What Banning Maus Means for the Generation of Artists It Inspired. February 2022
I consider the benefits of chorus over cannon.
My friend, a poet and professor, was telling her nine-year-old daughter last week about the banning of Maus. She explained that Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize winning graphic novel about the Holocaust had been banned, and that it’s especially important to shine a light on dark histories when certain communities are attempting to silence those stories. “It’s banned?” The daughter processed, “Can I still read it?” Read the rest on Literary Hub.
Re: Hate Mail. November 2018
After receiving a string of menacing emails, I wonder: Can I safely extend a writer’s empathy to men who harass me on the internet?
I’ve received 15 emails from my internet stalker in the past four days. It’s like watching an inmate from behind a two-way mirror. He read a short story I wrote once satirically titled “The Greatest Story Ever Written.” It’s about a group of male writers who lose their way. He didn’t like it. I think I’m open to criticism, but I wonder whether I really am. Read the rest on Longreads.
From the Notebook of a Fellow Graphic Memoirist: An Illustrated Review of Nora Krug’s Belonging. November 2018
I review German illustrator Nora Krug’s new graphic memoir, a reckoning with her family’s history and potential complicity in Nazi crimes, and I imitate the book’s own gorgeous collage art-style.
Nora Krug’s Belonging is an illustrator and archivist’s visual narrative and it begins with a bandage. Read the rest here in Moment Magazine.
Two Cartoonists Sit on a Bench and Talk: An Illustrated Interview. October 2018
I interview fellow New Yorker cartoonist Liana Finck about her new beautiful and intimate graphic memoir, Passing for Human.
I first encountered Liana Finck’s work in Strand Bookstore, 2015. I was loafing in the comics section, telling the clerk about my many-years-in-progress graphic memoir about Jewish women…Read the rest here on Lit Hub.
The Actuary’s Dilemma. July 2017
Aaron is a clear-headed thinker, able to deduce “bestness” in all life situations. But when he’s transferred from the green gray sprawl of Waltham, Massachusetts, away from his girlfriend Sarah, to the strange, quaint streets of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where the local ice cream parlors introduce him to more than just vanilla soft-serve, what will become of his love life and his comfortable ideology?
Aaron and Sarah had been dating for nine months when Aaron was transferred to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He kissed her goodbye and boarded the train. The sun rose. He found a window seat and watched her waving from the platform. In her favorite yellow tank top, Sarah had a flatness to her. Her hairline to her hips charted a wide, golden plain… Buy H.O.W. Issue 13 here, to read the rest!
Learning to Love the Clothes My Mother Bought Me. May 2017
I reflect on my mother’s glamour and how a childhood of textile wars reached its copacetic ceasefire.
Once I stopped growing — 5’4″ (or close enough), size 4–6 (depending), foot size 7 (wide), 34C — it became clear how I measured up: an inch, maybe two, shy of my mother from head-to-waist, hip-to-toe, fingertip-to-tip. If I’d known just how important a role these dimensions would play in my sartorial future, I would have hung from my feet every night, eaten more vegetables, been more diligent about those bust exercises the girls in Judy Blume novels are always doing. But whatever I did or didn’t do, I did not keep growing… Read the rest here with Lenny Letter
“Then a guy walks in with a megaphone. He’s not the smartest guy at the party, or the most experienced, or the most articulate. But he’s got that megaphone.” Prescient George Saunders offered this thought experiment in 2007. Here it becomes an extended allegory for our unfortunate political circumstances.
George Saunders asked me to imagine a party. It’s a fine party, diverse. People are talking, making nice. Some talk about the cheese platter, preferring or avoiding the spicy cheese respectively, others about all the construction in the neighborhood and what’s-to-be-done, others about their recent breakup and what’s-that-new-app. Then, says Saunders, a guy with a megaphone walks in. In my mind, this guy is orange and has no neck and he starts a rumor that J by the cheese platter ate all the good spicy cheese and he wasn’t even invited. It doesn’t matter what he says; what matters about the megaphone guy is that he’s loud… Read the rest here at The Awl.
Quantum Theory and The Entanglement of Oolong. September 2015.
An engineer falls for a tea drinking co-worker. Will a gift from his brother and a series of falsifiable experiments cure his perplexing ailment?
Dale Stein needed a new philosophy. A mechanistic view of the universe had served him well until now, but when, at three minutes past the hour, Starla Stewart strolled through the silver elevator doors of RocketSpace Hosting— fifth floor, Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, California—the principles of the physical world split, stuttered, and confessed defect… Read the rest here in Washington Square Review, issue 36.
The Greatest Story Ever Written. June 2015
What happens to a group of struggling writers when The Greatest Story Ever Written lands on the literary scene?
Bob finished it first. Stop everything, he said, and get to your nearest e-bookstore… Read the rest here at The Butter via The Toast.
This is a Love Story. May 2015
As thought experiment meets love story, what does student Missy and Professor David’s unlikely romance say about Hume’s empirical notion of the self?
David had the kind of chest (convex, pasty, pimpled) that should have been ugly. David had long muscleless limbs, knobby joints, and a pelican nose. He was bald as they come. David himself should have been ugly, and he was, objectively… Read the rest here in Blackbird Vol. 14 No. 1.
A List of Names for Our First Born Child. May 2015
Fiction meets memoir as a daughter and her mother review a list of the dead in preparation for the naming of an unborn child.
How long should a Jew be dead before you name your child after him? My mother thumbs through The Big Book of Baby Names, recently dusted. Hunting for free supplies, I found the book boxed up, in the back-most room of my parent’s dim-lit basement… Read the rest here in Shenandoah Vol. 64 No. 2.
What we take with us: February 2014
An explore-your-roots voyage has our snarky protagonist less than enthused until she finds something she can take with her, literally.
My iPod, recently loaded with all the decent tracks I could pilfer from my brother’s CD collection (Surrealistic Pillow, Sgt. Peppers, American Beauty), which I found under his old bed at our parents’ house, next to a box of unbranded condoms… Read an interview about this piece here.