Books, as we all know, offer views into other worlds, journeys through unknown territories, engagements with unheard points of view, intimacies with the unfamiliar, and confrontations with the oppositional. They are transits into the other, guiding us—sometimes comfortably, sometimes perilously—through a world too big for us to travel in one lifetime. Through books we become voyeurs, co-conspirators, sidekicks, tag-alongs, psychics, and quantum leapers. They are our windows looking out over everything.
Anthologies go even further: they present a symphony of voices, ruminating on a single subject, a common theme, a unifying thread. They acknowledge in practice the truth that no one author can write the story for an entire group, so they collect disparate yet connected pieces to hint at the bewildering complexities of some of our most pressing issues. They amalgamate work from myriad backgrounds into, if not a representative whole then a satisfying unit that scratches at the idea of representation, like puzzles pieces that when put together form another, larger puzzle piece. Anthologies bring together writers and thinkers into a volume, and by doing so bring together readers into a necessary view of distant horizons. Continue reading…
My 2016 Literary Resolutions | Literary Hub
In 2016, I vow to read more books.
And in 2016 I vow to not only read more books but also make deliberate choices about what I read.
In 2016 I vow to keep learning from Rebecca Solnit and Ta-Nahisi Coates and Kiese Laymon and Jenny Zhang and Saeed Jones and April Ranger and Porochista Khakpour and Madeleine Holden and Ashley Ford and Alana Massey and Roxane Gay and Rachel Syme and Helen Vendler—even though I can never fully learn their lessons, I vow to keep listening, until I get as close to understanding as possible.
I vow to seek out new, as-yet-unheralded writers—women, writers of color, trans writers, writers in translation—and promote as many as possible. But I vow not to do this because I think they need my help, but because I need theirs. (More…)
Roxane Gay Wins PEN Center USA’s Freedom to Write Award | Literary Hub
You may know Roxane for her acclaimed novel An Untamed State or her bestselling essay collection Bad Feminist, or you may know her from the entire Internet. Her timely essays—including her recent, widely read New York Times piece “Where Are Black Children Safe?”—strike a chord with readers with their clear, direct, uncompromising prose, and get shared on social media like the latest comic book movie trailer. On Twitter, her nearly 100,000 followers are among the most engaged on the Internet, quick with a word of support or a declaration of solidarity. She’s appeared on numerous panels and in most major publications. She is, in other words, a true literary star.