Expanding the Black Canon

“She got off the train, thinking that she never felt really human until she reached Harlem and thus got away from the hostility in the eyes of the white women who started at her on the downtown streets and in the subway. Escaped from the openly appraising looks of the white men whose eyes seemedContinue reading “Expanding the Black Canon”

The Art of the Short Story

“What’s your field?” I asked. “Daisies,” he said. “I happen to be in the field of daisies.” What an answer! How often does one meet, in this black place, a man, woman, or child who can think up a pastoral reply like that? Grace Paley, “Faith in a Tree” I’ve been working on short storiesContinue reading “The Art of the Short Story”

Postwar Classics

“They are stripping from me, she said subvocally — feeling like a fluttering curtain in a very high window, moving up then out over the abyss — they are stripping away, one by one, my men.” Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 Both Franny and Zooey and The Crying of Lot 49 have beenContinue reading “Postwar Classics”

Struggling Marriages

“To her husband she was understanding, even affectionate, though they slept as if there were an agreement between them; not so much as a foot ever touched. There was an agreement, it was marriage.” -James Salter, Light Years I read Light Years by James Salter and Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue for my writingContinue reading “Struggling Marriages”

The Female Persuasion

Faith was one of those people, Greer had started to see, who was seductive to almost everyone. -Meg Wolitzer, The Female Persuasion I read The Female Persuasion out of curiosity. It’s been on a table in the bookstore for a while, and I wanted to know if it was worth recommending. I don’t think itContinue reading “The Female Persuasion”

Recommended Books

I like to try books that people recommend to me because I’d never pick them out myself. These two were recommended by one of my managers at the bookstore. I’d never heard of Claire Messud, and I’d heard of Alan Hollinghurst, but he wasn’t high up on my list of authors to try.