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literature


  • The Indigenous Sami Culture Shaped this Novelist's Fiction

    Ann-Helén Laestadius grew up among the Sámi, an Indigenous people living near the Arctic Circle, in Europe. Her fiction has brought the long-running conflict between the Sami and the Swedish government, and the racism and violence endured by the Sami, to the forefront of public debate. 



  • How the Russian Jews Became Soviet

    The novelist Gary Shteyngart, who emigrated from the USSR to the US as a child, reviews Sasha Senderovich's "How the Soviet Jew was Made," a work that gives short shrift to neither the "Soviet" nor "Jewish" sides of the question. 


  • Does Novelist Robert Keable Deserve a Reappraisal?

    by Simon Keable-Elliott

    Briefly celebrated in the 1920s, then consigned to posthumous obscurity, the missionary and novelist, whose experiences encompassed the collision of colonialism, war and racism in the British empire, is overdue for rediscovery. 



  • The Moral Corruption of Holocaust Fiction

    A popular book for young readers strips the Holocaust of its horror, and its victims of their Jewishness in favor of banal lessons about empathy and kindness. 



  • Against Queer Presentism—How Literary Studies Neglects the Archive

    by Colton Valentine

    LGBTQ writers in today's literary world too often operate on the presumption that they are the first to experience queerness openly, making their own experiences of repression seem universal and transhistorical, and effacing older fictional and critical voices. 



  • Do Documents Clear Chaucer's Name Over Accusations of Rape?

    Although the belief that Chaucer was accused of the crime spurred a significant wave of feminist critical studies of sex and power in his writing, scholars have recently argued that the documents used to support the charge have been misinterpreted. 



  • Salman Rushdie Changed Everything

    by Siva Vaidhyanathan

    The novelist's creative brilliance and critical acclaim signaled a moment for south Asian people around the world to see themselves outside the frame of colonialism and to grapple with the subcontinent's ethnic and religious fissures. 



  • Want to Support Salman Rushdie? Read His Books

    by Randy Boyagoda

    A professor of English literature argues that it would be a shame for the novelist to be known only for the controversy surrounding his novel The Satanic Verses and the threats made against him and others involved in its publication. 



  • Eve Babitz's Archive Reveals the Person Behind the Persona

    by Kevin Dettmar

    "What could the personal documents of a writer who was so public about her private world teach us about her work? How much of that persona was a performance and how much a reflection of her real anxieties and ambitions?"



  • Leo Bersani: Contrarian Critic of Gay Desire

    by Jack Parlett

    "For Bersani, reading is meant to hurt a little or you’re not doing it right. A preface that preempts what you’ll take away, or paraphrases what is particular, can have, he suggests, a simplifying or even sanitizing effect."


  • The Two Russias

    by Walter G. Moss

    Russia's literary traditions evoke a national character in stark opposition to the belligerent machismo of Putin, but it's unclear which Russia will prevail today.