In our morning reading: thoughts on Esmé Weijun Wang’s new book, interviews with Susan Choi and Jonathan Larson, and more.
Afternoon Bites: Patrick Chamoiseau, William Boyle Nonfiction, Joseph Scapellato, Michelle Zauner’s Memoir, and More
In our afternoon reading: thoughts on books by Patrick Chamoiseau and Alicia Kopf, new nonfiction by William Boyle, and more.
Morning Bites: Ursula K. Le Guin Poetry, James Baldwin, Deborah Eisenberg Interviewed, Elisa Gabbert, and More
In our morning reading: new poetry by Ursula K. Le Guin, revisiting James Baldwin’s book for younger readers, and much more.
Memory Palace by Ashley P. Taylor Note: All names have been changed. “What’s your necklace?” people often ask me, along with where I’m from and do I have any siblings. It so happens that the gold pendant is where I’m from: Mount Desert Island, Maine (specifically, Bar Harbor). My mom and I each have an island pendant. We got them some time before we moved away, to Kentucky, but I only started wearing mine once I’d left. That was half […]
Pollyanna Problems: On Katharine Butler Hathaway’s The Little Locksmith and the Pitfalls of Excessive Optimism
Pollyanna Problems: On Katharine Butler Hathaway’s The Little Locksmith and the Pitfalls of Excessive Optimism by Ashley P. Taylor I. Two Pollyannas To be “a Pollyanna” is a complicated thing. According to Merriam-Webster, a Pollyanna is “a person characterized by irrepressible optimism and a tendency to find good in everything.” The original Pollyanna, the protagonist in Eleanor H. Porter’s 1913 novel of that name, suffers endless bad luck but copes by playing “the glad game,” which consists of finding reasons […]
In our weekend reading: revisiting work by José Saramango, magazine parodies, punk history, and much more.
Temporary Steps by Ashley P. Taylor The steps leading up to our columned porch were too steep, my mom said. Elderly guests might have trouble climbing them, could fall descending them. And they were ugly: planks painted the green of the house’s porch and roof. The handrail began flush with the first step so that to grab it, you had to lean out over the stairs you were trying not to fall down. Plus, the porch steps were always supposed […]
In our afternoon reading: Ben Lerner on Gerald Murnane, interviews with Janice Lee and Diamanda Galás, and more.