The Purity of Imperfection

On a humid September evening, in the astonishingly not-well-air-conditioned children’s section of a cozy San Francisco bookstore, I sat beside my girlfriend in a crowd of unabashedly pretentious literary folk, eagerly awaiting the arrival of my favorite author, Jonathan Franzen, who was to read from his new novel, Purity. But here’s the thing: As he … Continue reading The Purity of Imperfection

How to Pretend to Have Read Books Without Really Trying

Like most college students—and like all who wear lens-less glasses—I entered freshmen year entirely assured I was uniquely well-read. My first year taught me three important things (in addition to imparting on me the wisdom that lens-less glasses picked me out as uniquely unlikeable): First, my taste in books was not unique (however at the … Continue reading How to Pretend to Have Read Books Without Really Trying

On Reading What You Want To and What You Don’t

I often find myself wondering why I’ve come to enjoy the things that I do. The literature that I prefer to consume occasionally has acknowledgeable intellectual or literary merit, but more often than not, it is not “capital L” literature. It’s very lowercase L. It probably has elves in it. Or spaceships. And I’m not … Continue reading On Reading What You Want To and What You Don’t

Essay: Sci-Fi and the Trick to World Building in Creative Fiction

Sci-Fi. An abbreviation that has the power to invoke utter joy or disgust given the beholder of the topic. I personally used to be one of the blind that discredited this genre as gimmicky and meritless. Though I appreciated the concepts and imagination, I never considered anything even faintly classified as science fiction to be … Continue reading Essay: Sci-Fi and the Trick to World Building in Creative Fiction

Artwork: Whose woods these are I think I know…

While it’s easy to forget stories, their details, characters, and perhaps even the imagery so painstakingly created for the page, it’s unnervingly difficult to forget the impression it leaves upon you. Cold, slippery, and often creeping into your thoughts long after the story itself has been filed away and stored in memory, old emotions from … Continue reading Artwork: Whose woods these are I think I know…