Everything is narrative

Richard Powers wanders Berlin and reflects on what fiction can tell us about history @ Design Observer. If I knew, even roughly, how Berlin died, I would lay out the facts in a chain of evidence. And if I had a theory, however tenuous, about the city’s post-mortem life, I would argue it straight up:… Read more »

The special chaos of a dream

Daniel Hernandez on the threats and uncertainties of life in Mexico City @ WorldHum. You can’t really appreciate the enormity of Mexico City until you leave it on the ground. Merely landing at or departing from Benito Juárez International Airport belies the city’s physical contours, the ranges of mountains that ring its basin. Flying in… Read more »

Place Matters

Jennifer Acker argues the value of literature and essays in preserving a sense of place @ The New Inquiry.At the end of the eighties, when I was in middle school, a development threatened a parcel of land a half-mile down the road from my house in Whitefield, Maine. The town held a public forum for… Read more »

It isn’t where we are, it’s who we are

Hugh Ryan reflects on what a map can’t show us @ The Morning News. PresentLenni and I take turns changing in the shelter of the bus stop outside the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, in San Juan. It’s August, we’ve been friends for two decades, but this is the first time Lenni and I have… Read more »

Writing about the real Russia – whatever that is

Kseniya Melnik considers the homeland of her imagination @ Granta. Never return to the places where you’ve been happy, my father always said.Ever since I started writing fiction, I’ve crafted not-always-happy stories about the country of my overwhelmingly happy childhood. It was no Utopia , of course, especially in the economic scramble after the fall… Read more »