Category Archives: American Literature

Who was Alice Dunbar-Nelson?

By | July 19, 2022

While sitting in a classroom at Dillard University of New Orleans in the 1990’s, I met Alice Dunbar-Nelson (1875-1935). She, as we would say back then, “rocked my world.” Nearly one hundred years removed from the characters in her first collection, Violets and Other Tales, Dunbar-Nelson’s New Orleans was not a place that I knew.… Read More »

Haiti’s Literary Legacies

By | March 22, 2022

Interview with Kir Kuiken and Deborah Elise White How would you describe your book in one sentence? KK & DEW: Our book gathers together essays that examine the impact of the Haitian Revolution on romantic-era writing—European, North American, and Haitian – and how those writings, sometimes consciously and sometimes not, registered and responded to events… Read More »

Becoming the grid: memory and space in 20th century American literature

By | September 10, 2021

This is a story of girl meets boy. Girl finds boy online, girl travels across the Atlantic in search of boy, girl visits the places boy has left behind, reads his letters, examines his blue prints. Girl discovers boy is responsible for the displacement of hundreds of people, girl goes off boy a bit.

Brandon Sanderson’s Fantasy Worlds

By | December 19, 2020

Guest post by Ritwick Bhattacharjee In his rather captivating introduction to Maurice Blanchot’s Aminadab, Jean Paul Sartre writes: “So long as it was thought possible to escape the conditions of human existence through asceticism, mysticism, metaphysical disciplines or the practice of poetry, fantasy was called upon to fulfil a very definite function. It manifested our… Read More »

Shirley Jackson and “Safer at Home”

By | December 14, 2020

Guest post by Jill E. Anderson December 14, 2020 would have been Shirley Jackson’s 104th birthday, and for those of us in the U.S., this day also marks about six months under some version of a forced quarantine. A thought has crossed my mind a number of times that time: what would Shirley Jackson have… Read More »

Preparing to Explore Weird Fiction in Lovecraft Country

By | August 13, 2020

Based on a novel by the same name, Lovecraft Country is a drama-horror series set to premiere on HBO this weekend. The story will take you back to the 1950s as you follow Atticus Black (Jonathan Majors), his friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), and his Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) through Jim Crow America in search of Atticus’s missing father (Michael Kenneth Williams). But as the characters embark on an unexpected road trip, they encounter a… Read More »

Happy birthday, Raymond Carver!

By | May 25, 2019

Guest post by Tim Groenland Raymond Carver, who died in 1988, would have celebrated his 81st birthday today. In the years since his untimely passing, the continued spread of his work – the appearance of previously unpublished stories, new translations in multiple languages, adaptations and homages such as that found in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Oscar-winning… Read More »

Happy birthday, H.P. Lovecraft!

By | August 20, 2018

H.P. Lovecraft was born on August 20, 1890. To celebrate the 128th anniversary of his birth, Stephen Shapiro and Philip Barnard reflect on the legacy of his often controversial works. Should one feel embarrassed about reading H.P. Lovecraft’s weird fiction? Or worse, enjoying it? Or even worse, writing commentary on it? After decades of being categorized… Read More »

Happy birthday, Vladimir Nabokov!

By | April 23, 2018

Although Vladimir Nabokov’s birth in 1899 on April 10 (‘Old Style’) translated to April 22 (‘New Style’) when Russia transitioned between the Julian and Gregorian calendars, the ‘New Style’ also dropped certain days. Hence, Nabokov’s first birthday was actually celebrated on April 23 (which meant getting to share his special day with Shakespeare rather than… Read More »

A Gift of Indigenous Living

By | March 5, 2018

Leslie Marmon Silko was born on March 5, 1948. To celebrate the 70th birthday of one of the most important and influential contemporary Native American writers, David L. Moore reflects on her role in bringing attention to Indigenous culture. Silko was one of the first modern literary voices to call attention to white shamanism, in “An Old-Time… Read More »