Category Archives: Literature

Postmortem: Jane Austen and Repealing the Affordable Care Act

By Susan Celia Greenfield

For now, it appears the Republican Senators’ attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act is dead. But key provisions (like cost-sharing reductions for insurers) remain in doubt, Vice President Pence has said, “We won’t rest until we end […] ObamaCare,” and Trump still wants to sabotage the law.  In July, the vast majority of Republican Senators were prepared to do just that. Continue reading

Christine Granados Brings Together Mexican-American Writers for a Literary Pachanga at the Historic Tia Chucha’s

By Pamela Avila

On the 4th of July, Christine Granados landed in the San Fernando Valley with her latest collection, Fight Like A Man and Other Stories We Tell Our Children. The Southern California leg of her book tour included a reading at Skylight Books on July 5 and another at Tía Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore in Sylmar on July 8. At Tía Chucha’s, she was joined by Jesus Treviño, Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Andrea Gutierrez, and Alyssa Granados.   Continue reading

Conversing with Thoreau: An Interview with Laura Dassow Walls

By Bob Blaisdell

Laura Dassow Walls is an English professor at the University of Notre Dame and the author of The Passage to Cosmos: Alexander von Humboldt and the Shaping of America, Seeing New Worlds: Henry David Thoreau and Nineteenth-Century Natural Science and Emerson’s Life in Science: The Culture of Truth. In this year that marks Thoreau’s 200th birthday, we exchanged emails about the writing of her new and first-rate biography, Henry David Thoreau: A Life. Continue reading

My Time Between Drivel and Inspiration: A Letter to Elie Wiesel from a Former Student

By Tom Stern

Dr. Elie Wiesel
New York, NY
July 23, 2016 

Dear Dr. Wiesel,

I don’t know how to do this. And I’m embarrassed to admit that. Because I am a writer. This we shared. And in ways that I suspect very few people do. Like a constant fever. And a compass. Somehow both at once. Even so, I simply don’t know how to articulate what it was that you taught me. Continue reading

How to Fall in Love with a Love Story

By Katy Hershberger 

My husband and I met at work, and for two years we kept our relationship a secret in the office. When we tell people that, they imagine it as exciting and sexy: sneaking around for in-office trysts. But in truth, hiding our relationship was stressful and annoying. We lied to our colleagues, stood in awkward silence in the elevator, locked down our Facebook privacy settings, and entreated friends and family to never post a photo of us together. But when people listen to the story, our lives become most interesting as a Secret Office Romance, less so as just our lives. The reality isn’t always the best story. Continue reading

Barret Baumgart: Navigating Climate Change with a Map of Dead Ends

By Landon Bates

I first met Barret Baumgart in 2007, when we were both undergraduates at U.C. Berkeley. Years later, when I was entering the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program, Barret had just graduated from it. He was waist-deep in the writing of this book. I’d sometimes see him around Iowa City in the evenings, after he’d spent 12 or 14 hours at his computer, having eaten little more than rice covered in barbeque sauce. He’d seem both rundown and wired, high from some discovery he’d made during the day’s research. The product of this labor is China Lake: A Journey Into the Contradicted Heart of a Global Climate Catastrophe. Continue reading

How Fan Yusu Wrote Dignity Back Into Migrants’ Lives

By Ting Guo

Last month, an article written by a migrant worker named Fan Yusu went viral  on Chinese social media. The piece, titled simply “I Am Fan Yusu,” was published by Beijing-based new media outlet NoonStory and recounts Fan’s family life in a small northern Chinese village, as well as her own story of running away to the southern island province of Hainan, returning home, and becoming a country teacher — all by the age of 12 years old. Continue reading

10 Ways to Celebrate Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

By Sarah Maugaotega

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month was first celebrated in May of 1990. Since then, the achievements and contributions by these communities have been commemorated each year. An important part of any culture are the stories, legends, and tales that have been carried from generation to generation, which stand as the cornerstone of these cultures and reflect the different histories that have shaped the communities into what they are today. Below is a list of 10 books to read this month (or any month), to learn the history and stories of Asians and Pacific Islanders, and celebrate the authors that write them. Continue reading

Why America Needs A Series of Unfortunate Events Now More than Ever

By AnnaLiese Burich

In today’s political climate, it seems inevitable that the unfortunate can — and will — happen: every day, some fresh horror makes headlines. Trump, in his short time in office, has threatened public school systems, the Affordable Care Act, our already tenuous relationships with other countries. And, worst of all, there is nothing that us innocent civilians can do about it — no matter how unfair it seems. Continue reading

Eerie Changes in Emotional Timbre: Adam Morris on Translating João Gilberto Noll

By Nathan Scott McNamara

Brazilian writer João Gilberto Noll’s Atlantic Hotel is a surreal journey — by bus, foot, and wheelchair — around southern Brazil. The pages fly past in this short novel; the narrator travels from a murder scene in a hotel, to the beach, to a brothel, and through an apocalyptic storm, before waking up to the amputation of his own leg. And that’s just in the first half of this 140-page book. Continue reading