Literature

I Aspire to Urinate as Powerfully as My Boss K-Ming Chang Share article An excerpt from Cecilia by K-Ming Chang I saw Cecilia again when I turned twenty-four and switched jobs for the third time that year. In the laundry room of the chiropractor’s office, I folded four types of towels and three sizes of
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In the Summer of 2017, I went to see the European premiere of the Braden Jacobs-Jenkins play An Octoroon. Based on the 1859 melodrama by the Irish playwright Dion Boucicault, it was staged at the Orange Tree Theatre in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. A truly bombastic production that lampooned the tropes of
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After its massively successful streaming release last November, Emerald Fennell’s film Saltburn dominated cinematic discourse for months. A 2006-set period piece that starts as a 21st-century Brideshead Revisited and morphs into an ironic erotic thriller, its carefully honed aesthetic, plot twists, and off-kilter sexuality divided critics and audiences. Some lambasted the film for lacking subtlety;
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“A Salad-Eating Competition” by Billy Lezra THEY SAY NOTHING TASTES AS GOOD AS SKINNY FEELS, BUTAfter Kate Baer have you tried duck-egg soaked brioche French toast, golden crisp edges doused in caramelized maple syrup? have you licked a spatula coated in vanilla bean whipped cream? have you soaked up oceanic Pinot Grigio brine with toasted
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My mother tells me stories of a woman on the moon. When she first heard the story, she was a little girl in China, sleeping at her aunt’s house beside the river, banana trees thrashing with night storms. When I first heard the story, I was in my parents’ bedroom in the American midwest, the
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How Clara Schumann Got Her Groove Back River, Love “What will become of my work?” – Clara Schumann, after learning she’s pregnant with her fifth child I.Her hands on the piano are birds she cannot name. It’s April 1854 in Düsseldorf, rain and rain and flooded streets. Whenever Clara leaves the house to shop, she wades
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When I first decided to write my novel, Their Divine Fires, I knew I wanted to draw on and honor the stories of my grandmother and mother. In the early 1900s, my grandmother’s uncles joined the Communist Party and fought to protect their country against warlords and Japanese soldiers. Decades later, my mother witnessed the
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I thought it would be easy to compile a list of books where women live alone. And it was, but what is considerably less easy it to think about books where women live alone and don’t fall into, or emerge from, a completely deranged state. I asked friends, and one replied, “the first thing that
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The End of the World Feels Like Nothing Billy Chew Share article A Brief, Inevitable Exchange by Billy Chew Zack listens to his playlist Apocalypse Daze. “Love Will Tear Us Apart” comes up on shuffle as he arrives to Mason and Sandro’s cookout. Whether the song is a good omen or a bad omen, or
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I have spent nearly all my adult life living in foreign countries. That includes working, dating, marrying, and now—parenting abroad. Aside from the potential challenges of language and geography, what it means for a woman to be in a foreign land is to understand and navigate the joys and threats of womanhood particular to another
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K-Ming Chang keeps redefining what we consider “reality.” Her latest three books—which she views as a “mythic triptych” (Bestiary, Gods of Want, and Organ Meats)—all inhabit surreal worlds where temporalities, species, and folkloric myths collide. In Bestiary, a Taiwanese American daughter wakes up with a tiger tail and finds herself swept into folktales and family
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