On Fiction

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Love Behind Locked Doors: Phyllis Bottome in the Age of Trump

In January 1933, German President von Hindenburg offered the position of Chancellor to Adolf Hitler after his Nazi Party captured a majority of seats in the German Reichstag. In the…

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Greater Boston Writers Resist

Jan 16, 2017  |  Hundreds of Greater Boston residents convened at the Boston Public Library yesterday for a demonstration of shared commitment to the rights and values essential to a democracy….

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Introducing Zhongshi Chen’s Modern Classic, White Deer Plain

The Dream of the Red Chamber, one of China’s four great classical novels, written in the middle of the eighteenth century by Cao Xueqin, records the decline and fall of…

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Inventing a Nation: Jacques Roumain and Haitian Kreyòl

Haitian independence from France in 1804 led to a host of consequences for the first black republic in the world. Among them was a fraught relationship with the new nation’s…

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Conversations: Rion Amilcar Scott and Bro. Yao

Rion Amilcar Scott I’ve attempted many times to render as fiction my first conversation with Hoke Glover III (or Bro. Yao as many know him). Such a scene has always…

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Six Proposals for the Reform of Literature in the Age of Climate Change

A century ago, China was in chaos. The Qing Empire had been overthrown by a loosely coordinated confederation of elites. The regional militias and armies that held sway were each…

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Call for Submissions: Translation Feature

BOSTON, MA – MAY 2, 2016 | The Critical Flame, a bimonthly online journal of book reviews, criticism, essays, interviews, and literary nonfiction, announces an invitation for submissions to a…

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The Mastery of Absences: China Miéville’s This Census-Taker

If texts with narrative plots and wholesome structures are read and written according to disciplines and procedures conforming to their configurations, then perforated structures, degenerate formations, and plot holes must…

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A Taste of Immortality: The Post-Earthquake Haitian Novel

Quand on revient de l’enfer, chaque baiser a un goût d’immortalité. (When you come back from hell, every kiss has a taste of immortality.) —Yanick Lahens, Failles (all translations by…

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50 Shades of Lydia Davis

“Sex is the brightest thread in the thick, strangely cut fabric of our lives; we can never know what it means, but we’re always sure we’re certain.” —Edmund White There are…

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