Beyond Dystopia

A woman revisits the detention center where she and other Muslim/Arab-Americans were interned to retrieve her dead brother's property in Omar El Akkad's "Riverbed." A contemporary bruja carves out a new society with her lover in Mexico, one where brainwashed American soldiers may find respite from the atrocities they've committed, in Lizz Huerta's "The Wall." … Continue reading Beyond Dystopia

The Wheelhouse Project: Significant Jumps in Time—Brit Bennett’s ‘The Vanishing Half’

*Light spoilers for The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett* When done well, I love a novel that jumps forward significantly in time with each chapter, often giving us a different characters' perspective as it goes along. This technique functions as a way to look at the novel's facets from different angles, turning the characters and … Continue reading The Wheelhouse Project: Significant Jumps in Time—Brit Bennett’s ‘The Vanishing Half’

How to Read More Short Stories (or Essays or Poems or Other Short Form Pieces)

James Joyce's "The Dead" changed how I think about people and human relationships. One of my favorite Tales of Teaching comes from when I taught Ursula LeGuin's "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" to 40 undergraduates. Just the other night, after having finished the Shirley Jackson biopic Shirley, I read the entirety of "The … Continue reading How to Read More Short Stories (or Essays or Poems or Other Short Form Pieces)

Shape Change: For George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery

"I don't think things are getting worse, I think they are getting uncovered." —adrienne maree brown, Pleasure Activism "None of us knows enough, but we can't let that stop us." —Ruth King, Mindful of Race I pick up a book called The Crying Book because reviewers praised it and I tend to appreciate prose written … Continue reading Shape Change: For George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery