The Tragicomedy of Persuasion

How Jane Austen’s Last Completed Novel Blows Up the Romantic Comedy by Tom Storch Jane Austen is a paradoxical figure. She died in 1817, yet her work is still widely read and frequently adapted. She blurs the line between realism and genre fiction. She is a master of the marriage plot, but she creates charactersContinue reading “The Tragicomedy of Persuasion”

A Novel of One and Many

The Self and Community Consciousness in Edouard Louis’ End of Eddy by Walker Minot The title character of The End of Eddy is Eddy Bellegueule, or Eddy “beautiful face,” born in a provincial working-class town near Amiens, in the north of France. He is an effeminate, gay child with a strange voice and interests in dance andContinue reading “A Novel of One and Many”


Advice That Never Grows Old, A Review of 1949’s The Human Nature of Playwriting by Samson Raphaelson by Nina Semczuk The best books about writing combine craft practicalities—such as the necessity of rewrites—with a down-to-earth, encouraging spirit, and my favorites include a dash of memoir. Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird and Stephen King’s On Writing come to mind as exemplars ofContinue reading “Writer-to-Writer”

Waking Up

Revisiting My Year of Rest and Relaxation in a Post Quarantine World by Walker Minot “’Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’” -Ephesians 5:14 My Year of Rest and Relaxation (2018) is the second-most recent novel by the Jewish-Iranian-American writer Ottessa Moshfegh. It became her breakout book, following the modest commercial and impressiveContinue reading “Waking Up”

In Sickness

by Jenni Innes Darren is hopelessly in love with the woman across the hall. It had all started innocently enough: nods and smiles at the mailbox, holding the elevator door, neighborly small talk about the weather, “I hope you didn’t forget your umbrella,” and, on three separate occasions, relieving her of shopping bags as sheContinue reading “In Sickness”

on the headlands, across the harbor

by Deborah Pless the bonfire must have reached sixty feetover the roofs of Bearskin Neck and the wharfbefore the lobster boats idling in the harborwere put back to use by men with sleepy eyesand pounding skulls we saw it, cracked and spitting, fit to consumeand from the rocks you asked me: why go to allContinue reading “on the headlands, across the harbor”

In Conversation: Andrew Martin

An interview by Tom Storch In his 2018 debut novel, Early Work, and in the stories from his collection, Cool for America, which was released last summer, Andrew Martin nails a certain type of character. They are self-styled intellectuals and artists. They define their identities in large part through cultural touchstones and aesthetic tastes. Characters in Cool for America goContinue reading “In Conversation: Andrew Martin”