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The Color Purple

I read Alice Walker’s novel The Color Purple when I was about fourteen, probably too young to understand its full complexity. All I understood was that the world conspired against Celie–and at fourteen, that’s sort of how the world felt to me, too. With each re-reading of the novel, I saw more: the way that the form–an epistolary novel–drew on centuries of (white, European) literary tradition and challenged it at …

Listicles: In Honor of Nora, Who Told Us to Embrace the Mess

I’m one of those people who likes Nora Ephron’s writing more than her movies.  Her prose looks effortless, which is, of course, the hardest thing in the world to achieve, especially if you’re going to make people laugh. It’s way easier to make people cry than it is to make them laugh. The only tiny upside to Nora’s dying a few weeks ago is that her writing was everywhere, including …

And a Happy Valentine’s To You, Too

So it was Valentine’s Day the other day, which on the elementary school level apparently translates to EAT CANDY. When did Valentine’s become a kind of red heart-shaped Halloween-esque sugar fest? Lest I overlook the dangers of too much sugar, my Firefox browser popped me a little memento mori: Well, shit. When you put it that way, I guess I could say no to polishing off that box of chocolates. …