It was born into a time period of writerly experimentation and invention, a time when there were no punctuation rules, and readers created and discarded novel punctuation marks regularly.
After calling off her wedding, an aspiring novelist set out on a science expedition to save the Gulf Coast whooping crane. It turns out, every part of every ecosystem is related.
"Only upon approaching the entrance gate did my enthusiasm begin to wane. Only then did I remember some crucial facts about myself — namely, I hadn't been to an amusement park since 1996."
Over the years I've accumulated thousands of other people’s photographs. The pictures were orphans, in several senses.
Over the course of his career, David Schulson amassed arguably the most impressive private collection of drawings, scribbles, and autographs in the world.
John Waters, self-described garbage guru, wonders how he stumbled into what every young artist fears: acceptance.
The sickly writer is a staple, a cliché, of literary history, enduring and strangely compelling.
"We must not vanish all at once; it's too hard on the survivors," W.S. Merwin wrote in a letter to me late in his life, referring obliquely to the passing of his contemporaries. In the dark hours following Merwin's own vanishing on March 15, I thought of how he first appeared in my life.
To give up whiteness is to become vulnerable, to confront the deep tears in the psyche gouged over generations, to see the hate in the face of a loved one and name it and therefore open yourself up to being seen and ultimately touched.
Re-reading L'Engle's Austin books now, I'm struck by how often Vicky's praise comes at the expense of another child, a lesser child.
Reading the "California Diaries" is like an endless game of Taboo in which the secret word is always gay and time always runs out.
Science lifted us out of nature. It tamed the wilderness; it gave us tools to transcend our lousy, fallen bodies; and it shot us to the moon. Now it has produced a hamburger made entirely of vegetables that bleeds like real beef.
Lately, I've come to suspect that maybe a lot of people, especially men, still have no idea what it's like to be a woman in America going about her life while trying, and at times failing, not to be assaulted. So, these past weeks, I've been observing myself.
Like red wine rather than white, it can suggest sophistication, even opulence; like the darks of professional makeup — the art of smoky defining shadows and dark lipstick — it can obscure what we find less appealing and hint at mysterious qualities that a scrubbed-clean face couldn't hope to inspire.
Originally written as a tract for the times, this cautionary tale about the ongoing tussle between greed and goodness has been thought of as timely whenever it has been read.
Alice Guy-Blaché wrote, directed, and produced one of the first narrative films ever made, La Fée Aux Choux, or, The Cabbage Fairy, in 1896. For Alice, to become a filmmaker, "was my fate, if you will." And she was, at the time, well-known for it. Why, then, had I never heard of her?
"How do you live with a true heart when everything around you is collapsing?"
Woolf published "Flush," a biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's cocker spaniel, and immediately regretted it.
On average, a new species is discovered every week. We are in the golden age of paleontology.
The narrative potential of the adversity faced by black Americans was too good not to be mined, and so filmmakers found ways to make white characters suffer similar indignities: in this way, audiences could enjoy the tragedy without the guilt.