The Millions9 min read
On Sheila Heti and (Not) Motherhood
A friend texted me a few months ago to tell me her period was late. We spent five minutes going back and forth on the specifics, but I was about to teach a class and she was getting on a train. Remember, I said, just before I put my phone away, the a
The Millions6 min read
Us Animals: Writing the Natural World Back into the Human
There are so many ways for a nest to fail. So many ways for a sentence to fail. In my years as a field biologist I watched how the natural world dealt with the inevitability of failure—in life, mating, reproduction, predation. Unaware, I began to tra
The Millions6 min readSociety
‘Frankenstein’ And The Science Of Transitioning
Victor Frankenstein stands listening to his creation, the creature who he brought to life from the sewed-together remnants of the dead, who he abandoned at the height of his success, and who now asks his father to remedy his rejection buy building hi
The Millions7 min read
What’s In An Author Name?
If I’m gonna tell a real story, I’m gonna start with my name. —Kendrick Lamar  1. Not unlike George Herbert Walker Bush, my full legal name, as it reads on my birth certificate, has four pieces, not the usual three. Marie Myung-Ok Grace L
The Millions9 min read
Evenings with Clarice Lispector’s Newest Translator
1. “I’ve been working on the translation nonstop—it’s like I’m in a trance,” Magdalena Edwards told me in early March 2017, while preparing a gin and tonic at her house in Santa Monica. I walked there from my place—we live very close to one another.
The Millions7 min readSociety
Misogyny and Other Occupational Hazards of Women Sportswriters
In a world that embraces the pervasive myth that women are not sports fans, one where “throwing like a girl” is lobbed as a critique, women who write about sports face immense challenges. While women sportswriters may not necessarily write about fema
The Millions8 min readArts & Languages
The Queering of Nick Carraway
In the middle of a class discussion of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby some years ago, a student raised his hand and asked, in essence: What are we supposed to make of the scene where Nick Carraway goes off with the gay guy? And I said, in ess
The Millions6 min read
My Search For An Incredible Piece Of Sci-Trash
Of all of the brilliant, moving, intelligent works humanity has produced, the one I was most interested in reading was an outrageous piece of sci-fi trash filled with gratuitous sex, profanity, mutants, and over-the-top gore. The book–presumably writ
The Millions6 min read
Obsession Is Universal
Is there art without obsession? Obsession is endemic to the human condition.  It drives creation like sunlight nourishes plants. If artists are observers of human follies and failings, then depicting obsession comes with the terrain.  Three recently
The Millions9 min read
Prison Rooms: Just £150 per Night
1. In the Visitor’s Room of a prison in Oxford, at the table next to me, a middle-aged man in a turquoise shirt sips a cocktail through a straw; his face scrunches up with pleasure. The woman he is with leans in to whisper in his ear. He opens his ey
The Millions6 min read
Narrative Is Back: On Rebekah Frumkin’s ‘The Comedown’
Narrative is back, and it’s wearing new threads. The post Narrative Is Back: On Rebekah Frumkin’s ‘The Comedown’ appeared first on The Millions.
The Millions8 min readTech
Kazuo Ishiguro And The Inescapable Perils Of The Internet
“I have this feeling, that all it will take will be one moment, even a tiny moment.” When Kazuo Ishiguro won the Nobel Prize in Literature I was slightly disappointed. I was a “Harukist”—over the preceding eight months, I had been religiously reading
The Millions13 min read
The Moon Is Beautiful Tonight: On East Asian Narratives
1. Once a conversation with an Australian friend surprised me; she told me that Haruki Murakami, the world-famous Japanese novelist, struck her as “very Japanese.” “But why?” I puzzled, thinking of the Western pop culture references sprinkled through
The Millions5 min read
Becoming the Person You Are: Meaghan O’Connell Writes Motherhood
I knew life with a baby would be radically different. I had been warned, and I had seen time and again how a baby could change a family dynamic. I prepared (as much as one can) for breastfeeding problems and colic and sleepless nights. But what I did
The Millions3 min read
Remembering My Parents’ Bookshelf
Did I enjoy these books? Though they don’t interest me now, I think I did enjoy them then. I was accumulating my 10,000 hours of reading practice. The post Remembering My Parents’ Bookshelf appeared first on The Millions.
The Millions13 min readSociety
“Tough Little Numbers”: Women and Criticism
1. Swept up in the wave of resignations and mea culpa that rolled through the literary establishment at the height of the #metoo movement late last year was Paris Review editor Lorin Stein.  Stein stepped down from his post on December 6, 2017, amid
The Millions11 min readSociety
A Little in Love with Everyone: On Alison Bechdel
This is an excerpt from  A Little in Love with Everyone: Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home by Genevieve Hudson, part of the …AFTERWORDS series from Fiction Advocate.   1. Before Alison Bechdel became an award-winning cartoonist, she was a tomboyi
The Millions9 min read
Writing Outer Space
On the one hand, there is the world as we know it, the ground-level of human life and everything it entails: the whole arc of history, the transformation of our natural environment, nervous first dates over coffee. On the other hand, there is the rem
The Millions2 min read
The Millions Top Ten: March 2018
The first six titles from February are the first six titles this month as well. The post The Millions Top Ten: March 2018 appeared first on The Millions.
The Millions10 min read
DeLillo, Lethem, and the Seductive Sentence
DeLillo is so famously and distinctively a writer who appeals to sentence-lovers, with all their blindnesses, hubristic ideals, and narrow-minded cerebrations. The post DeLillo, Lethem, and the Seductive Sentence appeared first on The Millions.
The Millions14 min read
Graham Greene’s ‘Entertainments’ and The Problem of Writing from Life
For Greene, the moralizing literary artist, the therapy of commercial fiction itself becomes an object of his moralizing.  The post Graham Greene’s ‘Entertainments’ and The Problem of Writing from Life appeared first on The Million
The Millions8 min read
A Vicarious Encounter with Gregory Pardlo
Digest, Gregory Pardlo’s 2015 Pulitzer Prize winning collection of poems, begins with “Written by Himself”: “I was born still and superstitious; I bore an unexpected burden. / I gave birth, I gave blessing, I gave rise to suspicion.” His lines carry
The Millions4 min read
Announcing the 2018 BTBA Longlists for Fiction and Poetry
Celebrating its eleventh consecutive year of honoring literature in translation, the Best Translated Book Awards is pleased to announce the 2018 longlists for both fiction and poetry (we announced the 2017 and 2016 winners here at the site). Announce
The Millions7 min read
The Golden Age of Nonfiction: Courtney Hodell on the Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant
It’s a golden age for nonfiction, but what writers have gained in imaginative freedom they sometimes pay for in the long and demanding road to the finish. The new Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant awards $40,000 to writers at any career stage for the
The Millions5 min read
Bottoming Out: On Leslie Jamison’s ‘The Recovering’
The first time she told the story of her recovery from alcohol addiction, Leslie Jamison recalls in her memoir The Recovering, an older man in the front row of the meeting where she was speaking started shouting: “This is boring!” Jamison is quick to
The Millions6 min read
The ‘Keep’ Pile
My mother announced that she was going to declutter: pare down the excess in her house. Much of this was, admittedly, boxes of mine and my sister’s that had been stored in her attic since we were children. She asked me to come over, sift through them
The Millions5 min read
The Nobel Prize Winner You’ve Never Heard Of
Agnon dedicated the last two decades of his life to writing about his hometown as a symbol of the world of eastern European Jewry destroyed in the Holocaust. Asked by a literary critic what he was trying to accomplish, he answered simply: “I am build
The Millions8 min read
Advice To Young Writers On The Eve Of Wrestlemania
Each year, Wrestlemania offers the climax of various WWE storylines that have been at play. Will the underdog finally win the championship? Or will the dastardly villain succeed? Will someone from our past come back to save us? Will someone be betray
…Or Discover Something New