Rekindle

What I Learned from Maxine Hong Kingston

I told Kingston how much her book meant to me as a half-Chinese woman, as a writer. It showed me my own life was worthy of examination, even exaltation.

Dec 04, 2017
Where the Stars Are Strange: J. R. R. Tolkien and Me

“The best books show us who we were when we first read them, who we are now, and who we may yet become.”

Oct 03, 2017
On Cruising a Writer’s Oeuvre

“By reading the debut texts of the writers whose books I’ve at one point set down, I tried to find my way further into the work.”

On Reading Hunter S. Thompson’s “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72” in 2017

“There are those who fail to realize how deeply Thompson cared about his country. He was a product of it.”

Aug 18, 2017
How to Read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s ‘Americanah’

“I am three days aged in Lagos and cry as my fingers turn the first page.”

Aug 15, 2017
The Threat Within: Harry Potter and the Cultural Baggage of Orphan Stories

“Unlike most popular orphan characters, I wasn’t too young to remember my parents.”

Jun 26, 2017
Raymond Briggs and Me; or, The Banality of Evil for Children

Briggs didn’t create the monster lurking under the bed, he just told us it was there.

Jun 16, 2017
Reading Underwater: Reckoning With Myself as a Woman of Color Amid a White Literary World

“My reading trajectory hadn’t equipped me with how I saw myself.”

Jun 13, 2017
I Was a Seventh-Grade Book Censor

“Through books, the best parts of me could breathe and be seen. No boy was going to fuck that up for me.”

May 01, 2017
Looking for Anne of Green Gables

A fan-pilgrim expects to find a special world, a sense of belonging. I just wasn’t sure what I’d find on Anne’s island.

Apr 25, 2017
On Power Between Women: The Handmaid’s Tale Revisited

We know the damage of othering. What about the ravages of Same-ing?

Apr 20, 2017
A Soulful Novel and Me: On Zora Neale Hurston

“Their Eyes Were Watching God is a timeless novel that shows us the resilience of the human spirit.”

Feb 23, 2017
An Unbearable Tension: On James Baldwin and the Nation of Islam

“As a child, I swallowed the Nation’s ideology as easily as the Harlem residents Baldwin observed.”

Jan 24, 2017
The Body Has Teeth: On Stephen King and Stand By Me

“If I were writing a book about a movie, it would be Stand By Me.”

Jan 06, 2017
Annie Dillard, Azzy, and Me: On Motherhood and Loss

“I was left dazed and sad and missing my cat while tending to a newborn.”

Dec 21, 2016
Ernest Hemingway and Me: Reflections of an Insomniac Writer

“Insomnia is the bitter digestif to a long day of living.”

Nov 30, 2016
Elena Ferrante and Me: An Irrational Essay

“I felt betrayed. Not because she was no longer anonymous; I had never cared about that. But because she is not Elena.”

Nov 18, 2016
Elegy for a Journeyman

Author Frank M. Robinson shamelessly proselytized great literature he loved.

Nov 16, 2016
Under Threat of the Really Big One

“You pick your tragedy and aim for that. I chose earthquake.”

Oct 13, 2016
The Wife Monsters and Me

Why are ambitious wives in novels figured as dumb or evil or both?

Sep 19, 2016