By the time I was 16, I had lost all my grandparents. As a child, these deaths never made sense, never added up to anything, other than loss. Sudden or pulverizingas the inexorable crush of Alzheimers on my paternal grandfather and those who loved him, watching him disappear into haze, dependence, a nursing home, and then the hospital.
Azar Nafisi grew up in a middle-class Iranian family under the Shah. As a young girl, she romanticized America based on the ideals, energy, and aspirations celebrated in Americas best books, music, films, and art. As an adult, Nafisi taught several Western novels under the Iranian theocracy that put a bounty on Salman Rushdies head.
The notion of burning in hell doesnt get as much play in our broader culture as it once did. Still, we all have our own version of hell, and we might spend more time there than wed like.
Marina Petrova sits down with Marie-Helene Bertino, The author of 2 A.M. at The Cats Pajamas. Its a hot, hot afternoon in August. But It is a dark, dark seven A.M. on Christmas Eve Eve in Philadelphia when the book opens and the city is being cold and a bit hostile to its inhabitants. The novel follows the lives of three characters over a span of 24 hours. Nine-year-old Madeleine is an aspiring jazz singer, with a recently deceased mother, a mouth of a sailor, a cockroach-infested apartment, and a father who is so stricken by grief he cannot get out of bed.
French critic and photographer Hervé Guiberts journal, The Mausoleum of Lovers, begins in 1976 and ends in 1991, with the writers death from AIDS.
I first met Claudia La Rocco in 2009, when I took her Writing on Dance class at what was then Dance Theater Workshop. The course began from the simple premise, a revelation to me at the time, that criticism is an art form in itself.
Snow in May, Kseniya Melniks debut short fiction collection, is an impressive feat. Written in masterful prose, the nine stories span 50 years with protagonists both male and female, young and old. And although they are stand-alone pieces, some characters make multiple appearances, threading their way though the tales, rendering the book somewhere in between a story collection and a novel.
First encounter with Blake Butlers new novel may leave you dazzled, yet also disoriented, and if so youll find a point of reckoning in Roberto Bolanos 2666.
In the winter of 1912, when Ezra Pound, Hilda Doolittle, and Richard Aldington initiated their Imagist movement in Poetry Review, one of their chief objectives was to make every object equal. It was sensation via simplicity, direct treatment of the thingwhatever that thing might be.
Everyone moves, carries stuff, backpacks, gym bags, but mostly some idea of themselves."
It begins the same way: a respectable young woman living an ideal life in Manhattanthat perfectly nice apartment and absolutely suitable job and routines and husband who didnt do anything completely awfuldisappears from her home in the middle of the day.
In his debut collection of stories and poems, I Am Ready to Die a Violent Death, mercurial author/Internet meme Heiko Julien muses about everything from the flavor of porcelain (one of his favorites) to the state of the American dream in the 21st century (I am an American and my truck was built by God).
Wendy C. Ortizs new memoir, Excavation, is a beautifully wrought unearthing of the complicated power dynamics that emerged between herself and her English teacher, Jeff Ivers, during a years-long affair that began when she was in 8th grade.
How could I feel / what wasnt there? James Tolan writes as doubting Thomas in his two-part poem, Carravaggios Thomas. This confrontation with palpable absence is a recurrent theme in Mass of the Forgotten, Tolans first book of poems.
As the daughter of a respected rabbi, Leah Vincent was born into a world that worshiped messiahs, men, and modesty in suburban Pittsburg. A middle child in a Yeshivish family of 13 devoted to an ultra-orthodox sect of Judaism, Vincent writes, I had been groomed to handle menGod, my father, my future husbandwith relentless worship.