Transmigration of Souls

Transmigration of SoulsIt's hard for you to believe in reincarnationbut you're willing to try,considering the alternative.If only someone would explainwhere the souls are, in a city or a townor… More

Conversation With Noah

– If all those people must be flooded, is it not fair that they be warned?– The calamity itself is the warning.– Then your god is acting rashly.– What… More

A Field Guide to Ukrainian Sex

A Field Guide to Ukrainian Sex by Oksana Zabuzhko is a book that absolutely deserves to be translated into English, and pronto. Ostensibly the tale of a disastrous love… More

Watching As the World Vanishes

It was shameful, everyone agreed afterward, that no one did anything at the time. Because people knew it was happening. There were reports, early on. People saw things, near… More

Poet’s Choice

I attended an event last month in New York City sponsored by the PEN American Center and entitled "State of Emergency: Unconventional Readings." PEN believes that it is urgently… More

Aerial Maneuvers

Calvino's The Baron in the Trees, the book of his I love most, has accompanied me through life as a sort of moral and political manifesto. It may seem… More

Mary Gordon: Bodies of Knowledge

The Waves is Virginia Woolf's most difficult book. It is a difficult book by any standards, and its difficulty and its greatness are intertwined. Part of the difficulty is… More

1,001 Laughs

Back in the thirties, Borges worked for an Argentinean women's magazine called El Hogar--a magazine of middle-class attitudes and presumptions, roughly similar to Redbook in America today. More

Salman Rushdie: The Imaginary Real

In 1981, Italo Calvino's book If on a Winter's Night a Traveler was published in England to what I remember as a more or less resounding silence. Very few… More

A Place in the Procession

Long long ago I dreamed this: an old soul, mud-colored, thin, ropy-haired, hunkers at a campfire. A line of naked youth has formed on the lip of a cliff.… More

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