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Tag: sexuality

Review: Gabriel García Márquez’s “Chronicle of a Death Foretold”

It feels sad to admit that Gabriel García Márquez’s Chronicle of a Death Foretold had a repellent effect on me. In many ways, it seems like a book I should love: artful in structure, brooding in tone, and concerned with humanity’s singular knack for committing sins of stupidity. But alas, the experience was hijacked by a familiar [...]

Review: Ian McEwan’s “Nutshell”

I’m one of those people who thinks Shakespeare’s Hamlet is the apotheosis of English literature. I’ve never encountered another text that can move me so profoundly, entertain me so thoroughly, or describe the human condition with commensurate depth and clarity. I consider Hamlet to be a once-in-a-civilization––perhaps even a once-in-a-species––creation. So, in one way, I am the perfect [...]

Review: Adrienne Rich’s “On Lies, Secrets, and Silence”

Months ago, my decision to purchase this book was an act of intellectual calculation. I’d heard an excellent recommendation on a podcast, and believed dipping into the mind of Adrienne Rich would be edifying. In the wake of the recent election, however, I grabbed this collection of essays off my bookshelf in an act of [...]

Review: Ilona Andrews’s “Magic Slays”

Two-thirds of the way through, I was all set to give Magic Slays a lukewarm review. I felt like I was reading the inevitable slump in Kate Daniels’s story––the one where her clever mouth, kick-ass fighting moves, and romantic difficulties all start to feel more enervating than exciting. And while there is an element of routine in [...]

Review: Ilona Andrews’s “Magic Strikes”

Ilona Andrews’s Kate Daniels series is a gift that keeps on giving. After thoroughly enjoying the first two books, my delight continued right up to the final page of the third installment, Magic Strikes. The seductive nature of this world and its characters springs from Andrews’s near-perfect balance between novelty and familiarity. The story continues [...]

Review: Jesse Bering’s “Perv”

Even if we won’t admit it, I think most people spend quite a lot of time thinking about sexual norms––what they are, where they come from, and to what extent each of us either conforms to or subverts them. Jesse Bering’s Perv invites the reader on a lively journey through historical and current perspectives on what [...]

Review: Lauren Groff’s “Fates and Furies”

In The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera compares human lives to musical compositions. He writes of two lovers whose “musical compositions are more or less complete, and every motif, every object, every word means something different to each of them” (89). Kundera contents himself with cataloging a “short dictionary” of words the two lovers [...]

Quote 4-8-2016

“The story we are told of women is not this one. The story of women is the story of love, of foundering into another. A slight deviation: longing to founder and being unable to. Being left alone in the foundering, and taking things into one’s own hands: rat poison, the wheels of a Russian train. [...]

Quotes 3-22-2016

“The most expensive part of a building is the mistakes.” ––The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett, loc. 9609   “Being a monk was the strangest and most perverted way of life imaginable. Monks spent half their lives putting themselves through pain and discomfort that they could easily avoid, and the other half muttering [...]

Review: David Mitchell’s “The Bone Clocks”

Two hundred or so pages in, I had high hopes for David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks. The novel grabbed me right from the start, showing all the signs of another brilliant yarn from one of the UK’s most talented living authors. Mitchell has a unique gift for inhabiting the minds of different narrators, and for [...]