In which I discuss the skinny volumes which accompany me on my travels, while the heavier volumes (like Stephen King's It and an omnibus of Shirley Jackson's short works) remain at home. On a late August afternoon, I'm taking the Queen Street streetcar, in the stretch between Beach and Parliament,
The dead fuel Jesmyn Ward's novels. She feels the weight of their stories; she shoulders them, shares them. In Sing, Unburied, Sing, their chorus of voices - even in the epigraphs but also in the novel - reverberates between and beyond the covers. Ward's are heart-shattering stories. But they
These are the kinds of stories which expose the imperfections which lie beneath a carefully smoothed comforter. Honest characterization is key, Lisa McInerney explains to Marie Gethins,: "There is absolutely no element or aspect of their characters’ lives a writer should shy away from presenting, no matter how unpleasant.
Reading this story might change your reading life forever. That's what happened to Peter Orner, whose essay on Mavis Gallant's stories is mesmerizing: "The Way Vivid, Way Underappreciated Short Stories of Mavis Gallant", published in The Atlantic's "By Heart" series. "The first story I read is called 'The Ice Wagon
In which I discuss the skinny volumes which accompany me on my travels, while the heavier volumes (like John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany and Callum Roberts' The Ocean of Life) remain at home. Juliane Okot Bitek was inspired to engage with the Rwanda Genocide in response to Kenyan-American artist