Tag Literature

Grace between the cushions:A love letter to my college couch

During my last two years of college, I lived with two roommates, and
we furnished our rooms pretty much exclusively with things we found in
the trash. We were none of us poor, but we were all quite cheap, and
for two years running the luck of the draw had placed us in our
dormitory’s “garbage entryway,” a dingy, be-dumpstered archway where
the garbage and castoffs of our entire 800-resident undergraduate house
was left pending weekly pickup.

Mix CD | Genesis

Wimbo Zuri Catalog No. 021.1A05-1

Inspired by the first book of the Bible, in all its wonder and strangeness. Some of the songs make direct references to persons and events; others are resonant with the emotions of particular moments of the story.

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Commission your own custom Wimbo Zuri mix CD.

Decolonizing Harry

cc r-z/flickr

If you are restricted in your range by poverty you are but confined to the most significant and vital experiences. It is life near the bone where it is sweetest.
—Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Though I’ve belted you and flayed you,
By the livin’ Gawd that made you,
You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
—Rudyard Kipling, “Gunga Din”

When I set out to live in a biblically-centered community four summers ago, I really didn’t plan to find myself in the role of a colonial master, attempting to control my darker-skinned minions with insulting benevolence. It just sort of happened that way.

Theme-park theodicies

cc Neal Fowler/flickr

Pastoralia: Stories, by George Saunders (RiverHead Books, 2000), 188 pp., $22.95.

So the pitch for the story goes something like this: a young man, the product of a working-class Chicago neighborhood, educated as a petroleum engineer at the Colorado School of Mines, starts writing at his computer terminal on the sly short stories about sad people with hilariously bad jobs, and then out of relative nowhere gets published by the New Yorker. His first collection of stories (1997’s CivilWarLand in Bad Decline) brings him acclaim throughout the literary parallel-universe as a new and astounding voice, which has seemingly burst fully formed from the head of Zeus.

Fast and Right through Me

cc Andrew Mason/flickr

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, by Dave Eggers (Simon and Schuster, 2000), 375 pp., $23.00.

This is a book review. As such, it will make the pretense of being primarily about the book in question. But as the reviewer pursues the task of informing you, the reader (hi!) whether, and in what ways, the book in question is good, or bad, or interesting, he is also working towards a second end, which is to let you know that the reviewer’s own ideas are, in fact, both good and interesting—perhaps even more interesting than the aforementioned book. And so, fair reader, be warned: for although this review may attempt to weave together common threads, citing the odd example in order to reveal, with astute and impeccable logic, what a certain four-hundred-page tome says and means, both in itself and as it concerns the life and ideas of its author (who is only in his late twenties, and may yet change his mind), it is still the work of a reviewer who is himself only in his middle twenties, who still has a lot to learn, and—in truth—who harbors the secret hope that the book’s author will one day read this review, and be so impressed, or moved, as to beg the reviewer to come and write for his current magazine, or will maybe want to hang out sometime. Ahem.