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Tag: abuse

Review: Terrence Real’s “I Don’t Want to Talk About It”

Hey! Listen up. Let me tell you something. A man ain’t a goddamn ax. Chopping, hacking, busting every goddamn minute of the day. Things get to him. Things he can’t chop down because they’re inside. ––Toni Morrison This passage from Beloved sums up the central message of Terrence Real’s I Don’t Want to Talk About It with uncanny [...]

Review: Steve Duck’s “Friends, For Life”

When I told a dear friend that I was preparing to write an essay on the concept of friendship, he recommended Steve Duck’s Friends, for Life. I was intrigued by this obscure text, which was originally published in 1983 but then revised and released as a second edition in 1991. In this slim handbook for readers interested [...]

Review: Kiese Laymon’s “Heavy”

The best thing any story can do is bring people closer together. Sometimes people derive common cause from a story. Sometimes lovers find each other in the dark because the story turns the lights out. Sometimes enemies discover in the story one another’s mortal weakness. Sometimes the reader and author, separate in every way the [...]

Review: Elena Ferrante’s “My Brilliant Friend”

I often hear readers of contemporary literature speak of Elena Ferrante in hushed, reverential tones, so I’ve been curious for a while now to see what all the fuss is about. The brilliance of My Brilliant Friend was so subtle and supple that it almost escaped my notice, but in the end I came around, and can [...]

Review: Dave Eggers’s “Zeitoun”

From the works of John Steinbeck to David Simon and George Packer, narrative nonfiction has played a significant role in shaping my ideas about America. Now I can add Dave Eggers to that list. I’d never heard of Zeitoun until a friend recommended it, but her description of a man undertaking a quixotic canoe journey in [...]

Quotes 12-4-2015

“‘They can forget about it,’ Ayumi said. ‘I never can.’ ‘Of course not,’ Aomame said. ‘It’s like some historic massacre.’ ‘Massacre?’ ‘The ones who did it can always rationalize their actions and even forget what they did. They can turn away from things they don’t want to see. But the surviving victims can never forget. They [...]

Review: Hanya Yanagihara’s “A Little Life”

Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life is a superlative novel in every respect. It is also the most emotionally challenging book I’ve ever read. Even after being forewarned by a friend, I was still completely unprepared for the onslaught of sensations and reactions this story elicited from me. Reading it was like being caught in a [...]