Literary Hub11 min read
Group Sex Therapy at the Local Synagogue?
Ruthie, a professional sex educator, was trying to help us out a bit. “Get into groups of three or four,” she instructed us, “and describe a significant spiritual experience you’ve had. Describe what it felt like. Then look for where your stories use
Literary Hub7 min read
How I Learned To Write Dialogue By Reviewing Police Complaints
“Did you see the badge number or nameplate of the officer who hit you?” I heard myself say as I played back the interview tape. “No.” As the tinny reply sounded in my headphones, I could picture the speaker, a white guy in his early thirties, chubby
Literary Hub7 min read
Meet The Winners Of The National Magazine Award For Fiction
Timothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern was recently named the winner of the 2019 National Magazine Award for Fiction. McSweeney’s was recognized for three pieces from Issue 53—“Skinned” by Lesley Nneka Arimah, “Vinegar on the Lips of Girls” by Julia D
Literary Hub10 min readSociety
How Jamaica Kincaid Helped Me Understand My Mother
For two decades, my mother told me stories about going to a convent in Grenada. “It was where I learnt manners,” she would say, smiling. Her own mother, a grand woman from Curaçao who had married a Dominican man during the shipwreck chaos of the Seco
Literary Hub5 min readPsychology
Oceanic Feeling, After Christchurch
After Jackie Wang and David Lau I. My brother says the “first siren comes, then three more. Then five. Then, they don’t stop. Every siren in Christchurch. Thirty minutes, only sirens. A pause, then they resume, heading in a second direction. II. I’m
Literary Hub12 min read
Against Catharsis: Writing is Not Therapy
I heard the boy scream before I saw him. Walking 125th Street, alone, I heard him cry out. Mom, he screamed. Mommy, please. The street was dark; the winter drafts wicked. I spun around to find the boy, no older than six, standing outside a Volvo stat
Literary Hub4 min readPolitics
Will China’s Ever-Growing Digital Firewall Wreck the Internet?
The calls to join the demonstration went out on WhatsApp and social media. But as thousands of Zimbabweans took to the streets to object to a sharp spike in fuel prices, defying tear gas and a heavy police presence, their accounts went dark. The inte
Literary Hub4 min read
The Mobile Book Cart That Began on Instagram
Margot’s favorite book on her mom’s cart is Pearl S. Buck’s The Time Is Noon. It’s green, and she’s not-quite-two years old—so a pretty color is enough of a reason to choose a favorite book. Her mom, Brittany Bond, prefers anything by Doris Lessing.
Literary Hub9 min read
Charles Simic and Barry Lopez, on a Roadtrip, 1972
The following interview took place at night, in the back seat of Charles Simic’s Volkswagen on Interstate 5 in Oregon. Mrs. Simic was driving and the Simics’ five year oId daughter, Nicki, was asleep in the front seat. Mr. Simic had just finished a r
Literary Hub4 min read
The Lesser Known Life Behind‘The Yellow Wallpaper’
“The color is repellent, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight.” “There is a recurrent spot where the pattern lolls like a broken neck and two bulbous eyes stare at you upside down.” “But in the
Literary Hub7 min read
Roger McNamee, Advisor to Mark Zuckerberg, on Facebook’s Infancy
Roger McNamee is the guest on this week’s Otherppl. His new book Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe, is a New York Times bestseller, available from Penguin Press. McNamee has been a Silicon Valley investor for 35 years. He co-founded succe
Literary Hub3 min read
Not All Writers Can Afford Rooms of Their Own
Since I write about women and literature in Zagreb, I must retitle A Room of One’s Own as Someone Else’s Property. I don’t stroll through an Oxbridge quad for inspiration, rather I wrest it from the internet in someone else’s kitchen that hasn’t been
Literary Hub14 min read
Fiction/Non/Fiction: March Madness Edition
In this episode of the Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast, novelist Marcus Burke and sportswriter Shira Springer discuss writing and basketball with hosts V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell. As March Madness arrives in full force, we talk buzzy topics
Literary Hub16 min read
Aldous Huxley Foresaw America’s Pill-Popping Addiction with Eerie Accuracy
While it would have been completely unthinkable for Mike and Carol Brady to light up a joint or get rip-roaring drunk on screen, the very first episode of the first season of The Brady Bunch (1969) unproblematically opens with the couple, the very pa
Literary Hub7 min read
Andrea Dworkin’s Argument Against Punctuation
this text has been altered in one very serious way. I wanted it to be printed the way it was written—lower case letters, no apostrophes, contractions. I like my text to be as empty as possible, only necessary punctuation is necessary, when one knows
Literary Hub3 min read
Reading Women: The Australian Episode, Part II
Reading Women is a weekly podcast where women discuss books by or about women. Each month features two episodes on the same theme—one highlighting a range of titles and one discussing two titles more in depth—and two author interviews with talented w
Literary Hub7 min read
Announcing the 2019 Whiting Award Winners
On the 34th anniversary of the Whiting Awards, the Whiting Foundation gives $50,000 each to ten diverse emerging writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. The winners are honored today, March 20, 2019, at a ceremony at the New York Historica
Literary Hub1 min read
‘The Idea of Others’A Poem by Brenda Shaughnessy
An animal is scritching in the wall behind my bed. At first I thought it was some kind of water crackling in a heating pipe but what kind of water stops when you thump the wall? I don’t mean to be mean, I mean to make it scurry off, to send it to scr
Literary Hub5 min read
Kristen Arnett’s Lifehacks: How to Get to Inbox Zero
Welcome back, friends! Today we’re having an intervention about digital hoarding. Yes, grab a drink. We’re gonna be here for a hot minute. Got an avalanche of emails in your inbox? Probably. Listen, I know this is a thing. It’s an internet meme at th
Literary Hub5 min read
Writing Poetry to Find a Father Worth Grieving
My brother is a soldier in an Army special forces unit. When he drives between Fort Bragg and his girlfriend’s Massachusetts dorm, he sleeps on an air mattress in my kitchen. Last time he came through, we sat up late trading stories about our father.
Literary Hub4 min read
Learning From Carolyn Forché’s Fearlessness
Halfway through What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance, the American poet Carolyn Forché finds herself alone on a Salvadoran coffee farm while Leonel, the man who has summoned her to his country, is off attending to his myste
Literary Hub4 min read
What I Wish My Children Could Learn From My Rural Upbringing
I was born and raised in the distances of eastern Montana, on a hay and sheep ranch along the Musselshell River, just north of the Bull Mountains. It was a far, hard country, and we organized our days and nights around the work the land demanded. I w
Literary Hub11 min read
James Baldwin: ‘I Never Intended to Become an Essayist’
As essayist, James Baldwin has written about life in Harlem, Paris, Atlanta; about Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Jimmie Carter; and about Richard Wright, Lorraine Hansberry, Norman Mailer. In examining contemporary culture, he has turned his attenti
Literary Hub9 min read
The Island That Inspired Conrad and Lawrence’s Queerest Characters
In the autumn of 1904, after Joseph Conrad had published Nostromo to disappointing reviews, and with his always precarious financial situation vitiated by an operation for his wife, Jessie, he abandoned England to spend the winter in Capri, motivated
Literary Hub5 min read
The World is Wrecking Our Hearing and We’re Letting It
I first met Lara three weeks after the morning she awoke to the sounds of “whooshing and jingle bells.” For a couple of weeks she had been noticing these sounds intermittently, but by the time she walked into a tinnitus support group meeting in a sub
Literary Hub11 min read
How Japan Almost Lost a National Symbol to Extinction
Every major step of my life started with cherry blossoms, as it does for most Japanese people. Japan is a nation where, contrary to Western habit, many significant beginnings occur in April, when the school and government years start and companies we
Literary Hub1 min read
‘Some Transcendent Addiction to the Useless,’A Poem by Kay Ryan
–George Steiner, The Poetry of Thought Unlike the work of most people you’re supposed to unthread the needle. It will be a lifetime task, far from simple: the empty eye achievable— possibly—but it’s going to take fake sewing worthy of Penelope. origi
Literary Hub6 min read
The Enduring Appeal of Literary Tricksters
In literature and myth, tricksters are powerful figures. They’re clever, their lack of reverence for the status quo makes them dangerous to those empowered by societal norms, and their shamelessness is often a clarifying antidote to internalized oppr
Literary Hub9 min read
Patriarchy and Politics in Idaho After Trump’s Election
On a November morning in 2016, the morning after the election, I was alone in the Western Oregon house I share with my husband, still in a bed that’s wedged in an upstairs eave. Blankets were heaped on top of me and I sunk my head into a pillow. I fl
Literary Hub5 min read
“Go With What’s Alive” and Other Writing Advice from Philip Roth
Philip Roth, one of the most important writers of the last century, would have been 86 years old today. He was prolific, much-lauded, much-loved (by some), and much-derided (by others)—but whatever you think of him, it’s hard to come up with another
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