: Violence

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 ...

Shakespeare in 2016

Over the last four centuries, we’ve reinvented Shakespeare to suit our purposes, much as Shakespeare borrowed from his past to do the same.1 2016 commemorates the four hundredth anniversary of ...

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 ...

Impunity

Human skin turns the color of lead as the body loses blood. It’s one of the physical signs, perceivable at plain sight in a homicide victim, marking the boundary between life and death. Another is ...

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 ...

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 ...

Streetwise in Weimar

Scholars of Weimar Germany have long wrestled with the fact that this period of unparalleled innovation in intellectual and cultural life was a time of economic and social crisis, brought to a close ...

How Other Halves Live

In disciplines ranging from philosophy to computer science, the term “black box” describes a system that cannot be understood internally, by how it works, but only externally, in terms of its inputs ...

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 ...

Famine Fiction

Betraying friends. Trading sex for food. Devouring human flesh. All of these occurred during the famine that followed China’s Great Leap Forward (1958–1961), and all of them ...

On Spectacle and Silence

The spectacle is not a collection of images; rather, it is a social relationship between people that is mediated by images. —Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle   1 We sat on the couch ...

Love and Death in Indian Country

At its core, David Treuer’s latest novel is a tale of unrequited love and random violence. The stuff of melodrama, to be sure, but in Treuer’s skillful, multi-vocal telling, neither love nor death ...

The Body Always Remembers

In a recent article in the Atlantic, Leslie Jamison discusses the memoirist’s responsibility to investigate the events of his or her past on the page rather than merely confess to them.1 She writes ...

Canine Control

Kornél Mundruczó’s White God has one of those premises that feels unique but also strangely inevitable: a mixed-breed dog named Hagen, abused by everyone except the 13-year-old girl who loved him ...

Marlon James’s Savage Business

The irony in the title of Marlon James’s new novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, is twofold. For one, this 686-page book is far from brief. On the contrary, it is a raucous, nearly ...