Settlement: Bich Minh Nguyen’s Pioneer Girl

The iconic Little House on the Prairie series provides the framework for a Vietnamese immigrant family's experience of America.

Text Within the Text: Rachel Blau DuPlessis

“Thinking emerges in a real body,” DuPlessis writes, “ its secret room/ the secret space: it is the space, the secret/ of the past, but also of/ possibility, webby/and dangerous.”

The Previous Everyday: Nicola Griffith’s Hild

In her new novel, Griffith explores the power of minutiae through the fictionalized life of an early English saint.

A Reluctance to Cede Ground: Age and the Writing Life

Maxine Kumin, along with a score of other women writers, reflect on their careers, their gender, and the inevitable trials of time.


Text Within the Text: Rachel Blau DuPlessis

So I dismantled it. Mounted it and then dismantled it but its uncanniness its Nessie in Loch Ness-ness lurks and snuffles and sways. —Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Ledger 1 Rachel Blau DuPlessis’…


Settlement: Bich Minh Nguyen’s Pioneer Girl

It’s no accident that the hardcover design of Bich Minh Nguyen’s Pioneer Girl evokes Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House On The Prairie books. The font is large like a children’s book; the dust-jacket made…


A Reluctance to Cede Ground: Age and the Writing Life

“…so blow a kiss to this drowned world. The gods have spoken: yield.” —Maxine Kumin, “Going Down” In her introduction to A Story Larger Than My Own: Women Writers Look…


The Previous Everyday: Nicola Griffith’s Hild

In Reading in Detail: Aesthetics and the Feminine, Naomi Schor explores the connection between detail and female identity in art and literature. Schor argues that detail can be threatening in its…


Where There is Dust, There is Hope

At the half-way point of Kenya’s hotly-contested 2007 elections, the challenger Raila Odinga seemed poised to unseat President Mwai Kibaki. Odinga championed a host of Kenyan tribes who felt underrepresented…


The Impassive Listener: Rusty Morrison

A chainlink is an apt image for the way concepts and objects become a single edifice, the way objects and meaning create boundary and enclosure, the way perception becomes partition…


Of Grievance and Grief: Marilyn Chin

I first encountered Marilyn Chin’s poetry through a video clip from the San Diego Border Voices Poetry Festival. In the clip Chin—with her wild wavy hair and red lipstick—faces the…


Built of Voices: Kiese Laymon and Leigh Stein

Kiese Laymon and Leigh Stein do not appear to share much in the way of common experience. Laymon is a black man from Mississippi; Stein is a white half-Jewish woman…


6 Meditations Toward an Appreciation of Lynne Savitt

1. To Begin with Freud There’s a famous (or infamous, and possibly apocryphal) Sigmund Freud quote, which is also posthumously attributed and likely offhand: “The great question that has never…


The Public “I” of Julie Otsuka

Few writers of color in the twenty-first century work in the fierce tones of the Black Arts and Red Power movements. Few writers of any race, working in any genre,…

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