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pop culture

1000 Serpentinen Angst

I highly recommend the debut novel by Olivia Wenzel.

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poetry

The Nickel Boys

“The white boys bruised differently than the black boys and called it the Ice Cream Factory because you came out with bruises of every color. The black boys called it the White House because that was its official name and it fit and didn’t need to be embellished. The White House delivered the law and […]

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Zadie Smith’s Swing Time

I liked, but did not love this book. The book begins with failure. Or “my humiliation” as the narrator, a young woman, puts it. The young woman has been sent back to London by some unknown employer. She is hiding in considerable affluence and is tasked with avoiding the public, not to escalate a situation. […]

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Started reading Octavia E. Butler’s “Parabel of the Talents” on a whim today, and what can I say – it’s eerily scary.

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Language is always in a process, a la the philosophy of Bergson, of motion and evolution. To write in English means to write in a language that expands. A language in perpetual bloom Who Gets to Decide What Counts as “English”?  Gabrielle Bellot on Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan’s debut novel Sarong Party Girls, Englishes, and decolonizing […]

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I wanted the book to do what novels generally do: tell a story. Ophelia has one of the play’s most powerful lines: “Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be.” My attempt was to give her something of what she may be. Also, and again quite aside from the constraint, here […]

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“The Handmaid’s Tale is more relevant today, we’re further down the track.”

Margaret Atwood sat down for a great interview with Literary Hub’s Grant Munroe. They talked about the Hulu series based on The Handmaid’s Tale, Donald Trump, Salem witch trials, paper books and vinyl coming back, birds and housecats, and her numerous projects, including an upcoming novel based on Shakespear’s The Tempest.  Here is just one […]

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Interviewer: You once said that “those things about which we cannot theorize, we must narrate.” Umberto Eco: It is a tongue-in-cheek allusion to a sentence by Wittgenstein. […] I simply believe that at the end of the day a story is always richer—it is an idea reshaped into an event, informed by a character, and sparked […]

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Done with my exam and degree o/ Let the reading for fun begin!

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Black Children Matter

I basically inhaled Toni Morrison’s new novel God Help the Child because it left me breathless. It’s a short novel, but it  is so rich in everything: Language, narrative perspectives, themes, settings, characters. The prose is poetic, not as in lovely-beautiful but as in dense with emotional and intellectual heft. Characters and themes are true […]