Epitaph; Or, What Do You Want In Your Tombstone Story?

Epitaph; Or, What Do You Want In Your Tombstone Story?

I have mixed feelings about Mary Doria Russell’s Epitaph. It’s prequel, Doc, was a charming, gripping, and heartfelt story, not shy of difficult subjects or characters. This is something I tremendously value in Russell’s writing, and made me eager to keep reading.  But Epitaph was different than Doc. Harder, darker. What would have been, in […]

Updates: Quitting and Completing

In the last couple weeks, I’ve finished one little book and abandoned another; I’ll recap them here. After The Fall Before The Fall During The Fall is a short novel by Nancy Kress about how humans are assholes who fuck up the Earth because we’re selfish jerks with zero capacity for foresight. She’s not wrong, […]

Farmer Boy; or, My Deep Ambivalence For Laura Ingalls Wilder

I received a beautiful boxed set of the illustrated Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder for Christmas. Last year I’d gotten into reading some of my favorite books from childhood, and I was excited to dive into this set that had been such a big part of my life when I was young. Having […]

Summer; Or; I’m Too Bored To Be Shocked

Finished up Summer, by Edith Wharton in short order. As a rule, I love Edith Wharton. I love the way her writing, like her characters, is suffused with tension, unarticulated, below the surface. Much is left to the imagination, the wink-and-nod understanding of the reader. I suspect that in the time she was writing, this […]

W. Poisoned My Well of Patriotism; or, Personal Thoughts on Veteran’s Day

I used to have very uncomplicated feelings about veterans and members of our armed forces (you’re only a veteran once you’re out/retired/not in active service anymore, right?). They were very motherhood-and-apple-pie and could fairly accurately be summed up thusly: “Yay! Thanks, you guys! You’re super swell!” Everything that happened after, say, January-ish 2002, ruined all […]

Additional Thoughts on The Butterfly Mosque

I took my sweet time reading The Butterfly Mosque, but finally finished a day or two ago. I’m usually a quick reader, but I took my time with Wilson’s book because I felt compelled to. The force of Wilson’s desire to facilitate a genuine understanding between impossibly different people and places in this world was […]

UPDATED: Feminism Confidential: Amal Clooney Gives Me An Enormous Sad

Amal Alamuddin and George Clooney got married about a month ago. By all reports, they love each other, and they had a pretty wedding, etc. How nice! I am genuinely happy for them. After the wedding, when Alamuddin returned to work, she changed her name to Clooney with approximately zero fanfare. Girlfriend just updated the bio […]

Diary of a Bad Year; Or, How Reporting in a War Zone is Just Like Going to Law School

Diary of a Bad Year; Or, How Reporting in a War Zone is Just Like Going to Law School

The Arab Spring began when I was in my first year of law school. I’d chosen law school because, with cringe-worthy earnestness, I wanted to “make a difference.” Specifically, discrimination against gay and transgender folk really fucking pissed me off, and I wanted to do something about it. I was highly idealistic, interested, invested, and […]