Max Ritvo passed away on August 23, 2016. Earlier this summer, he spoke with Sarah Blake about his debut collection Four Reincarnations, writing with and about cancer, and how language is a game. ...more
Married authors Anne Raeff and Lori Ostlund, both winners of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, discuss their craft, their process, and the way they negotiate the give and take involved in sharing a vocation. ...more
To lift the censorship, degradation, and foreclosure of girls’ fantasies, we may have to investigate the gendered limitations on how we think about early loves, impulses, celebrity crushes, and maybe, sexually stirring gentleman pirates....more
As I processed a dominant Euro-American writing pedagogy from the perspective of an aspiring fiction writer and an immigrant critic of color, I couldn’t stop wondering: are we, in 21st-century America, overvaluing a sight-based approach to storytelling? And could this be another case of cultural particularity masquerading itself as universal taste?
Now our gestures grow both more hurried and more delicate, we stand on one foot to remove a boot, take off our hats and jackets, as if for sex or prayer, exposing ourselves to each other and the officers, the officers our lovers and our prophets both.
VHS Starfield is a series of comics describing a fictional sci-fi film franchise from the 70s and 80s, exploring the ways such films affect and reflect deeper themes of culture, childhood, yearning, apocalypse, the future, and humanity’s place in the universe… Stuff like that.
This novel was an attempt for me to say: We cannot look away when something like this is happening. We can’t look away. We don’t get to. Because Ness doesn’t get to. She talks about those scars being actual physical representations of her past. The ghosts of her past made seeable. And if she has to live with it, then we have to look at it.
Roxane Gay is from the Midwest, but as a woman of color she feels like an outsider in the rural places she often inhabits. In an essay for Brevity, “Black in Middle America,” Gay examines reactions to her face in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a place so remote “my blackness was more curiosity than threat”, and in Illinois’s cornfields—somewhere blackness is more familiar but no more understood.
If the very rich were to admit that the society in which they live such lush lives is not only immoral but unnatural, it might demand, say, a massive redistribution of their wealth!
Over at Lit Hub, Colette Shade writes about Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth as an indictment of income inequality in Gilded Age America—distressingly relevant to our own age, despite the book sitting at 116 years old.
In an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert promoting his new book, Born to Run, the Boss listed his favorite songs by the Boss. Also, he explained why he puts the E Street Band through four-hour long marathon shows, and the chafing that comes with them, saying: “I’m here to take you out of time… I’m here to alter time and space and play with it myself and help you move in and out of things on any given evening.” Watch the Boss open up to Stephen Colbert after the jump. (more…)
Kaitlyn Greenidge, author most recently of We Love You, Charlie Freeman (Algonquin Books) provides her take on Lionel Shriver’s recent remarks at the Brisbane Writers’ Festival for the New York Times. Greenidge recalls writing her first novel in which there was an eighty-year-old Yankee heiress. “I was struck by an awful realization. I would have to love this monster into existence,” she writes. There comes along a responsibility when writing characters outside one’s own background. Characters need “a reason to exist besides morbid curiosity or a petulant delight.”
‘Banned books’ sounds like a thing of the past. But over at Lit Hub, Amy Brady details the ways that the fight against censorship continues in libraries and schools today:
If school administrators are attempting to limit even elective reading, what does the future hold for students who want access to all books, classic and contemporary—books that might broaden their understanding of the world? “The problem of book banning hasn’t gone away, and it probably won’t,” Finan laments. “There are always going to be struggles over the proper limits to free speech.”
Why is it that knowing how to remain alone in Paris for a year in a miserable room teaches a man more than a hundred literary salons and forty years’ experience of ‘Parisian life’?
Over at the Paris Review Daily, Alice Kaplan, author of the new biography Looking for the Stranger, writes about Albert Camus’s time in Paris, from the months he spent in a Montmartre hotel room toiling his way through the first draft of The Stranger to his return to report on and fight the German occupation.
First, in the Saturday Interview, Helga Schimkat talks to author Eden Robinson about silencing the inner voice of criticism. Robinson, whose award-winning novel Monkey Beach is set in British Columbia, emphasizes the sensory and emotional role of home in her work, saying, “Writing about your community is difficult for any writer. The push and pull of representing your world responsibly and your artistic license is a tricky balance.”
Then, in the Sunday Essay, writer and former Sunday Rumpus Editor Gina Frangello visits to Education and Hope, Julie Coyne’s non-profit dedicated to serving poor children in Guatemala. Frangello’s own crises—an ongoing divorce, ailing parents, and a diagnosis of breast cancer—frame the trip abroad and provide the fragments of hope needed as she passes “through her own needle’s head of pain and revelation.”
Finally, a special thank-you to Martha Bayne and Zoe Zolbrod for two wonderful years of Sunday Rumpus. Martha and Zoe have brought us stunning essays, amazing conversations between writers, and have become a part of The Rumpus family. We can’t wait to see what they’ll be doing next!
Women loving women is nothing new, and not a phase: in Hazel Newlevant’s comic at BuzzFeed, “Badass Bisexual Women In History You Should Know,” she walks through the personal lives of Josephine Baker, Virginia Woolf, and more as part of a conversation with her mother, who starts out with one opinion but seems open to another.
What does it mean to be carried away? To be captured, carried off, liberated? To lose control of oneself? Lerner doesn’t show concern for questions like these. More generally, The Hatred of Poetry takes little interest in the rarities of technique across a poet’s body of work and avoids questions about his or her sense of history.
Monday 9/26: Shake up the start of your week with a reading by Sarah Jaffe, author of Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt (Nation Books). Magers & Quinn. 7 p.m., free.
Tuesday 9/27: Intermedia Arts kicks off its eleventh season of the Queer Voices reading series, creating safe space for LGBTQIA+ writers and audiences. This month’s readers include Dale Gregory Anderson, Wendy Brown-Báez, Alan Lessik, and Ralph Winkelmeyer. Intermedia Arts. 7:30 p.m., free.
Wednesday 9/28: What happens when you amp the literary reading up to eleven? Literary Death Match is what happens. Complete with rock star sensibility, competition, and a head-to-head grand finale, LDM has made a name for itself as one of the most engaging live literary experiences in the country. This week LDM makes a stop in Minneapolis, where they’ll feature four writers, each reading for seven minutes. The two finalists will compete in a final round, and the champion will be crowned. Readers include Jim Walsh, Aby Wolf, Lara Mimosa Montes, and Safy-Hallan Farah. Nomad World Pub. 6:30-9 p.m. Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door.