On Crises and Middles

Ever feel “fair-to-middling”? In The Curator, L.L. Barkat ruminates on “middles”: Middle places can be unsettling. I wrote a whole novella I now look upon as a “middle” book. I wrote it at the same time I was fiddling with beginnings. And, oddly enough, I started the novella with the words, “The End.” The End is a logical place [Read More...]

A Doubter in the Holy Land

In The New York Times, the writer and literary critic Maud Newton – who was raised in a fervently religious household and now describes her own religious views as “uncertain” – writes about visiting the Holy Land: When I was young, my mother had a feverish conversion and started a church in our living room. I’d [Read More...]

Man Vs. Corpse

One of my favorite writers, Zadie Smith, has a piece in the New York Review of Books on art, corpses, and the problem with a culture full of people who can’t visualize their own bodies once they die: A persistent problem for artists: How can I insist upon the reality of death, for others, and for myself? [Read More...]

In Sickness, In Health

I spotted two articles recently about vocation . . . and illness. At Good Letters, Paige Eve Chant wrote about “how to write in a sick person’s body“: At first, I thought I might keep it a secret, this new disease, because privacy is a long-lost treasure in this world. I was eager to set [Read More...]


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