Monthly Archives: January, 2013

Pocket Review: A Short History of Women by Kate Walbert

A Short History of Women Kate Walbert Scribner, 2009 Kate Walbert’s A Short History of Women was one of the ten best books of 2009, according to the New York Times. It’s easy to see how this story of women, all dealing with quintessential “women’s issues” through five generations of the same family, might impress […]

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Jane Austen, Literary Godmother

If you were anywhere near the Internet yesterday, you probably know that it was the 200th anniversary of the debut of Pride and Prejudice. To which we say, Yay Jane! Two centuries of continuous publication is nothing to sneeze at, and the fact that the novel’s commentary on class, marriage, money, and perception still holds […]

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Sunday Links, January 27, 2013

Hello, Like Fire! I’m happy to be here. I’m going to try to give you a roundup of links every Sunday, and try to make them as ecumenical as I can, though I confess to a bias toward genre reading and therefore genre links. If you have anything you’d like me to include in a […]

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Poetry Friday: “At the Market in Baghdad, 1940″ by Lauren Camp

At the very beginning of her sensibly provocative guide, The Writing Life, Annie Dillard describes the process: When you write, you lay out a line of words. The line of words is a miner’s pick, a woodcarver’s gouge, a surgeon’s probe. … You make the path boldly and follow it fearfully. You go where the […]

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Spare Change

Change is good. Not the bad kind, obviously, but we can just go ahead and call that trauma or difficult life transitions or Mercury in retrograde. Change is good when you empty out your pockets every night and put it in a jar; change is good when you do it to babies; and change is […]

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Poetry Friday: “Orient” by Billy Collins

Within the curiosity shop that is the January/February issue of The Atlantic (anesthesia, online dating, bad-boy bankers, the Cuban Missile Crisis, whiskey micro-distillers) is a single poem — “Orient” by Billy Collins, one of America’s marquee poets. Many images came to mind as I read and reread this lovely and spare piece. The first lines […]

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Tales of the Unread: NBCC and The Story Prize Finalists

Two of my favorite shortlists, the National Book Critics Circle and The Story Prize, were announced this week, and there are some really choice picks among them. Oh, I know, I say that every year. Maybe they just look extra good right now because I haven’t read many of the books in question. Even the […]

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Poetry Friday: “A Lizard in Spanish Valley” by Wendy Videlock

This week has been all about spawning items for my to-do list rather than, say, actually doing them — a time of conception rather than of delivery. The peculiar rhythms of the ‘holiday season’ having ended, the momentum of the routine came roaring back. By Tuesday morning, I had mostly stopped completing tasks (except for […]

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Open Letters Monthly, January 2013

It’s a new week in a new month in a new year. But lest we be overwhelmed with so much newness, the Open Letters Monthly January issue is revisiting some of the more… let’s say established work, both on and off our collective radar. Stephen Akey takes a look at Thomas Hardy’s poetry for his […]

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Poetry Friday: “Countermeasures” by Sara Miller

Sometime last autumn, in an effort to combine a needed moment of retail therapy with some eventual ‘me time’, I entered for myself a new subscription to Poetry magazine, the one-hundred-year-old gem that comes forth from The Poetry Foundation in Chicago. At the time, I gave little thought to how I would make use of […]

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