Archive for the ‘Words’ category

“The interloper” redux

In 2011 I published a story on this site called “The interloper”. In it, a teenaged girl named Jessie falls in love with her best friend Sarah. They eventually break up when Sarah can no longer take the pressure of being queer in high school. Sarah gives Jessie a box of the notes they’ve exchanged […]

Already gone

I’m nearing the end of my fourth time teaching a NYUAD Core course called “Contagion,” in our gen ed category “Pathways to World Literature.” You can find the full syllabus here. Our final novel is Colson Whitehead’s Zone One. I had to post about it on my course’s blog, since my students have all taken […]

Compact OED

Borges dreamed of the infinite book, and although I wouldn’t have taken the description to that metaphysical extreme, so do I. It’s easier to let that dream go now that I’ve gotten used to infinite network nodes and am never more than a couple of feet from an access point. But the electricity might go […]

“I felt …”: Thoughts on Richard Serra and #SerraQatar

Photos by Molly Waterman If you follow me on Instagram you already got an eyefull of our trip to Doha a couple weeks ago. We were there, basically, to see a whole lot of Richard Serra, which we did over three days. I wrote a piece about it for Hyperallergic, which they posted last week. […]

Weekend recs

The City and the City, by China Miéville (Random House, 2010) It’s hard to explain what is so cool about this book without giving the whole thing away. Set in a reality almost like our own, it follows a murder investigation through two city-states that somehow overlap or coincide. Citizens spend their whole lives in […]

Tom Lehrer: for The Electric Company and otherwise

Those of you who grew up in the USA in the 70s and had a television more than likely know some of these songs: A decent number of these are permanently burned into my mental harddrive and have been recovered, over the last few years, as Charlie and I have made our way through DVD […]

Weekend recs

The Moth book Started in 1997, the Moth storytelling shows provide a stage where anyone can come up and tell a five-minute story. Famous people and not-famous people tell stories of heroism, pathos, joy and the quirks of everyday living. These stories are often mesmerizing, and this new book collects 50 of the best. It’s […]

In memoriam: Marshall Berman, 1940-2013

I posted an earlier version of this at One of the great delights of the decade Cyrus Patell and I spent teaching our Writing New York class was the repeated opportunity to screen clips from Ric Burns’s monumental New York: A Documentary Film. Without a doubt, the highlight of that film is — for […]

Weekend recs

Tracey Thorn, Bedsit Disco Queen: How I Grew Up and Tried to Be a Pop Star (Virago UK, 2013) Tracey Thorn’s voice: simply sublime. It evokes salted caramels, rainy English afternoons, Dusty Springfield 45s. It can do anything: orchestral pop, trip-hop, house music for grown-ups. So what a treat to discover that she can write, […]

Our stupid awesome inevitable Afterlife

Why do I want to write about Kenneth Goldsmith and Sheila Heti and Social Media and The Afterlife? Cause they all add up to this really hot sweaty tangled love story. With a surprise ending. Here, come with me… I’ve been running along this intellectual trail for a few months. It’s got some awesome leaps […]