A protest poetry collection

Deaf Republic, by Ilya Kaminsky A coherent selection of the poems from this collection has been published in The New Yorker. I’m going to talk about the first 3 poems, which you can read in less than 10 minutes. In relation to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the 2022 Winter Olympics, and everything else happening inContinue reading “A protest poetry collection”

A short protest story

‘Lather and Nothing Else’, by Hernando Tellez Read it here in less than 15 minutes. In relation to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the 2022 Winter Olympics, and everything else happening in the world today that shouldn’t be, thinking about how we can use literature to protest… Tellez was a Colombian journalist and author, who livedContinue reading “A short protest story”

A short protest story

‘Saboteur’, by Ha Jin Read it here in about 15 minutes. In relation to the 2022 Winter Olympics, thinking about how we can use literature to protest… Jin was born in China. He was studying his PhD in America when the Tiananmen massacre occurred, and, disillusioned, decided to remain in the US, where he nowContinue reading “A short protest story”

A short protest story

‘Children of the Sea’, by Edwidge Danticat Read it here in about 30 minutes. In relation to the 2022 Winter Olympics, thinking about how we can use literature to protest… Danticat was born in Haiti, to Haitian parents, but later became an American citizen. Her short stories (I haven’t read any of her novels) generallyContinue reading “A short protest story”

A short protest story

‘Condensed Milk’, by Varlam Shalamov (trans. John Glad) Read it here in 6 minutes. In relation to the 2022 Winter Olympics, thinking about how we can use literature to protest… Shalamov spent almost one-quarter of his life in Russian gulags (forced-labour camps), for being critical of, and protesting against, his own government. This story presumablyContinue reading “A short protest story”

A short protest story

‘Zimmer Land’, by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah Read it here in about 35 minutes. In relation to the 2022 Winter Olympics, thinking about how we can use literature to protest… Adjei-Brenyah uses satire and surrealism in a near-futuristic story to, ironically, paint what I think is probably a rather realistic picture of the experience of beingContinue reading “A short protest story”

A short protest story

‘The Intoxicated Years’, by Mariana Enriquez (trans. Megan McDowell) Read it here in about 35 minutes. In relation to the 2022 Winter Olympics, thinking about how we can use literature to protest… Enriquez is from Argentina, and many of the short stories in her two English collections – Things We Lost in the Fire, andContinue reading “A short protest story”

A short story I recently read

‘Arachne’, by Nina MacLaughlin Available here. Less than a 15-minute read. Analysis: Thinking about adaptations and ‘writing back’…  This story is an adaptation of the myth of Minerva (Roman Goddess of poetry, medicine, wisdom, strategic warfare, commerce, weaving, and the crafts) and her interactions with a mortal named Arachne. In the myth, Minerva punishes ArachneContinue reading “A short story I recently read”

Two stories, one theme

This week, I read ‘My Sister, the Serial Killer’ by Oyinkan Braithwaite, and ‘The Girl with the Louding Voice’ by Abi Daré. Both are first novels by female Nigerian authors, and both highlight an issue that plagues modern Nigeria: the commodification of young women. Both authors tackle this issue in different ways, in different genresContinue reading “Two stories, one theme”

A short story I recently read

‘The Elephant’, by Chan Chi Wa (translated by Audrey Heijins) Read it here, in less than 10 minutes. Thinking about how the story opens, and how readers are engaged… This short story begins with ‘After the elephant vanished, my life fell into chaos’. Perhaps the reader could imagine a circus owner saying something like thisContinue reading “A short story I recently read”