Television Show Review: Game of Thrones: Season 7

Game of Thrones Season 7

Game of Thrones: Season 7 created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (HBO, Television 360, Grok! Studio) Starring Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Iain Glen, Alfie Allen, John Bradley, Aidan Gillen, Conleth Hill, Gwendoline Christie, Liam Cunningham, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Jerome Flynn, Nathalie Emmanuel, Rory McCann, Carice van Houten, Kristofer Hivju, and Jacob Anderson. Narrative Rules Collectively, the human condition adapts and upholds the cultural lens of narrative rules. Much like a toddler listening to parents for months on end, picking up and parsing new words every day during the gradual transformation to understanding, so too does the consumer of pop culture begin to comprehend the structure and formatting of story…. Read More →

Book Review: Tenth of December

Tenth of December by George Saunders

Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders (New York: Random House, 2013. 288 pp) MacArthur “Genuis Grant” fellow George Saunders is the acclaimed author of several collections of short stories, including Pastoralia and CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, a collection of essays, a book for children, and a new novel, Lincoln in the Bardo. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University. From Long-Form Narrative to Short Story Over the years, my previously devoted followers—”the devoted few,” might have noticed a trend to my reviewing habits. My reading consumption skews toward the novel. I review a book of poetry here and there, but largely my mental capacity focuses on long-form narrative. Certainly, elements of this focus coincide with my… Read More →

Properly Introduced: “Steps”

McSweeneys 47

“Steps” by Mona Simpson in McSweeney’s 47 “I didn’t believe in forgiveness, particularly. This all began when I decided to de-clutter my in-box. De-clutter is a compound word that makes Harry say ‘middle-age.’ He jokes about having a lover who wears a dental splint. He’s teasing, but he probably minds my age. I would. I do. But I’m an actress. If I didn’t mind, I’d be a moron. I was deleting, deleting, deleting when I came to yet another message from an unknown sender. Dirk Vanderhoff turned out to be my agent’s secretary’s secretary. Apparently, my agent’s secretary, the young woman who always remained on the line when Solange called, had been fielding messages, and after three from the same… Read More →

Properly Introduced: “Bang!”

Iowa Review

“Bang!” by Sarah Coates in The Iowa Review “Bombs happen. Lots of then. Most places in the world are made of fire. It’s sad, but also everyone kind of wanted it to happen. Just like they really wanted the Cold War to come to some sort of conclusion. People like conclusions. And so Tom made his leap of faith.”

Properly Introduced: “The Tomb of Wrestling”

Tin House Volume 18, Number 2

“The Tomb of Wrestling” by Jo Ann Beard in Tin House “She struck her attacker in the head with a shovel, a small one that she normally kept in the trunk of her car for moving things off the highway. There was a certain time of year in upstate New York when the turtles left their reedy ponds to crawl ponderously through the countryside, and wound up strewn like pottery shards across the road. The box turtles Joan could pick up with her hands; this was the shovel she had purchased to move the snappers to the ditches. Luckily, she had taken it from her trunk in order to straighten out her compost situation.”

Book Review: High Dive

High Dive: A Novel by Jonathan Lee (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2016. 336 pp) Jonathan Lee is a British writer whose recent fiction has appeared in Tin House, Granta, and Narrative, among other magazines. High Dive is his first novel to be published in the United States. He lives in Brooklyn, where he is an editor at the literary journal A Public Space and a contributing editor for Guernica. Tick Tick Tick The ticking time bomb represents a compelling metaphor. If a story opens the door to a timed explosive, the resulting narratives and character development exist in half-life. How much does it really matter when everything explodes? Some stories establish the time bomb narrative in subtle ways. A… Read More →